Author Archives: Friends of the Cumberland Trail

Introducing…Your Latest Host for The Cumberland Trail on WDVX 89.9 Clinton/102.9 Knoxville

Hi Friends! I’d like to take this chance to introduce myself. My name is Marcianne O’Day and I’m your weekly host for The Cumberland Trail radio show on WDVX throughout 2012.  For my day job, I work for the show’s originator Bob Fulcher at The Cumberland Trail offices.  Bob spends his days (and many of his nights) as a ranger, tirelessly managing the building and maintenance of the 300 miles that will make up the completed trail. I spend my days managing the trail’s audio/visual archives and providing media services.  I also have a hand in the forthcoming record-label that will make many of the exclusive and priceless records from these archives available for purchase– so stay tuned for more news on that. Continue reading

Hike-a-Thon 2011

What is the Hiketoberfest Hike-a-Thon?

October 9, the Friends of the Cumberland Trail are holding the Hiketoberfest Hike-a-Thon, the first fundraising event to kick off the Cumberland Trail Challenge. Hikers collect sponsors and pledges from family and friends and then spend the day hiking the Cumberland Trail sections in Signal Mountain.

It’s a super way to benefit the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail and gives you the opportunity to help protect the trail and its heritage while hiking and earning great prizes from generous Hike-a-Thon sponsors.

Register online, download the pledge form and get started!  Collect flat or per-mile pledges from your friends and family —  your efforts will add up fast!

Who can hike for Hike-a-Thon?

Everyone! Young and old, newbie or hardcore hiker, trail volunteer or climber, anyone who loves hiking and hiking trails can participate.

Can my family participate in Hike-a-Thon?

Yes! Just sign your family up as a team when you register.

Can I hike as part of a team for Hike-a-Thon?

Yes! Teams of two to six members are allowed in this year’s event.  When you register, simply follow the directions to register as a team.

My company wants to participate in Hike-a-Thon. Can we join as a group?

Yes! Any company can form a Hike-a-Thon Team.  A Hike-a-Thon is a great way to encourage team building and get exercise benefits as well.  Your company may even match your pledges or make a gift to the Friends of the Cumberland Trail on your behalf.  If you’d like to start a Team, email

How much hiking is involved in Hike-a-Thon?

For Hiketoberfest, there are over 8 miles within the Shackleford Ridge Park, including Edwards Point and Mushroom Rock.  (You may go to Rainbow Lake on your own, which is a separate trail, much more rigorous, not as well marked and not specifically part of Hiketoberfest).  Go to the bottom of this page to see the trails connected with the park.

What can I win?

For the Hiketoberfest, we have Camelbak bottles, bandanas and t-shirts to give away as incentives.  Stay tuned for other premiums that will be available through the Cumberland Challenge.

Is there a registration fee?

Yes. There is a $15 registration fee, which also serves as a donation to the Friends of the Cumberland Trail, a non-profit organization that supports the Cumberland Trail.

Will my participation be matched by my employer?

Many companies will match participation in cause-related events. You should check with your employer to see if your participation in Hike-a-Thon will count. Check with your HR department to see if your participation will be matched. If it is, your company’s match will count towards your Hike-a-Thon fundraising goal.

Can my company sponsor Hike-a-Thon?

Yes! Sponsorship opportunities are still available for outdoor gear companies and other businesses who want to support the event. Contact Linda Daugherty of Bobby Fulcher at 423-566-2229 for more information or email us at

Hiketoberfest Trails:

The first Challenge event takes place in the Signal Mountain section of the Cumberland Trail, including several trails with trail heads conveniently located in Shackleford Ridge Park. describes the 3 trails (color coded) that run through this 240 acre Hamilton County park as follows:

Level of scenic value: (1=low – 5= high)

Blue: 2

Yellow: 3

Orange: 2

Level of hiking difficulty: (1=low – 5= high)

Blue: 1


Yellow: 1

Orange: 3

Length of trails:

Blue Trail: 1.7 miles
Yellow Trail: 3.9 miles (includes Edwards Point overlook)
Orange Trail: 2.2 miles

Hiketoberfest 2011 Schedule


9:00 AM- 10:00 AM –  Ken Dubke – Bird walk: Migratory Birds and Winter Residents

Location: Alexian Village



12:00-1:00 PM – Mario Piccolo & the Carolina Hotgrazz Quartet

1:00-2:00 PM –  Mike DeFosche – Virtuoso fiddler

2:00-3:00 PM – New Art Trio – Exquisite Strings & Flute

3:00-4:00 PM – The Cumberland Band – Gospel, Banjo eloquence

4:00-4:30 PM – Fiddling Mike DeFosche and Friends

4:45-5:15 PM – Mario Piccolo & the Carolina Hotgrazz Quartet

We hope to have Sandrock Records CDs or DVDs for sale


Sit-down programs in the Outdoor Classroom:

12:45 PM –  “Geology of the Cumberland Plateau”  – Amy Brock-Hon

1:30 PM –  “American Chestnuts” – William White

2:15 PM –  “Insects Everywhere” – Steve Murphree

3:00 PM – “Grasses and Growing” –  Daniel Talley

3:45 PM – “Stories of the Cumberland Trail and Shackleford Ridge Park” –  Sam Powell

4:15 PM –  “Hawks and Owls” – J.R. Tinch

5:15 PM –  “Reptiles” – Diane Mullich

Field Trips

12:30 PM –  Grasses and Wild Plants, Daniel Talley

1:30 PM – Rock Walk to the Mushroom Rock, Amy Brock-Hon

2:30 PM – Chestnuts and the Forest, William White

3:30 PM – Spineless Walk , Steve Murphree

Hiketoberfest 2011

Please join us Sunday, October 9, 2011 for the inaugural “Hiketoberfest” on scenic Signal Mountain.  This event is a celebration of the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail, the Tennessee River Gorge and the natural, historical and musical traditions of the place.

The event is being held at the sparkling Shackleford Ridge County Park facility (Lat: 35.16187578314468, Long: -85.37312507629395) which serves as a terrific meeting place of the Rainbow Lake, Mushroom Rock and Edwards Point hiding trails. There are over 12 miles of trails with scenic outlooks and the marvelous geology that abounds on the Cumberland Trail.

We are inviting friends, family and corporate teams to hike the Cumberland Trail and support the Friends of the Cumberland Trail, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that supports the Cumberland Trail.  The cost to register is $15 for a full day of hiking, history, education and music.  You can use the Paypal “Buy Now” button below to pay for your registration or you can mail a check in advance to Hiketoberfest 2011, Friends of the Cumberland Trail, P O Box 337, Caryville, TN 37714.

For an informational flyer, go here.  For an Event Schedule, go to this page.  To register, go to this site.  To download a Hiketoberfest Hike-a-thon pledge form, go here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hiketoberfest?

Hiketoberfest is a fundraiser produced by the Friends of the Cumberland Trail, a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to share and preserve the ecology, history, and folklore of Tennessee’s Cumberland Trail.

What is the Cumberland Trail?

Basically, it is a historic, 300 mile hiking trail that threads its way through 11 counties in Tennessee, including state parks, natural areas, national parks, federal wildlife management areas and private land.  The Cumberland Trail extends from the Cumberland Gap in Northeast Tennessee to Signal Point in Signal Mountain.

By the Numbers:
– 2,300,000 residents live within 35 miles of a CT trailhead.
– 330,000 acres of public lands are connected by the CT corridor.
– 28,000 acres are currently under direct CT management (75% complete).
– 300 miles of hiking trails are planned.
– 170 miles of hiking trails are open.
– 35 trailhead parking areas are open.
– 6 State Natural Areas are within the CT corridor.
– 1 weekly radio program is broadcast/webcast of CT music – the only one of its kind in America

The Friend’s challenge is: Connect it, care for if, keep it open.  Hiketoberfest is the first event in the Cumberland Challenge.  The Challenge is a larger fundraising program that will endeavor to raise funds for expanding and improving the Cumberland Trail.

Hiketoberfest celebrates hiking but also the Cumberland Trail’s immense diversity of fauna and flora, its rich musical and cultural heritage, and the breathtaking geology of Signal Mountain, the Cumberland Plateau and the Tennessee River Gorge.

To register, go to this site.


Head of Sequatchie Bird Survey 12/23/2010

Thanks again for making it possible for Barbara H. Stedman and Brenda K. Curtis to
access the Head of Sequatchie property as part of the Crossville Christmas Bird Count.
Stephen J. Stedman
Professor Emeritus
Tenn. Tech. Univ.

Here is a list of what they recorded on the property from 0900-1039 CST on 23 December 2010:

Red-tailed Hawk  2
Eastern Screech-Owl  1
Barred Owl  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  3
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  7
Pileated Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  8
American Crow  20
Carolina Chickadee  4
Tufted Titmouse  5
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
Brown Creeper  1
Carolina Wren  3
Winter Wren  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet  4
Eastern Bluebird  8
Hermit Thrush  4
Brown Thrasher  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  9
Eastern Towhee  2
Chipping Sparrow  2
Field Sparrow  25
Song Sparrow  10
White-throated Sparrow  15
Northern Cardinal  6
House Finch  2
American Goldfinch  5
These 29 species observed

2010 River Rescue

Tennessee River Rescue, October 2, 2010

The 22nd Annual Tennessee River Rescue will occur between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 2nd throughout Hamilton County. The Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail will be particpating in the Tennessee River Rescue Event with a planned cleanup at the new Roaring Creek area of the Cumberland Trail SST. This site will be the first site that the River Rescue will host in Rhea County. For more information:

Directions to Roaring Creek /Graysville Mountian Cleanup Site:

The Roaring Creek Site is located about 1.6 miles up Pikeville Avenue/Brayton Mountain Road from the Highway 303 turn off  just a few miles south of Dayton.

River Rescue Roaring Creek Event Map

Tennessee River Rescue Roaring Creek Cleanup.

This event was held on Saturday October 2, 2010 with over 60 people attending. The people from Graysville and the surrounding area were there to
make this a very successful cleanup effort. Over two hundred pounds of litter and other refuge, including tires, was collected. The Boy Scouts of America were
well represented by Troops 210 and 213 along with Cub Scout Troops 3213 and 3020. A best piece of trash contest was held with the winners being
Bobby and James Cannon with a set of old style bottles. The Cumberland Trail would like to thank all those who attended and made this event a big success.
A special thanks going out the Graysville Fire Department and the people of Graysville for there generous participation in this cleanup effort.

Triple Crown 2009

The highly anticipated finale to Triple Crown 2009 came off in style despite a reschedule to Sunday due to snow.  The white stuff began falling after midnight on Friday evening and continued until 9:30 on Saturday morning.   A slushy, wet 2 inches fell on the plateau, and even a dusting/soaking covered the Chattanooga Valley.

Volunteers rallied on Saturday in force to sweep snow and melt from the boulders, and to also build a much needed flagstone stairway in to the boulderfield, a site of many slips and falls over the past seven years.  Jim Horton (Triple Crown Co-Organizer) threw in his expertise (National Trail Building Medal was awarded to him in 2009) and with the help of perennial Triple Crown volunteers, a long stairway was completed in less than three hours.  With the clearing of the snow, the boulders were on their way to being completely dry by late afternoon, and perfect climbing conditions awaited competitors on Sunday-

Saturday Evening events were held as if there had been no delay.

Climbers arrived at Urban Rocks Gym by 6pm to BBQ, chips, and a tasty high gravity beer thanks to SoIll and First Avenue Rocks.  Each ‘plate’ was $10 with proceeds supporting Adam Henry’s new organization, the Alabama Bouldering Fund.

Dyno and Pad Stacking (think crate stack with crashpads) competitions held all attention through a large part of the evening.  As usual, Triple Crown also supported both the Southeastern Climbers Coalition and Carolina Climbers Coalition with prizes for a raffle with proceeds going back to the respective organizations.  The Triple Crown also ran competitor raffles with several big prizes going out to folks for simply being present.  A good time was had by all!

Triple Crown also made an official donation to the Friends of the Cumberland Trail. This organization is dedicated to the sharing and preserving of the ecology, history and folklore of the Tennessee’s Cumberland Trail.  This trail system holds some of the best crags and boulders in the southeast including (BUT NOT LIMITED TO):  Buzzard Point, Laurel/Snow Bouldering and Crags, Suck Creek Crags, the Obed, Black Mountain, Devil’s Racetrack and many more!  Thanks to special support from Rock/Creek, Marmot, and Five Ten, the Triple Crown delivered a check totaling over $5,500!  In addition, Triple Crown competitors rallied with donations and memberships to the Friends of the Cumberland Trail to bring the total dollars raised to over $6,000!  This money will support the completion of the footbridge that will cross the beautiful Deep Creek Gorge in Northern Hamilton County, Tennessee.

Triple Crown also made the official donation to spearhead the purchase of a large portion of the Rumbling Bald Boulders in NC.  The extremely active Carolina Climbers’ Coalition recently inked a deal that will purchase many of the classic boulder problems at RB that actually lie on private property.  On Saturday evening, Triple Crown delivered a $5,000 check to Anthony Love, President of the CCC to support this purchase.

On to the Competition!

Sunday dawned just as expected, cold and very crisp conditions. Perfect for rock climbing.

Competitors arrived at Urban Rocks early, grabbed a quick breakfast bump from Five Ten, dropped off crashpads to volunteers, gathered climbing shoe demos from Evolv, Sportiva, and Five Ten and hopped on to buses by 8:30am for the short ride to Montlake.  With announcements already made, competitors filed off the buses, gathered pads and launched directly in to the boulder field for the session.

With perfect temps and conditions, competitor scorecards swelled with huge scores.

There were showdowns set in most categories:  See below for where the battles were taking place for Overall in each category.

Juniors-Ashley Donihee and Clarissa Sheltraw; Beginner Women-Rachel Gilson and Cody Roney; Beginner Men-Lee Brewington and Dustin Pohlman; Intermediate Women-Amelia Metcalf, Sarah Grainger, and Julia German; Intermediate Men-Conan Blakemore and Tanner Ayers;  Advanced Women-Natalie Hawley and Melanie Meinhart; Advanced Men-Shane Messer and Nick Hall; Stone Master-Hilary Cohen and Dan Hague; Ancient Hardperson-Brandt Sykes and Mike Bacon; Open Women-Kasia Pietras and Francesca Metcalf; Open Men-Jimmy Webb, Brion Voges, and Brad Weaver

In the Star Chaser Category (goal here is to climb as many classic problems as possible) Zak Roper stomped through the competition, and gathered an all time record 316 stars.  Congrats to him for climbing a bunch of SE classics!

In the Big Gun Categories, both Jimmy Webb and Kasia Pietras separated themselves from series competitors in dramatic fashion.  Jimmy posted the highest score on record in the series!! Kasia was able to pull away from Francesca Metcalf, and finished at the top of Women’s category.

Both Jimmy and Kasia are reigning King and Queen of Triple Crown 2009.  This is year two on top for Mr. Webb. Special thanks to both of them for digging in to their climbing reserves and putting on a show for everyone at the Dyno Comp on Saturday evening.

Click the link below to see the comprehensive scores to see how everything shook out in all categories at both Stone Fort and Triple Crown Overall.

In closing:

Each year, at every event, there is always an experience that perfectly expresses the spirit of this long-standing event (this was year 16 of Hound Ears and year number 7 of the Triple Crown)-

This year at the Stone Fort/LRC comp, that experience came from Jeff Drumm. Jeff is a Chattanoogan, but had moved away for several years to New Mexico.  He and his wife made a decision last year to move back with their child.

Jeff competed and won the Men’s Advanced Category at Stone Fort/LRC.  As is custom with Triple Crown events, a large prize package awaited Jeff on Sunday at the awards ceremony; a Marmot/Triple Crown Super Hero Jacket, a Mammut Skyline Courier Bag, and Five Ten Climbing Shoes.  When Jeff arrived to accept his prize, he immediately said to the organizers, “Thank you very much for the prizes but is there any way that I could get a copy of my scorecard.  I had the best bouldering day of my life, and I’d love to have that scorecard to remember this day by.” Simply perfect.  Special thanks to Jeff, and the many competitors (and volunteers!) at this event that carry such a positive outlook!

Click the link below for a full interview with Jeff at Rock/Creek’s Chronicle:

Thanks again to all of our sponsors.  Without their support this event would be impossible.  Each is an important and invaluable component to gaining and maintaining access to our many climbing resources in the Southeast.

Marmot, Rock/Creek, Chaco, Rock&Ice, Dead Point Magazine, Urban Climber, Climbing Magazine, First Avenue Rocks, Mammut, La Sportiva, Organic Climbing, Five Ten, Black Palm, Andrew Kornylak, The North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Metolius, Sterling Rope, Bluewater, Clif Bar, Goodhew, Urban Rocks, Evolv, Scarpa, Princeton Tec, VooDoo, Nemo Tents, Joshua Tree Products, Friksn, Prana, Dolomite Bags, Footsloggers, Moon and Black Diamond

Annual North Chick Family Reunion and Greenway Farm Fall Festival, October 11, 2009

The Friends of the Cumberland Trail will join the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy family for a day of music and family events at Greenway Farm between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 11th.  FCT president Joseph Decosimo and Cumberland Trail Park Manager Bob Fulcher will deliver some white-hot old time Cumberland Plateau music, along with several other string bands.

Any FCT volunteers willing to staff the Friends desk?  Contact the Cumberland Trail headquarters at 423-566-2229.

Directions from Chattanooga: Take Hwy. 153 North. At the second traffic light past the Chickamauga Dam, turn right onto Hamill Road and go past the hospital.  Follow Hamill Road to just over the North Chickamauga Creek bridge and turn to the right across from the entrance to Bethel Bible Village.

For Google map click here:

Tennessee River Rescue, October 3, 2009

The 21st Annual River Rescue will occur between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 3rd throughout Hamilton County.  The North Chickamauga Creek Gorge State Natural Area, managed by the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail,  has received a sparkling, annual cleanup by volunteers for this great event.   We appreciate all those contributors from past years and those who will join us in the gorge in 2009.  For more information:

Grassy Cove Clean Up, Sept 12, 2009

The East Tennessee Grotto of the National Speleological Society is holding a clean up along a 1 mile section of Highway 68 on Saturday September 12 beginning at 10am CST. Volunteers should meet at the Roadside Picnic area. For more information contact Teri Stephens 865-385-5149. We’ll send our thanks in advance to all who help maintain the beauty of this community and NATIONAL NATURAL LANDMARK.