Two hikes in October occured. One to Land Between the Lakes and another to Garden of the Gods.

Natchez Trace SP

Twenty-five hikers trekked in Natchez Trace State Park and Forest on Saturday, April 12th. With such a diverse group of hikers, it has become necessary to form a couple of groups. Group one set off around cub lake for the 3.5 mile loop while the faster hikers started from the Rec Lodge and headed north the 6 miles to I-40, then hiked part way back.

After a mile and a half or so, group one navigated a beaver dam. Unfortunately, Nola the trail dog got bit by a cotton mouth snake and had to be carried out an exit trail by the group leader and another member. The group pressed on though and fared well the rest  of the hike.

The second group kept a quick pace and finished their 7 mile hike on the Red Leaves Trail in as much time as it took the first group to finish their shorter 3.5 mile hike, just in time to get ahold of a ranger back to the hike starting point and then off to the vet.

Climb Nashville (3/27/10)

On a beautiful Saturday in March, eight of us trekked down to Climb Nashville, one of the south's premier indoor rock climbing gyms. For many, this was their first foray into climbing.

After some belay lessons, several went top-roping while other stuck on the boulder wall. Future climbing trips are being planned, both indoor and outdoor!

Pictured left: Trip Leader Michelle Abt and Lilly Rachels working some bouldering problems.

Below pictured left to right are Lilly Rachels, Michelle Abt, Ali Al Halil, Steven Martens, Anne Boeker, Scott Pun, Haley Redden, and Hunter Branon.

See more pics here.

Garden of the Gods, IL

Saturday March 6th was a perfect day for hiking. With the weather in the mid-50s and sunny, the large group of 30+ people left UTM and traveled the 2 hours north to see the famous Garden of the Gods of Illinois. Unfortunately, one car had mechanical problems on the way up and several people had to turn around 20 minutes into the drive.

The group arrived around 11am and spent an hour or so walking around the Observation Trail. Then, after lunch headed into the Wilderness Area adjacent to the recreation area. The roughly 3.25 mile hike followed the bluffs north past strange and unique rock formations.

Then turned west and south following Rocky Branch, a creek that runs below the spectacular bluffs of the Garden of the Gods.

After a short detour on a branch of trail that wasn't marked on the map, the group rounded off the loop by climbing the steep at times 200 ft. climb from the canyon back up to the parking lot.

To see more pics, go here.

Bell Smith Springs (2/20/10)

Wow! What a Turn out! Fourteen trekkers headed to Bell Smith Springs for a beautiful day spent in the woods. Sunny and in the 60s, we had ideal conditions. From the parking lot we hiked to the Mill Branch Trail head using the General Trail, completed the Mill Branch loop and circled back using the General Trail network. We topped off the trip with the short, but incredible, Natural Arch Loop.

Many of the north facing areas were still wet, icy, or with snow. High cliffs and ledges made for an exciting hike. What an adventure!

Go here for additional pics of this trip.

Garrett Lake after Winter Storm - Jan. 30th

Friday the 29th brought lots of snow and severe weather all over the southeast. With severe weather comes hazardous travel conditions, but that wasn't enough to stop this dedicated, young and enthusiastic crew! With 10 expected before weather struck, 5 met early Saturday morning for a very chilly and potentially treacherous trip to the trailhead. With 6 inches or so of snow, we changed the destination from Bell Smith Springs (1.75 hrs away) to Garrett Lake (25 min. away) knowing that the time needed to get to any destination would be doubled.

Unfortunately, bad conditions stopped one of the cars 2.1 miles from the trail head. We pulled over and hiked the road leading to the trail and continued on the trail for about a mile. The wind was sharp on an exposed dam on the south side of the lake, so we turned around and headed back to the cars.

After the trip, we stopped by the Cowboy Cafe for a late, greasy breakfast. When most were hunkering down due to bad weather, we braved the roads and enjoyed a cold, but peaceful morning in the snow.

Adventurers: Scott Pun, Courtney House, Katie Potter, Cory Oliver, Jesse Bosack, and Nola the trail dog.

See Pics Here

Location here

Nathan Bedford Forrest - Oct. 24th, 2009

October 24th: Several folks made their way for a multi-chapter hike including the NW chapter, Memphis chapter, and Jackson Chapter.

Northwest Chapter members from left to right: Sandy Davis, Pam Davis, Beth Powell, and Scott Pun.

View from one of the highest points in Western TN below.