For this outing along the Pellissippi Blueway, we’ll plan to meet at 3:30 p.m. at the TVA Hickory Bend trail access and clean up some of the trash In the parking area. We’ll then set out on a pleasant two-mile hike to the TVA undeveloped recreation area camping/picnic spot on Melton Hill Lake across from the actual Melton Hill. Here we plan to clean up any additional trash, and trim some of the vegetation in the cleared area. As the sun starts to sink behind Melton Hill, we’ll light a campfire, enjoy sack dinners, and possibly roast marshmallows. At dusk the nearly full moon will already be rising, and any owls in the area might begin calling. We will slowly make our way back to the parking area and listen for owls calling along the way. February is a good time to listen for owls staking out their territory for spring.
The TVA Melton Hill Bend undeveloped recreation area is one of many jewels TVA has designated along the Clinch and other Tennessee rivers that are suitable for hiking, day use and a camping stopover along the Pellissippi/Three Bends Blueway that TCWP and Advocates for the Oak Ridge Reservation (AFORR) are working on developing.
Gloves, trash bags, grabbers, and marshmallows will be provided. Participants should be prepared to dress warmly, bring their own sack dinner, and bring a headlamp or flashlights. (Please test them beforehand.) We plan to hike about four miles overall; there are some slight hills along the way. If the weather is terrible, we will reschedule.
The TVA Hickory Creek Bend trail Parking area is at the end of Everett Rd. past Hickory Creek Park in SW Knox County at the Loudon County line. Everett can be reached from Hickory Creek Rd. at the west end of Hardin Valley, or from I-40 exit 369, Watt Rd., past the Flying J.