Cumberland Trail Building Trek Report
By Jim Schroeder
Martin McCullough and I made the 190 mile one–way trek to wilds of Tennessee near Smoky Junction to participate in the “Closing the Gap” trail building program of May 12-23. This is in an area approximately 7 miles (as the crow flies) northeast of Frozen Head State Park. We spent three days as part of a team of 18 people, 10 of which were young men, some from the Rutherford County area, along with some “hard core” volunteers. The work was in the hills along the east bank of the Straight Fork to Smoky Creek, a tributary to the New River. The weather was damp and drizzling, the trail muddy, but the work rewarding, especially when one walks out on what was built in just the 3 days we were there.
Few recognize the tremendous efforts of our own Tony Hook as manager of the CTC in setting up these types of endeavors. It is not just the directing of the crews but also all the logistics involved. For example, it includes 3 days early arrival to recondition access roads, clear camping spots, setting up the camp mess tent, cook tent, privy, gathering tools, food supplies, water tank, etc. and the list goes on. Our personal thanks to Tony for his continuous dedication to complete the Cumberland Trail with minimal State Park Support!