The Norris Municipal Watershed, situated adjacent to Norris Dam State Park, is a 2,300-acre area that is the watershed of Clear Creek; it is managed for water quality protection, sustainable forest management, and public recreation. A network of about 30 miles of forest roads and single-track trails are managed by the Norris Watershed Board.
For this year’s hike, we’ll meet in front of Norris Middle School at 9 a.m. After a short stroll through downtown Norris to the Eric Harold Park, we will take a short trail to Hickory Trail Road, then hike Eagle Trail all the way to Observation Point. After climbing up to take in the view, we’ll hike over to Deer Ridge Trail and then to Deer Ridge Road, where we will continue down by the elementary school, around the commons, and back up to the starting point. Much of Eagle Trail was constructed by the CCC in the mid 1930s, and a shelter was also constructed on Observation Point. The hike, which passes through some nice old forest, meanders down a hollow and travels along the contour above the Clinch River before climbing up a ridge. It is about four miles, with one climb of about a half- mile.
Participants can meet for carpooling in Oak Ridge in the Gold’s Gym/Books-a-Million parking lot in Oak Ridge (at the end close to S. Illinois Avenue, near Salsarita’s), to leave at 8:15 a.m.; or meet the group at Norris Middle School at 9 a.m. Wear sturdy shoes or boots, and bring water and snacks or a lunch. For more information, call Joe Feeman at (865) 457-8191.