published Friday, October 12th, 2012

Cumberland Trail festival touts nature, new initiative

  • photo
    The Hemlock woolly adelgid is now attacking eastern hemlock trees on Walden's Ridge. Photo contributed by National Forest Service.

Hiketoberfest schedule

Music

* Noon. Mario Piccolo & The Carolina Hotgrazz Quartet

* 1 p.m. Mike Defosche (fiddler)

* 2 p.m. New Art Trio (strings and flute)

* 3 p.m. The Cumberland Band

* 4 p.m. Fiddling Mike Defosche and Friends

* 4:45 p.m. Mario Piccolo & The Carolina Hotgrazz Quartet

Sit-down programs in Outdoor Classroom

* 12:45 p.m. "Geology of the Cumberland Plateau"

* 1:30 p.m. "American Chestnuts and the Future"

* 2:15 p.m. "Insects Everywhere"

* 3 p.m. "Grasses and Growing"

* 3:45 p.m. "Stories of the Cumberland Trail and Shackleford Ridge Park"

* 4:15 p.m. "Hawks and Owls"

* 5:15 p.m. "Miles and Miles of Reptiles"

Field trips

* 10 a.m. "Bird Walk: Woodpeckers and Wandering Migrants"

* 12:30 p.m. "Grasses and Wild Plants"

* 1:30 p.m. "Rock Walk to Mushroom Rock"

* 2:30 p.m. "Chestnuts and the Forest"

* 3:30 p.m. "Spineless Walk: Insects, Arachnids and Inverts"

* 4:30 p.m. "Seeding the Cumberlands"

Mountain music

• John Boulware's "eloquent fiddling" of traditional and progressive styles begins at 3:30 p.m.

• Leah Gardner sings rich ballads, blues and original compositions, backed with guitar, cello, trumpet and percussion at 4:30 p.m.

• The Tennessee Shieks perform instrumental hot swing with a Tennessee accent at 5:30 p.m.

Source: Friends of the Cumberland Trail

If you go

* What: Hiketoberfest

* When: Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

* Where: Shackleford Ridge Park on Signal Mountain

* Cost: A $10 donation is suggested

Source: Friends of the Cumberland Trail

This Sunday's 2012 Hiketoberfest on the Cumberland Plateau starting on Signal Mountain comes with a special announcement.

In addition to heritage and progressive plateau music, guided hikes and nature talks at Signal Mountain's Shackleford Ridge Park, state officials will be showing off a newly donated native plant nursery intended to restore native wildflowers, trees and shrubs along the 300-mile trail that is now Cumberland Trail State Park.

Park Superintendent Bob Fulcher said Friends of the Cumberland Trail will offer five shuttles to take Hiketoberfest participants from Shackleford Ridge Park near Signal Mountain High School to the nursery in the Lone Oak area. The shuttles run every 90 minutes beginning at 11 a.m.

Calling the nursery "a great addition" to the trail, Fulcher said the donor wishes to remain anonymous. A no-cost, three-year lease provides the property and three greenhouses, along with other infrastructure, to the Friends of the Cumberland Trail.

Sally Wencel, the lead nursery project developer and a Friends board member, said the hopes to make the lease permanent.

"This nursery provides us an ideal place for growing out seed we have collected for the past two years for the Seeding the Cumberlands program," she said.

About 3,000 acres of Cumberland Trail property needs to be restored with native species, she said.

Also sprinkled into Hiketoberfest's usual mountain music and hikes, state officials will offer an 11 a.m. how-to course to residents interested in do-it-yourself treatment to save hemlocks in their yards from the hemlock wooly adelgid, a beetle that is killing hemlocks throughout the region.

Hiketoberfest begins at 9 a.m. with a bird walk and ends with music from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Hourly throughout the day, organizers plan walks and talks to explore geology, trail planning, natural science, seed collecting, rockhouse archaeological, plateau reptiles and birds of prey. Plenty of kid activities are planned between noon and 2 p.m.

about Pam Sohn...

Pam Sohn has been reporting or editing Chattanooga news for 25 years. A Walden’s Ridge native, she began her journalism career with a 10-year stint at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. She came to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 1999 after working at the Chattanooga Times for 14 years. She has been a city editor, Sunday editor, wire editor, projects team leader and assistant lifestyle editor. As a reporter, she also has covered the police, ...

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