Walker County Plans Trail Along Old Durham Rail Line From Lookout Mountain To Chickamauga, Ga.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell said a public trail is planned along the entire length of the old Durham Railroad that went from the Durham coal mining community on Lookout Mountain to coke ovens at Chickamauga, Ga.

The first leg of the trail at Durham was opened recently. It links to the new Cloudland Connector trail from Lula Lake to Cloudland Canyon State Park, crosses the Durham Road and then goes to a trailhead at a power line above Rock Creek. It then extends across property of the Lula Lake Land Trust about half a mile down to the railroad bed and along the train bed headed toward the former rail stop at Vulcan.

Commissioner Heiskell said the plan is for it to eventually connect with Chickamauga Park and someday on to Camp Jordan in East Ridge.

Walker County has long held the rights to the old rail bed.

Commissioner Heiskell said making it to Chickamauga is a long-range plan. "We're just getting started," she stated.

The trail is no longer visible in some places, and she noted that a couple built a house right in the middle of it at Wallaceville. "We won't make them move the house. We'll go around it," she said.

A major project in the trail-building process was repairing a washout not far from the Durham Road. Philip Schofield of CTI Engineers of Dalton, Ga., said a box culvert of brick and railroad tles that went under a crossing of the creek got clogged up. When Hurricane Opal came along, it washed out that entire section of the railroad bed.

Walker County workers several months ago unclogged the box culvert and that sent some mud down the creek. Some trail opponents downstream called in regulators.

Commissioner Heiskell said an agreement has been reached with Georgia's Environmental Protection Division that "acknowledges EPD's concerns over work at the site, but also specifies that Walker County admits no violations or wrongdoing."

Using federal funds, the railroad bed at the washout was rebuilt. A 96" corrugated metal pipe was installed near the top of the rebuilt rail bed as a backup in case the box culvert once again becomes clogged.

Mr. Schofield said the repair work will once again allow trout to travel along that section of the creek. The creek banks that are shaded by mountain laurel and rhododendron help allow trout and other fish to survive the year round. 

Commissioner Heiskell said, also using federal funds, Rock Creek was cleared of debris the length of the mountain and down to Flintstone, Ga.

Bobby Davenport of the Lula Lake Land Trust said, "This portion of the completed trail will provide much-needed access connecting public lands. We appreciate Commissioner Heiskell's record of conservation of public lands."

Construction of the trail is being paid for by a Recreational Trail Program grant using federal money administered by the state of Georgia.

Commissioner Heiskell, due to back problems, said she is not a hiker and it was her first visit to the Durham trailhead and trail.        

 

 


Outdoor Chattanooga Offers Free Make Your Own Outdoor Video Workshops In February

As a part of its annual Winter Workshop series, Outdoor Chattanooga will offer three classes on how to make an outdoor video on Thursdays,  Feb. 5 , 12, and 19, at  6:30 p.m.  at Outdoor Chattanooga’s facility, 200 River St. in Coolidge Park. The free workshops, formatted specifically for beginner film makers, will provide information and resources for amateurs ... (click for more)

Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Featured Event Winter Workshop:  Jan. 29  - Fire by Friction Learn about tools and techniques for starting a fire with a bowdrill, or flint and steel at our next free  Winter Workshop , happening this  Thurs., Jan. 29, 6:30 p.m.  at Outdoor ... (click for more)

Chance Loftis Set To Be Freed From Jail After Jury Finds Him Guilty Of Only Misdemeanor Charge

Chance Loftis is set to be freed from jail on Monday after a Criminal Court jury on Friday afternoon found him guilty of only a minor charge. Instead of murder in the death of 46-year-old Donald Rogers, the jury in the courtroom of Judge Don Poole found him guilty of the lesser charge of reckless endangerment. He was found not guilty of aggravated animal cruelty in the beating ... (click for more)

Dr. David Seaberg Steps Down From Position As Dean For UT College Of Medicine In Chattanooga

David M. Stern, MD, executive dean of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine at UT Health Science Center (UTHSC), and Kevin Spiegel, president and CEO for Erlanger Health System, announced that  David Seaberg, MD, will be stepping down from the joint positions of dean of the UT College of Medicine, Chattanooga, and senior vice president of the Erlanger Health System. ... (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What About The Ashes?

I attended my fifth funeral in the month of January the other day and, while I wish a lot of my friends would hang around a little longer, I was amused by the conversation in the pew before the service began. The question was “ … then what do you do with the ashes?” More and more people are being cremated and asking their loved ones to scatter their ashes -- more properly called ... (click for more)