On Monday and Tuesday, Jan 9 and 10, I had the great opportunity to work with 7 University of Kansas students, along with 5 other dedicated trail builders, on a winter break Cumberland Trail building project. The project was the construction of the return leg of the Mining Day Loop Trail in the Little Soddy Creek Stream Valley off Hotwater Road in Soddy Daisy, TN. Construction was over a variety of terrain and required some creative trail building techniques, accomplished under the able leadership of Tony Hook, included but not limited to step building, flowing stream crossing, rock strewn path, rain watershed gullies, etc. Construction will be completed by weeks end and will provide hikers the opportunity to view two additional mining history sites of the valley – the location of the mule barn, and the location of the Jeffery homestead (Mr. Jeffery was the mine mule tender/caretaker) at the head of the gulch, as well as provide about a 1 mile loop trail for day hikers. Although there was some dodging of rain drops, the team can be proud of their accomplishments. Lodging was at the Lutheran Church camp on Possum Creek, where once again the group was treated to Mr. Hooks more than adequate culinary skills.
Submitted by Jim Schroeder