National Trails Day Event in Tellico Plains Saturday June 6, 9am - 5pm
Tellico Plains, "The Little Town with the Big Back Yard", is celebrating National Trails Day with a series of hikes and a work trip on a local trail on June 6. Tellico Plains is a designated TRAIL TOWN. Join one of three guided hikes (various locations, lengths and difficulty levels - see descriptions below) or a work trip on the John Muir Trail. Those wishing to join a guided hike should meet in the parking area behind the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center, Hwy. 165, in Tellico Plains at 9 AM. Those wanting to spend the day working on building a reroute on the John Muir Trail along the Hiwassee River should meet at the Quinn Springs Campground shelter along Highway 30 between US 411 and Reliance at 9 AM.
All hikers should bring a day pack with plenty of water, and your lunch. Sturdy shoes, hiking poles or a walking stick might come in handy. Trail workers need to wear long pants and sturdy boots and to bring water and a lunch. Breakfast will be provided by Tellico Grains Bakery.
Dinner after the hikes will be provided at the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center, sponsored by Tellico Outpost. Two Dog Ranch Bluegrass Band will be playing old time mountain music, fiddle tunes, and bluegrass for the hikers at the Visitor Center. If you can, hikers please bring a chair to use for dinner and music at the Visitor Center. There is a covered pavilion with 4 picnic tables in place.
Dinner for the trail workers will be provided by Tennessee Wild at Quinn Springs. All trail workers on the work trip will receive a free T-shirt commemorating the day. Day hikers can buy these t-shirts at $5. Kids are welcome as well but must be attended by a responsible parent or guardian or youth group leader (church, scouts, etc). Leashed dogs are also welcome to join the guided hikes.
1) Bald River Falls Trail - 9 miles
Rated moderate to strenuous due to length
This beautiful trail climbs from the base of the 80' Bald River Falls and meanders riverside featuring stunning rock formations and several great views of other little falls along the way.
2) Unicoi Turnpike Trail - 3 miles
The Unicoi Turnpike Trail is recognized as part of the Trail of Tears, and in 2000 was designated as a National Millennium Trail. Walking this is like walking through history - literally. Your guide will share information about the history and heritage of the area, the Cherokee people and the site of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp Rolling Stone.
3) Falls Branch Falls - 3 miles
Rated moderate to strenuous due to short but steep descent
This short hike has a BIG payoff at the end, the 70'+ Falls Branch Falls. The majority of the trail follows an old logging road, then turns for a steep but short descent through a medieval forest of old growth trees, large boulders and mossy rocks to the base of the falls. The hike itself is not difficult but there are slippery rocks along the creek.
As part of National Trails Day, Tellico Plains, a designated "Trail Town" is sponsoring 3 hikes and a work trip on the John Muir Trail. This year's events take place on Saturday, June 6, 2015.
Those wishing to join the group hikes (various lengths and difficulty levels will be offered) should meet at the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center in Tellico Plains at 9 AM. Breakfast will be provided by Tellico Grains.
Those wanting to spend the day working on building a reroute on the John Muir Trail along the Hiwassee River, meet at the Quinn Springs Campground shelter at 9 AM along Highway 30 between US 411 and Reliance at 9 AM. Breakfast will be provided by Tellico Grains. Hikers need to bring a lunch and water. Trail workers need to wear long pants and sturdy boots also.
Dinner after the hikes will be provided by Tellico Outpost (Tellico Plains) and the Friends of the Cherokee National Forest (Quinn Springs). All trail workers will receive a free T-shirt commemorating the day. Day hikers can buy a T-shirt for $5. Kids are welcome as well but must be attended by a responsible parent or guardian or youth group leader (church, scouts, etc).
Our community is mourning the loss of native son and influential community leader Charles Hall, who died at age 90 on December 31, 2014. Sadly, his wife of 71 years, Billie Nell, also just passed away, on January 5, 2015.
Charles and Billie Nell Lester Hall devoted their lives to their
community. Charles served as Tellico Plains Mayor for a total of 31
years, two years as alderman-recorder, 12 years as a Justice of Peace
and Commissioner. Charles and Billie owned and operated the Tellico
Telephone Company from 1954 to 1985, bringing telephone service to isolated rural areas surrounding Tellico Plains. While raising their family of four
girls, the couple actively participated in numerous community organizations. Charles was
a member of the town's fire department for 52 years, organizing and
training 11 rural fire departments throughout Monroe County. Charles was
named "Monroe County's Most Outstanding Citizen" in 1969. He authored A History of Tellico Plains, TN in 2001, and, with his daughter Pamela Mathews, compiled A Pictorial History of the Tellico Plains Area 1849-1949, published in 2011, the 100th birthday of Tellico Plains.
was a member and leader in the Cherokee Women's Study Club, and worked
tirelessly to support education, beautification and positive public
relations in Tellico Plains. She was also honored as the 1986 Tennessee
Mother of the Year. Billie Nell was also involved with Monroe County
United Way, Monroe County Tourism Council, the board of directors for
Overlook Mental Health Center, and chairperson of the Task Force for
Along with the numerous organizations both were
involved with, Charles and Billie Nell spearheaded many projects that
have developed the Tellico Plains area. Charles was involved with the Kiwanis Club
during the 1958 Wagontrain. The Wagontrain was started to show the need
for a road from Tellico Plains, TN, to Robinsville, NC. Charles was
either the wagonmaster or chief scout for 49 years. The Cherohala Skyway
opened on October 12, 1996. In 1997, the Tennessee State Legislature
named the bridge over Laurel Branch on the Cherohala Skyway "The Charles
Hall Bridge." Charles also played a leading role in the Tellico Dam
Charles was a local historian since boyhood. Over the years, Charles and Billie Nell amassed an
enormous and amazing array of local artifacts, antiques, and historic
memorabilia. Showcasing their collections was a
lifelong dream, and they opened the Charles Hall Museum in Tellico Plains in 2003. The couple filled two large
buildings with stunning displays of guns, coins, tools, furnishings, and
numerous treasures of local history. As former owners of the Tellico
Telephone Company, the Halls included hundreds of telephones and
related phone company hardware spanning decades, and well as a Model T
phone truck and a unique life-size cross-section view of the unground
cable vault. Many of the telephone company artifacts on display were
donated by the East Tennessee Telephone Pioneers. Showcase after
showcase unveils beautifully organized treasures from the past, many
used by Tellico Plains residents long ago. Museum visitors were often treated to a tour by Charles himself, and the personal stories he shared will be cherished.
Charles also spent many
years collecting old photographs from Tellico Plains, carefully
documenting the people, places, and time periods. Many of these photos
would have been lost forever without his foresight to save them. The
museum displays over 1000 of his photos, uniquely preserving the visual
history of Tellico Plains, including images such as old street scenes,
logging operations from a century ago, mountain wagon trains, long
forgotten town merchants, and school photos from years gone by. This
museum was truly a labor of love for Mr. Hall, and the community will benefit far into the future with the history it has documented. View videos of Charles at the Museum and read more at http://tellico-plains.com/charles-hall-museum.html
The family will receive friends in honor of Billie Nell on Friday, January 9, 2015, from 5-7 with a
memorial service at 7 at Myers Funeral Home. Interment Saturday 11:00
a.m. at City Cemetery.
Donations to the Charles Hall Museum, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) foundation, in memory of Charles and Billie Nell, are welcome. Museum admission is free, and donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Donate online at http://www.charleshallmuseum.com/
Tellico Plains is proud to be a TRAIL TOWN, as designated by the Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition (SEFTC) and the Benton MacKaye Trail Association (BMTA) this past Saturday, August 9, 2014.
What is a Trail Town? The SEFTC/BMTA Trail Town Program is designed to promote hiking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, bicycling, and horseback riding in communities with 100+ miles of trails in their immediate vicinity. Tellico Plains is truly "The Little Town with the Big Back Yard" - the areas surrounding Tellico Plains and nearby Coker Creek are blessed with over 200 miles of hiking, backpacking, equestrian, mountain biking and motorized trail bike trails. There are about 180 miles of trails in the Tellico Ranger District of the US Forest Service, and the adjoining districts have several hundred more miles of trails. Also, the Benton MacKaye Trail - a 300 mile long-distance wilderness trail from Springer Mountain GA to the northern end of the Smokies - traverses close to Tellico Plains, crossing the Tellico River just above Green Cove. As a "Trail Town," Tellico Plains is identified as an exceptional location to visit or use as a base to access these tremendous trail opportunities.
Information and links provided on the Trail Towns webpage are designed to help local and out-of-town visitors learn about the trail opportunities in the Tellico Plains area, and also serve as a guide to the support services available locally to trail users. We encourage you use this info as you plan your trail-based activities around Tellico Plains.
Deep gratitude goes to Richard Harris for his dedicated volunteer efforts on behalf of the SEFTC/BMTA Trail Town Program in making designation as a Trail Town a reality for Tellico Plains.
Join Tennessee Wild and friends at 5:30pm, Saturday August 9th under the tent on the corner of Main Street and the Cherohala Skyway (beside the Exxon) where we'll celebrate the designation of Tellico Plains as an official "Trail Town"! We'll have a couple of speeches by the folks that made all this possible, then the ceremonial 'ribbon cutting' - except in our case, we're cutting a more forest-appropriate vine instead of a ribbon.
Bob Richards from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation will share the exciting news about the Tellico Ranger District’s recent $200,000 grant award for trail improvements in the area, and the financial impacts of outdoor recreation on the economy in gateway forest towns like Tellico Plains. Following Bob, will be a fantastic and funny program by avid outdoorsman and storyteller Jim Pfitzer. Jim is best known for his nature based tales ranging from too-close-for-comfort black bear encounters to the significance of sweet tea in southern society. Throughout the evening we'll be drawing for some great prizes donated by our friends at Rock/Creek Chattanooga, Eno, Tellico Grains Bakery and others.
Representatives from the Benton MacKaye Trail Association, the Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition, Tennessee Wild, Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards, The Wilderness Society, US Forest Service, Monroe County, and the Town of Tellico Plains will be on hand to say hello and answer questions.
Come early for dinner at The Crab Trap and stay to enjoy the music of local musicians Faith Willin, performing inside 6pm - 9pm.
Saturday, August 9th will start a fun-filled weekend of outdoor activities which include the ceremonial dedication of Tellico Plains as an official “Trail Town” by the Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition (SEFTC) and the Benton MacKaye Trail Association (BMTA). Guest speakers, and the ribbon cutting followed by food, music and fun! More hikes, snorkeling, and other events are scheduled for Sunday, as well.
Join guided hikes into designated wilderness areas on Saturday and/or Sunday, or give a little back to our public lands by joining a trail crew for a stewardship project. Learn about the diverse flora and fauna of the forest on an interpretive hike or while snorkeling with expert USFS guides in Citico Creek. Learn to take better pictures in nature with simple tools - or - just take a deep breath and enjoy some time in the great outdoors!
The event is sponsored by Tennessee Wild, and its partners: Wild South - www.wildsouth.org Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards - www.trailcrews.org Rock/Creek Chattanooga - www.rockcreek.com Tellico Outpost Pavillion
Learn more about Tellico Plains' designation as a Trail Town.
On June 14, 2014 for the 14th Annual Cherohala Challenge!
It’s a full day of long sweeping corners, majestic views and
challenging climbs as riders wind through the Cherokee and Nantahala
National Forest. This epic ride winds along the Tail of The Dragon where
you’ll snake around 318 curves over an 11-mile span. Merging onto the Cherohala Skyway the route continuing upward through deeply forested
backcountry roads of North Carolina and Tennessee. If you are up to the
challenge you’ll climb over 9,000 feet over 115 miles. Rides of 35, 62 and 115 miles will be fully SAG supported with well-stocked rest stops.
The Cherohala Challenge is held each year on the second Saturday in June. Start
and finish at the Tellico Plains Visitor’s Center. For more info: smwbikeclub.org
The Gift Shop recently reopened with all new items. Baked goods, snacks, and refreshments will be available. Proceeds benefit the continuation of the Coker Creek Post Office. Live music, artist demonstration, spinning, and book signings are part of the celebration.
Saturday – May 24th Entertainment: Wanda Murphy, Mark West, and John Wyatt Artist: Judy Long Book Signing: Margie Carroll – Children’s books Spinning: De Dockery Quilts for Kids Open House
Sunday – May 25th Entertainment: Kenneth Gay Artist: Peggy Gay Book Signing: Doc Dockery Spinning: De Dockery Quilts for Kids Open House
Memorial Day – May 26th Entertainment : Two Dog Ranch Bluegrass Band Artist: Kathy Crawford Book Signings: Joe Shumock and Jack Darnell Spinning: De Dockery Whittlers: Ken Dalton, Buddy Hawk, Jack Wrighter
Partial funding is provided through a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission from the John D. Grubb Fund and Louise G. Sumner Fund for Monroe County of East Tennessee Foundation.
June 7th, 2014, is National Trails Day®, and events are planned across the nation to help maintain hiking and horse trails. With over 200 miles of trails in the Tellico Plains area, Tellico Plains Trails Day needs your help. Come join us!
WHO: Everyone is welcome
WHEN: Saturday June 7, 8am to 5:30pm
WHERE: Meet at picnic area next to the beach at Indian Boundary Campground, off the Cherohala Skyway at Forest Service Road 345
All are welcome for a day of “Paying it Forward” to the Tellico Ranger District of the Cherokee National Forest. Meet at the picnic area next to the beach at Indian Boundary Campground at 8 AM. Breakfast will be provided by Tellico Grains. Wear long pants, bring a lunch and plenty of water in a day pack. We will break up into crews of 8-10 people to work on a segment of trail somewhere in the local area. Then we will all return to the picnic area for a dinner provided by the Tellico Outpost (pizza) and the Friends of the Cherokee National Forest (burgers, etc). Also upon returning at the end of the day, all participants will receive a free T-shirt commemorating the day. Kids are welcome as well but must be attended by a responsible parent or guardian.
Tellico Plains, A "TRAIL TOWN"
The Tellico Plains and Coker Creek area is
blessed with over 200 miles of hiking, backpacking, equestrian, mountain
biking and motorized trail bike trails. Tellico Plains is receiving designation as a Trail Town in 2014 by the
Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition and
the Benton MacKaye Trail Association as an exceptional location to visit for these activities! Online information and resources for local and out-of-town visitors who are using our area trails is now readily available on the Guide to Tellico Plains. Watch for more events, celebrating this important designation!
Enjoy a spring day in the countryside as the Ballplay Ruritan Club presents its 4th Annual Ramp Festival on Saturday, April 26 at the Friends Meeting of Ballplay fellowship hall and grounds from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be live music, vendors, and local community organizations.
The Ramp Dinner, served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. includes fried potatoes, pinto beans, corn bread, beverage, and dessert. Adults are $8 and children under 12 are $4 for hotdog and chips, if desired. Proceeds benefit community projects in the Ballplay area. Event is “Rain or Shine” with free admission. Activities are subject to change without notice. Festival located at 157 Ballplay School Road, Tellico Plains, TN, 1/2 mile west of the intersection of TN Hwy. 360 and Ballplay Road about 10 miles north from the Cherohala Skyway. Call (423) 295-2434 for festival and vendor information. Search RAMP FESTIVAL on Facebook for map and updates.
Several family holiday events are coming up in and around Tellico Plains which you won't want to miss....
This Friday, Dec. 6 2013, join the fun in Coker Creek from 4-8pm. "Christmas On The Mountain" offers old time holiday spirit, with special holiday shopping, refreshments, and
fellowship. Coker Creek shops, many of which are along Hwy 68, are decorated and will be serving free holiday
Tellico Plains' annual "Candlelight Walk" takes place this Saturday, December 7 2013, from 4-9pm. Surround yourself with holiday spirit and step back in time, with flickering luminarias lining the sidewalks,
strolling carolers, horse-drawn wagons, and gingerbread houses.
Sponsored by the Town of Tellico Plains and organized by the Cherokee
Women's Club, this festive event finds many businesses extending their
hours and serving complimentary drinks and snacks. Visit Santa Claus
with his elves, making his list of Christmas wishes and posing for
photos with the children. You'll enjoy live Christmas music in many
shops, the Grinch with 'Whoville' characters, a beautiful Live Nativity
presented by one of our local churches, rides in horse-drawn wagons, and
bonfires to gather 'round. Select from a huge assortment of delicious
homemade Christmas cookies and candies at the popular "Cookie Caper,"
with confections created by the town's finest bakers, all wrapped in big
red-ribboned white boxes - you won't be able to wait until you get home
to try some! Also buy some treasures and do some Christmas shopping at
the Silent Auction, offering gift certificates from Tellico Plains
businesses, gift baskets from local merchants, and much more! Many
townspeople don Victorian finery, adding to the nostalgic feel of the
evening. Bring your friends and tell your neighbors about this special
old-time evening of holiday cheer. Click here to view a video of Candlelight Walk fun.