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Benton MacKaye
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BMTA Activities Calendar

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Listed below are the scheduled activities of the BMTA for 2015.  Work trips will be held on the second Saturday of the month in Georgia and on the fourth Saturday in Tennessee/North Carolina.  Recreational outings (Fun Hikes) are planned on other weekends to avoid scheduling conflicts with work trips and are set up as hike leaders become available.  Videos of previous hikes can be found on YouTube at

All Are Welcome

The BMTA welcomes all who would like to participate in any scheduled activity.  Members and non-members alike are encouraged to join in; no experience is necessary.


US Forest Service Alerts and Notices

Recurring Monthly Events

  • 2nd Saturday - Georgia Work Trips - coordinated by Barry Allen
  • 4th Saturday - Tennessee/North Carolina Work Trips - coordinated by Tracy Sheffield (Rick Harris backup)
  • At least one Fun Public Hike each month, usually during the third week of the month - coordinated by Ralph Heller

Note: Some of these activities are considerable driving distances. Please contribute gas money to your driver when you carpool. Thank You!

Planned Activities for 2015
MonthDateLocation & Details
October  October 7 Waterfall and Scenic Hike to Benton Falls, Tennessee near Reliance:   3 Miles
Hike Description: Easy, plus a little detour around McCamy Lake. The scenery doesn’t get any better than this hike. Bring your camera to capture the breath-taking views along the Ocoee Scenic Byway and the spectacular 65-foot waterfall. Please wear your hiking boots to finesse the steps to and from the waterfall, plenty of water, and a dish to share for a POTLUCK PICNIC after hike. We will talk about needed items when signup is complete. Due to popular demand, this hike is almost completely full. Bring water. For more information and put yourself on the waiting list contact Hike Leader Sara Bland (jsbland AT or call her at 770-366-6053.
  October 10 Georgia Work Trip:  Please join us Saturday, October 10 as we continue our reroute at Fall Branch Falls.
Where: Please join us Saturday, October 10 as we continue our reroute at Fall Branch Falls
When: Saturday, October 10, 2015, 9:00 AM
Meet: Big Mommas (across from the Pink Pig), Cherry Log – 8:15 AM for breakfast or 8:45 AM for ride Fall Branch Falls. Or meet us at 9:00 at Fall Branch Falls.
Plan for the Day: We have approximately 110 yards of trail left to dig before hitting the existing trail at Fall Branch, but it is all on slope with plenty of roots to go around. The digging is hard, so I plan to wrap it up by 1:30 and let folks enjoy the rest of a fine October day.
What to bring: minimum 2 liters of water, long pants, boots, gloves and snack or lunch for the day.
Contact: Tom Keene at tkbmta AT gmail DOT com or 770-548-4935
  October 17 Section 1 of the BMT:  (Springer Mt. to Three Forks) 7.1 miles
Hike Description: Average difficulty, mostly downhill. This hike is a good introduction to the BMT and AT. Starting from the Springer Mt. parking lot, we’ll hike south on the AT to the start of the BMT, with a short side trip to take in the Springer Mt. summit and start of the AT. There we will see the AT plaque as well as the Springer Mt. shelter. From there, we’ll pass by the plaque honoring Benton MacKaye at mile 0.1 of the BMT and take the side trail to the George Owen overlook at mile 1.3. After crossing the AT several times, we’ll end the hike at Three Forks. Shuttle required. And the usual request, bring plenty of water.
To register, contact Ken Cissna at 706-636-1741 or kcissna AT
  October 17-18 Benton MacKaye Trail Backpack from TAPOCO Lodge to Fontana Dam :  Backpack with Cherokee Hiking Club scheduled on the BMT from Tapoco Lodge to Fontana Dam
Description: A section about 14.5 miles long, traversing the Yellow Creek Mountain Section of the BMT, which is the original route of the AT. This is a fairly difficult backpack due to the elevation gain and the PUDs (pointless ups and downs). Water may be iffy, so we may have to carry water some distance to our campsite. But such is life. Plans are to meet at the Fontana Dam parking lot on Saturday at 9 AM, leave what cars we need to leave there, then carpool back to Tapoco Lodge on US 129 near Cheoah Dam. From there we will backpack up Yellow Creek Mountain to camp probably near the powerline crossing. We may need to carry water to our campsite from back a ways on the trail, depending on the water situation when we leave on the trip. So be prepared to haul extra water some distance, probably about 1.5 miles. On Sunday morning we will backpack to the lodge at Fontana Village, then on to the intersection with the AT and out to the south end of Fontana Dam. We will then retrieve our cars at Tapoco Lodge and possibly eat dinner there in their grill (pizza, beer, etc) before heading home. This is a recently opened section of the BMT after rerouting the trail off US 129 (Tail of the Dragon). Points of interest include Tapoco Lodge itself, the old AT route up Yellow Creek Mountain, a few nice overlooks including Lookout Rock above Fontana Village, Fontana Village itself, and Fontana Lake and Dam. Also you will get to see our newly installed routed wood trail signs along this section, thanks to Dick Evans and the Nantahala National Forest folks as well as an anonymous donor who paid for the signs. As on the last backpack, all are welcome to spend the Friday night at my house, though be prepared to possibly sleep on the floor with your pad and sleeping bag.
Hike Leader Rick Harris: If interested in joining us, please let me know at HarrisRi AT or 423-253-6358 (home) or 513-260- 1184 (cell).Rick Harris TN/NC Representative, BMTA
November  November 6-8 BMTA Annual Meeting Weekend: 
In addition to the annual meeting on November 7th, the weekend includes 5 hikes and two breakfasts. It’s a weekend of activities with fellow BMTA members. Please see the Annual Meeting web page for an overview of the weekend and how to register. Information on hikes including contact information can be found here Printable PDF of hike and activity details
  November 21 Volunteer Training: 
Details to be announced.

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