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 News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Introduction to Mountain Biking: Skills Class Sept. 6, 9, 16 & 20 Mountain biking is so much more than just riding your bike in the woods! Outdoor Chattanooga's Introduction to Mountain Biking Program offers formal instruction to those that are new to the sport, or who want to get more out of riding. We invite ... (click for more)

Wildlife Officer Of The Year Awards Announced In East Tennessee

TWRA has named Officers Jeff Roberson and David Carpenter as Wildlife Officers of the Year in their respective law enforcement districts in East Tennessee. Receiving the honor in TWRA Law Enforcement District 41, Jeff Roberson is an eight-year veteran who has repeatedly excelled in his duties and responsibilities as a wildlife officer. Officer Roberson has also on two previous ... (click for more)

State Board In Nashville Approves New Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital

Members of the board of the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency in Nashville on Wednesday unanimously approved a new $25 million Behavioral Health Hospital planned by Erlanger Health Systems on Holzclaw Avenue.   Parkridge Valley Hospital and CADAS had opposed the issuance of Certificate of Need.  The 88-bed facility will provide "acute adult inpatient ... (click for more)

Pinkston Says Offer Was Made To Dismiss Lawsuit Against Him If Prosecution Of Detective Burns Was Dropped; Judge Greenholtz "Greatly Bothered" By Any Such Offer

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a hearing Tuesday that an offer was made to drop a lawsuit filed against him by Gatlinburg detective Rodney Burns if he would dismiss two perjury counts against Burns. The district attorney said he should not be disqualified from continuing to prosecute the case or else attorneys would begin suing him or the judge to get a new DA or trial ... (click for more)

Downtown Needs Cleaned Up

My son and I parked on Broad Street and walked to the Billiard Club on Cherry Street this past weekend. It's probably a total of two blocks. In that short walk we passed where Rone Regency used to be on 6th Street and in that doorway was about a years worth of human feces and urine covering the doors and walls. The concrete sidewalk on the street is all broken up and the metal ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 40 Questions About ‘Blue Bags’

No. 1 – Did you know that one in every five of the 42,000 children in the Hamilton County school district is what the experts call “food deprived?” No. 2 – Can you get your arms around the fact that a huge percentage of those 8,400 children get little, if nothing, to eat from Friday at lunch until they return to our schools on Monday? No. 3 -- Did you know that you – just ... (click for more)