Hiking the “Narrows” along the Hiwassee River


The Cherokee Hiking Club met on Saturday morning to make the annual hike up the Hiwassee River to the Narrows, a bolder strewn area of the river with several late blooming wildflowers. The hike was attended by 14 club and visitor hikers.

Beginning at the parking lot across from the powerhouse at the end of Forest Service Road #108, the trail follows the river upstream for some way before joining the Benton Mackaye/John Muir trail.  Continuing on the trail makes a few up and down sections avoiding sheer rock faces near the river before entering the Narrows area.   Here there are huge rock outcrops in the river bottom with several short drop waterfalls and deep pools.


This is the favorite lunch spot for the club and is about 1.75 miles from the trailhead at the Powerhouse. Here hikers kick off their boots, cool their feet in the water and have a relaxing  hour or so before beginning the hike back down the river.  Sharp eyes find a ginseng plant in berry stage, as well as numerous Hearts a Bursting shrubs and fall fungi such as the Harry Tooth mushroom and many others. Along the way there are several groves of Pawpaw trees, which had already lost their fruit. There is always a call of a Pileated woodpecker in the distance, as well as an occasional distinct sound of a Kingfisher as it flies up and down the river.

The total hike distance is about 3.5 miles with only a few hundred feet elevation gain making it a great hike for those who enjoy a leisurely day in the woods.

Jack N. Callahan
President- Cherokee Hiking Club

For more information on hiking in Ocoee Country, contact Cherokee Hiking Club at 423.284.7885 or visit their website at http://www.cherokeehikingclub.org/


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