June 6, 2020 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Whites Creek Small Wild Area Trailhead/Parking Area
Jimmy Groton
Whites Creek Trail Workday @ Whites Creek Small Wild Area Trailhead/Parking Area

Earlier this month we learned that TVA, Rhea County, and TWRA had recently repaired the access road to the Whites Creek trailhead (an extension of Roddy Lane). A large section of that section of road slid into the Whites Creek embayment nearly two years ago, and the road has been closed since then. TVA has also replaced the footbridge across the gully at the trailhead and stabilized the surrounding area the riprap to prevent further erosion of the shoreline near the trailhead. TVA has cut out several blowdowns along the trail this spring.

Our annual day of trail maintenance at TVA’s Whites Creek Small Wild Area usually occurs in January, but was postponed this year because of the road closure. Since the road is now open, TCWP has rescheduled the annual trail work, part of our ongoing stewardship activities for this trail, to Saturday, June 6, to honor National Trails Day.  The trail loops onto land TCWP purchased from Bowater several years ago, thanks to the generous support of our members.

Volunteers can meet at the trailhead parking area in Rhea County at 10 a.m. as part of our ongoing stewardship activities for this TVA Small Wild Area trail.

Due to recent COVID 19 concerns we will be practicing safe-distancing measures and other protective measures to protect ourselves and those around us. We encourage all participants to be as careful as possible in this regard. At a minimum, we will limit volunteer teams to groups of 10 or fewer, maintain a minimum of 6-foot distance between us, encourage all volunteers to wear masks or other face covers when social distancing is not possible, and limit the number of passengers in vehicles to and from the site. All volunteers will be asked to sign a TVA volunteer form. Ultimately all participants are responsible for their own safety and for behaving responsibly towards others. Volunteers should not attend if they are not comfortable doing so.

Participants should wear sturdy shoes or boots and bring work gloves, loppers, and small bow saws or folding saws.  Some hand tools will be available at the event.  Please be sure to bring clothing appropriate for weather conditions, tick or insect repellent, water, snacks, and/or a lunch. The ticks have frequently been pretty bad at Whites Creek this time of year.

Participants can meet to caravan in Oak Ridge at the Gold’s Gym/Books-A-Million parking lot in Oak Ridge (at the end close to S. Illinois Avenue, near Salsarita’s). We will leave Oak Ridge at 9 a.m., or volunteers can join the crew at the trailhead parking area in Rhea County at 10 a.m. (NOTE: Caravanning is important this year because of COVID-19 concerns, as previously outlined.)

We plan to spend three or four hours at the site, but volunteers may come and go as they wish.  If the weather is uncooperative (e.g., excessive rain) we will reschedule for the following Saturday.

For additional information, please contact Jimmy Groton at 865-805-9908 or at  groton87@comcast.net.