If you are up for the challenge, ready to shake off the so-called civilized world, then join your hiking mates as we explore largely undisturbed, largely unknown virgin timber at the under-utilized Franklin-Marion State Forest!
CARPOOL#1 : Depart time is 8 am (CT), Steak N Shake (former Target lot) at Bell Rd Exit 59 off I-24;
CARPOOL#2 : Depart time is 8:35 am (CT), Murfreesboro Cracker Barrel at South Church Street, Exit 81-B off I-24;
DRIVE TIME: ~Approx 1.5 hrs from Antioch
DIFFICULTY RATING: Strenuous... for hiking distance and rugged terrain, off-trail exploration---maybe a pop-in to a small cave along the stream
HIKING DISTANCE: 10-15 miles. ??
HIKE TIME: ~ 7 hours
AGENDA: We should arrive at the north trail head by 10:00 am (CT).
Here in the loosely charted forest, you will find great rocky gorges, scenic streams, primitive campsites, and multiple caves.
There are moderate stretches but you should consider your physical fitness level prior to signing up. We may climb the gorges up and down several times. Some climb sections may have brief exposure.
If rains are recent in the area, then there is the likelihood of a shallow stream crossing or two and rock-hopping. Bring your sense of adventure.
Directions from Antioch Target
From Antioch, take Interstate-24 East toward Chattanooga. Take Exit 134 and turn left to head toward Sewanee on Highway 41A. After 3 miles, turn left on Midway Road/Highway 156 and follow 156 for about 7.5 miles. Look for the Forestry sign and buildings on your right. The north trailhead entrance to the state forest will be on your right. Park anywhere along the gravel driveway.
Bring plenty of water, snacks. Optional post-hike meal on the way back off Interstate I-24 or in Monteagle, TN (think Pizza Hut or Papa Ron's).
I recommend you always pack a headlamp with fresh batteries.
RSVP with integrity. If you sign up, but learn you cannot attend, be sure to promptly change your RSVP to "Can't Go"
Be courteous and offer your carpool driver money for gas and vehicle use. With the price of gas averaging $3.10, considering the mileage alone, $10 to $15 per person should be the minimum offer.
No dogs, no kids under 16 allowed. If you have an exceptional beast or boy/girl, email me.
On this date in 1854, Henry David Thoreau published "Walden: Or, Life In The Woods"