The Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park will host hike and volunteer days.
The park will host its First Hike on Jan. 1 at noon at the Soak Creek Gorge. This will be the first public hike into this new addition. Hikers will explore the Gorge and view the beautiful new part of the trail landscape and whitewater paddling creek. The five-mile hike will lead from the Piney River Trailhead at Shut-In Gap Road near Spring City to the intersection of Soak Creek and Piney River, then following Soak Creek into the Piney Falls State Natural Area. The trail follows an old logging rail line, hugging Soak Creek all the way into the new 1,000-acre acquisition for the construction of the Cumberland Trail.
Thomas Shook, whose family has a strong historical connection to Soak Creek, will discuss the history, folklore and folkways of the people and buildings near Soak Creek.
On Saturday, Jan. 3 at 9 a.m., volunteers are invited to spend a day at Black Mountain, assisting with the building of the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail. The day will be spent working on a series of side trails that will provide additional hiking and access to climbing areas. No experience is necessary and all tools will be provided.
To register for the volunteer day, contact 423 566-2229 or Cumberland.Trail@tn.gov.
Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park is Tennessee’s first linear park, cutting through 11 counties. The Cumberland Trail, once complete, will extend 282 miles from Cumberland Gap, on the Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky border to the Tennessee River gorge, on the Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia border.
For more information, visit www.tnstateparks.com/CumberlandTrail or www.cumberlandtrail.org or call 423 566-2229.