Deep Creek Floral Inventory – June 24, 2009

Deep Creek Floral Inventory

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Led by John Evans, UTC Graduate Student in Botany

The Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail (CTSST) staff and the Chattanooga Climbers Association (CCA, a local chapter of the Southeastern Climbers Coalition, SCC) are in discussions concerning a Temporary Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to permit establishing climbing routes on the bluff above Deep Creek and Big Soddy.  As part of this discussion, impact to the overall site as well as potential impacts to any populations of Scutellaria montana that might be present in the area need to be determined.  Additionally, to be able to self-police activities and impacts to the area, climbers need to become familiar with the skullcap.  On June 24, CTSST staff arranged for CCA members to guide John Evans (Botanist) along the bluffs that they are interested in establishing routes in order to accomplish the following goals:

  • Survey the site for Scutellaria montana
  • Instruct Climbers on identification of Scutellaria montana
  • Take a snapshot floral inventory of the area adjacent to these bluffs
  • Discuss on-scene real impacts of climbing, access trails, boundary issues, and any other topics concerning climbing in Deep Creek.

While surveying the bluffline, the group only located two Scutellaria montana plants.  Unfortunately, they were near the dripline from the bluff and were coated in mud from the splashing.  Several of the non-threatened species of Scutellaria were located along the way too.  We began to wonder if we would be able to discuss identification on a good plant, or if we would be forced to settle for what we had seen so far.  Towards the end of the day, we did locate some plants further downslope along the Cumberland Trail.  From these fruiting plants, Evans and CT rangers were able to better explain how to spot one of these while in the area.

Evans proved invaluable in his botanical skills, as we skirted the bluffline.  Sixty-four plant species were identified on this outing.  A listing of those species is available.  Although the climbers in attendance were familiar with the Cumberland Plateau’s biodiversity, they were impressed by the number of species readily identified on this one particular day.  This has led to discussions concerning the establishment of permanent survey plots in the vicinity.  Probably the highlight of the outing was the American Chestnut tree found growing along the base of the bluff (a portion of the bluff deemed undesirable for climbing).  While admiring the young brave tree, we soon discovered that at his base lay the logs of the original full size tree and several other failed attempts at regrowth, all still extremely solid despite their time on the ground.  The group could have stayed here all day and pondered the scene.

The remainder of the day was used to discuss elements of the MOU, and how climbing in Deep Creek would work.  Access trails, how the bluff relates to the boundary line, self-policing, and in what manner climbers would access this area were hot topics of the day.  The climbers expressed a willingness to be good stewards of this area, and to help protect it and all it contains for future generations.

Participants in the hike included:

John Evans

Andy Wright

Nathan Helton

Chad Wykle

John Dorough

Micah Gentry

Scutellaria montana in fruit stage.

Scutellaria montana in fruit stage.

Andy Wright explains the distinguishing characteristics of Scutellaria montana.

Andy Wright explains the distinguishing characteristics of Scutellaria montana.

John Evans documents one of the 64 plant species identified.

John Evans documents one of the 64 plant species identified.

Andy Wright, Micah Gentry, John Dorough, Nathan Helton and John Evans examining one of the proposed climbing routes.

Andy Wright, Micah Gentry, John Dorough, Nathan Helton and John Evans examining one of the proposed climbing routes.

Andy Wright, John Dorough and John Evans discussing the impacts of climbing

Andy Wright, John Dorough and John Evans discussing the impacts of climbing.

Butterflies – June 25, 2005 – Soddy-Daisy

On June 25, 2005, Bill Haley of the TN Chattanooga Aquarium, count organizer, and a group of about 15 people performed a Butterfly count at Soddy-Daisy.  There were a total of 37 species recorded in 13 hours.


1.     Black Swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes – 2

2.     Spicebush Swallowtail, Papilio troilus – 2

3.     Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus – 15


4.     Cabbage White, Pieris rapae – 2

5.     Clouded Sulphur, Colias philodice – 10

6.     Orange Sulphur, Colias eurytheme – 8

7.     Sleepy Orange, Eurema niccipe – 4

8.     Cloudless Sulphur, Phoebis sennae – 2


9.     Banded Hairstreak, Satyrium calanus – 1

10.   Juniper Hairstreak, Callophrys gryneus gryneus – 1


11.   Summer Azure, Celastrina neglecta – 18

12.   Eastern Tailed Blue, Everes comyntas – 27


13.   Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae – 2

14.   Variegated Fritillary, Euptoieta claudia – 16

15.   Diana Fritillary, Speyeria diana – 2

16.   Great Spangled Fritillary, Speyeria cybele – 19

17.   Pearl Crescent, Phyciodes tharos – 37

18.   Question Mark, Polygonia interrogationis – 1

19.   American Lady, Vanessa virginiensis – 3

20.   American Snout, Libytheana carinenta – 9

21.   Common Buckeye, Junonia coenia – 4

22.   Red-spotted Purple, Limenitis archippus astyanax – 5

23.   Hackberry Emperor, Asterocampa celtis – 5

24.   Tawny Emperor, Asterocampa clyton – 3

25.   Carolina Satyr, Hermeuptychia sosybius – 2

26.   Monarch, Danaus plexippus – 2


27.   Silver-spotted Skipper, Epargyreus clarus – 1

28.   Confused Cloudywing, Thorybes confusis – 1

29.   Horace’s Duskywing, Erynnis horatius – 1

30.   Wild Indigo Duskywing, Erynnis baptisiae – 1

31.   Zarucco Duskywing, Erynnis zarucco – 7

32.   Fiery Skipper, Hylephila phyleus – 4

33.   Sachem, Atalopedes campestris – 6

34.   Tawny-edged Skipper, Polites themistocles – 1

35.   Dun Skipper, Euphyes vestris – 1

36.   Delaware Skipper Anatrytone logan – 1

37.   Clouded Skipper, Lerema accius – 2

Butterflies – June 28, 2009 – Head of Sequatchie Valley

Butterfly Report from June 28, 2009 at the Head of the Sequatchie Valley by Bobby Fulcher, Cumberland Trail Park Manager.


1.    Pipevine Swallowtail, Battus philenor – 3

2.    Zebra Swallowtail, Eurytides marcellus – 1

3.    Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus – 1


4.    Orange Sulphur, Colias eurytheme – 2


5.    Eastern Tailed, Everes comyntas – 7

6.    ‘Summer’ Spring Azure, Celastrina ladon neglecta – 3


7.    American Snout,  Libytheana carinenta – 2

8.    Great Spangled Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae – 5

9.    Pearl Crescent, Phyciodes tharos – 2

10.  Question Mark, Polygonia interrogationis – 2

11.  Eastern Comma, Polygonia comma – 1

12.  Red-spotted Purple, Limenitis archippus astyanax – 1

13.  Monarch, Danaus plexippus – 1


14.  Silver-spotted Skipper, Epargyreus clarus – 4

15.  Least Skipper, Ancyloxypha numitor – 1

16.  Little Glassywing, Pompeius verna – 1

17.  Sachem, Atalopedes campestris – 1

18.  Dun Skipper, Euphyes vestrisi – 2

Birds – July 16, 2009 – Cove Lake Campground

Birding Report of birds seen in the Cove Lake campground by Rick and Barb Lucas – 7/16/09

1.    Red-winged Blackbird

2.    Northern Cardinal

3.    American Crow

4.    Mourning Dove

5.    Northern Flicker

6.    Acadian Flycatcher

7.    American Goldfinch

8.    Canada Goose

9.    Common Grackle

10.  Great Blue Heron

11.  Blue Jay

12.  Eastern Kingbird

13.  Belted Kingfisher

14.  Northern Mockingbird

15.  White-breasted Nuthatch

16.  Savannah Sparrow

17.  European Starling

18.  Barn Swallow

19.  American Robin

20.  Wood Thrush

21.  Tufted Titmouse

22.  Eastern Towhee

23.  Red-eyed Vireo

24.  Turkey Vulture

25.  Ovenbird (Warbler)

26.  Pileated Woodpecker

27.  Red-bellied Woodpecker

28.  Hairy Woodpecker

29.  Great Crested Flycatcher

30.  Pine Warbler

Water under the Mountains, August 22, 2009

Head of Sequatchie Spring after several days of heavy rain

Head of Sequatchie Spring after several days of heavy rain

On August 22, Dr.  Nicholas Crawford, retired hydrologist from Western Kentucky University, will visit the Head of Sequatchie to deliver a presentation on the distinctive geological and hydrological features found in the Grassy Cove and Head of Sequatchie areas.  A leading authority on the topic, Crawford prepared an influential Ph. D. dissertation on the hydrogeology of this region.  Starting his research in 1972, his dissertation was later published in four parts by the Tennessee Division of Geology.  Crawford’s talk will explore the subterranean drainage and Karst topography of Grassy Cove and Head of Sequatchie.  He will describe his pioneering experiments using dye traces to understand how water passed under the surrounding mountains to form the magnificent Sequatchie Valley and Grassy Cove topography.

Grassy Cove from Brady Mountain looking southeast

Grassy Cove from Brady Mountain looking southeast

Head of Sequatchie is open to the public only for park-sponsored events. This will be a great time to learn more about this unique area of East Tennessee.

Presentation starts at 1:00pm CST

Directions to the Head of Sequatchie

  • From I-40, take the Peavine Road exit (Exit #322). At the end of the ramp turn south, onto Tenn. Hwy 392/Milo Lembert Parkway.
  • Continue until you come to a 4 way stop. Go straight. You are now on the bypass around Crossville.
  • Travel 2.6 miles, until the next red light. Turn left on US Hwy 127 South/Main Street.
  • Travel 2.6 miles to the Y intersection with TN Highway 68 at the Homestead Tower. Turn right onto Highway 127 south. From the Highway 68 split to the main entrance to Cumberland Mountain State Park is 0.7 miles.
  • Travel 1.3 miles past the entrance to Cumberland Mountain State Park, and turn left onto Old Hwy 28. A Texaco gas station and an Antique Store are on the left, just before this intersection.
  • Follow Old Highway 28 for 8 miles to the entrance road to Head of Sequatchie. The road crosses Daddy’s Creek at 3 miles after the turn off US 127, begins a rapid descent into Sequatchie Valley after you have passed a dump station. Watch your speed: the road is narrow and there are two “hairpin” turns. small driveway on the left marked by two mailboxes.

Wilson Farm Family Day, Sept. 4, All Day!

This free event will include local music, local food, and carriage rides into the Head of the Sequatchie Farm.  It will also include a variety of children’s activities.  The event is sponsored by families from the head of the valley.  For updates and more information check this site or call Charlie Orme, after 7pm, at 423-533-2478.

Call of the Wild, July 27th

Ranger Anthony Jones giving a talk at Head of Sequatchie

Ranger Anthony Jones giving a talk at Head of Sequatchie

Call of the Wild, an after-dark adventure at the Head of the Sequatchie unit of Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail was held on Monday night, July 27th, at the historic farm site and archaeological area just off Old Highway 28.  Cumberland Trail Park Ranger Anthony Jones began searching out the nocturnal creatures of the Cumberland Plateau, from raccoons to bears, before he was school age. Jones has worked for Tennessee State Parks since 2002, serving at Pickett State Park, South Cumberland Recreation area, and the Cumberland Trail.

The turnout for Call of the Wild was great with 34 people showing up.  Call of the Wild was a night hike that led people into the darkness of the Head of Sequatchie farm to look for creatures of the night.  However, one night prowler stole the show – the Barred Owls were out in force.  After a few attempts of calling in these night creatures, they obliged by putting on a show of vocal calls that rang in the valley well into the night, with one owl actually showing himself to the public for a short moment.  It was a huge success and we would love to have you for our next event.

Music of the Cumberland Trail

Musician Galleries

Fiddlers’ Showcase

Articles, Program Notes, and Links

Songs of Appalachia:  A series of musical profiles in the Knoxville News Sentinel involving many musicians from along the Cumberland Trail.  Several of the featured artists, including Lou Wilson, Clyde Davenport, Luke Brandon, Mike Bryant, Luke Brandon, and Charlie Acuff, have worked with the ongoing Cumberland Trail Music and History Project.

The Tennessee Jamboree Reunion, June 13, 2009

The Blue Valley Boys: A Reunion, June 13, 2009

The Tennessee Jamboree: Local Radio, the Barn Dance, and Cultural Life in Appalachian East Tennessee

Songs of Norris Dam

Black Mountain Rags to Riches


Musicial Artist of the Cumberland Trail



Audio Files

Projects, Programs, and Events

Louie Bluie Music and Arts


Tennessee Folklore Society

Campbell Culture Coalition

Jubilee Community Arts


Cumberland Trail Radio Show


Friends of the Cumberland Trail Sponsor Teachers to Attend an Outdoor Classroom Symposium

The Friends of the Cumberland Trail State Park are sponsoring four teachers, one each from Morgan, Cumberland, Rhea, and Hamilton counties, to attend an all-day Outdoor Classroom Symposium on May 8, 2009 at Montgomery Bell State Park. The teachers selected by their respective school systems are: Kim Carroll from Central Middle School in Morgan County, Velma Hawn from Glenn L. Martin Elementary School in Cumberland County, Lene’ McCoy from Rhea Central Elementary School in Rhea County, and Anthony Goad from Tyner Middle Academy in Hamilton County. The Symposium is hosted by the Tennessee Environmental Education Association, Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Tennessee Department of Education. These four counties were picked because large portions of the Trail go through them. Interest in this type of partnership between the Friends and schools of the Plateau may warrant additional workshops and joint projects in the future which can be closer to the Plateau area.

The Friends of the Cumberland Trail are involved in the Tennessee Coalition of “No Child Left Inside”, which is an effort to get kids outside for education as well as health reasons. Anyone (or schools) interested in this type of educational partnership should contact Del Truitt at or (615) 354-3702.

Board Member Honored

Board Member, Jamie Trotter at the McNabb Mine site

Board Member, Jamie Trotter at the McNabb Mine site (Photo Courtesy of the Chattanooga Free Times Press)

“A Chattanooga woman’s work with a North Georgia company to document and preserve a Marion County coal mining ghost town has won recognition from the Tennessee Historical Commission.

Jaime Trotter, a historian with Alexander Archaeological Consultants of Wildwood, Ga., is among 21 people awarded the commission’s 2009 Certificate of Merit.”

-Pam Sohn, Chattanooga Free Press Times

In May 2009, Friends of the Cumberland Trial board member Jaime Woodcock Trotter won recognition from the Tennessee Historical Commission for her National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) nomination for the mining town of Shake Rag. The abandoned coal mining community was constructed as part of McNabb Mines around 1882 and is located in present-day Prentice Cooper State Forest in Marion County, not far from Chattanooga and the Cumberland Trail. Jaime and a team of three archaeological surveyors painstakingly marked and photographed every visible aboveground feature in a 457-acre area and created hand-drawn maps of the features, which include the remnants of a hotel, commissary, school, miner housing, rail beds, coke ovens, and other associated buildings and structures. Jaime thoroughly researched deeds, historic newspapers, mining and labor records, court cases, and many other documents in order to interpret and explain the significance of the McNabb Mines site. Impressed by the extraordinarily thorough site documentation, a staff member at the Tennessee Historical Commission nominated Jaime for the Certificate of Merit. McNabb Mines was added to the NRHP in 2008 and is visible from River Canyon Road, about 9.2 miles from the turn off US-27. Though a walk through is not advised due to potentially dangerous conditions, some sandstone building remnants, including the former hotel, school, commissary, and coke ovens, are visible from Mullins Cove Road.

We are very proud to have Jamie Trotter on the Board of the Friends of the Cumberland Trail.

Click here to view the Chattanooga Times Free Press Article

The McNabb Mines in relation to the Cumberland Trail

The McNabb Mines in relation to the Cumberland Trail

Directions to the McNabb Mines

From Nashville, TN
1. Turn left to merge onto I-24 E 76.8 mi
2. Take exit 158 for TN-27 toward Powells Crossroads 0.4 mi
3. Turn left at Baptist Hill Rd/TN-27/Tva Rd

Continue to follow Baptist Hill Rd/TN-27

1.6 mi
4. Slight right to stay on Baptist Hill Rd/TN-27 1.8 mi
5. Turn right at Ebenezer Rd/TN-27 1.4 mi
6. Turn right at Bennetts Lake Rd 1.8 mi
7. Turn left to stay on Bennetts Lake Rd 62 ft
8. Turn right at Mullins Cove Rd 6.7 mi

From Knoxville, TN
1. Continue on I-75 S (signs for I-75/Chattanooga) 83.3 mi
2. Take exit 2 to merge onto I-24 W toward Chattanooga 6.3 mi
3. Take exit 178 for US-27/Market St 0.2 mi
4. Keep left at the fork to continue toward US-27 N 0.2 mi
5. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for US-27 and merge onto US-27 N 4.2 mi
6. Exit onto Signal Mountain Rd/TN-8/US-127 2.0 mi
7. Turn left at Suck Creek Rd/TN-27 4.0 mi
8. Turn left at River Canyon Rd 4.2 mi
9. Continue on Mullins Cove Rd 9.2 mi

From Chattanooga
1. Head southwest on Dodson Ave/TN-17 toward Cheek St 0.8 mi
2. Turn right at Wilcox Blvd 0.9 mi
3. Turn left at Riverside Dr/TN-58 2.3mi
4. Turn left at Chestnut St 0.3mi
5. Turn right at W 4th St 285 ft
6. Take the ramp onto TN-29 N/US-27 N 2.2mi
7. Exit onto Signal Mountain Rd/TN-8/US-127 2.0mi
8. Turn left at Suck Creek Rd/TN-27 4.0mi
9. Turn left at River Canyon Rd 4.2mi
10. Continue on Mullins Cove Rd 9.2mi