Between our group and the Cumberland Trail Volunteers, we had 26 folks meet on a gorgeous blue morning to follow Don Deakins on a short, but tough little 4.2 mile hike in the Possum Gorge. We took off from Heiss Mountain Road Trailhead and immediately stepped into a wooded wonderland. There was a pretty wooden bridge across Blanchard Creek, beautiful rock formations and interesting trees (yes, tree's can be interesting!). We viewed a huge rock face on the right as we descended to Big Possum Creek. We climbed up to an old railroad grade and then took off up the ridge to the left. We continued on via switchbacks to a point overlooking the valley with mountains peaks in the distance (perhaps Big Frog?). From here, we descended a wooden staircase alongside a rock face to more switchbacks, continuing along a meandering trail that brought us to some secreted campsites amid a rocky point where we once again began climbing up out of the gorge. Finally, we crossed Little Possum Creek to reach a huge stacked rock where we all spread out to enjoy our lunch. John R. treated many within reaching distance to some delicious chocolate! Gearing up, we took off behind Don who led us to a point where we headed up the mountainside and ended up at our prearranged cars on Retro-Huges Road. A tough, but rewarding hike!
Caroline with CTV carried an interesting 'hiking stitck' which turned out to be a broom to sweep both the rock and wooden steps, along with much of the trail in general. While being directly behind her might have meant swallowing some dust, you couldn't help being impressed with her dedication and perserverance! Thanks, Caroline for being a dedicated trail sweeper!