|Wednesday, Jul 6, 2011|
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park joined with the Great Eastern Trail Association and American Hiking Society on June 27th to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that designates 8.1 miles of Lookout Mountain hiking trails as part of the Great Eastern Trail. All or portions of the Jackson Gap, Ochs Gateway, Bluff , Mountain Beautiful, Guild, Gum Spring, Rifle Pit, and Upper Truck trails are included as routing options in the memorandum. This segment provides a critical link between Tennessee’s Cumberland Trail and trails in Georgia.
The Great Eastern Trail is designed to be an alternative to the Appalachian Trail, passing through parts of nine states beginning at the southern end of the Appalachians in Alabama, through the Cumberlands of Tennessee and ultimately, New York’s Adirondacks where it will connect with the Finger Lakes Trail.
The ceremony, held at the historic Cravens House on Lookout Mountain, was attended by a variety of local and regional land conservation agencies including Lookout Mountain Conservancy, Lula Lake Land Trust, Friends of Moccasin Bend, Friends of Chickamauga and Chattanooga NMP, Cumberland Trail Conference, Tennessee State Parks, Chattanooga Parks and Recreation, and the Trust for Public Land.
Signing for the Great Eastern Trail Association was President Tom Johnson and for the National Park Service, Superintendent Cathy Cook. Jim Schroeder, Great Eastern Trail Association local coordinator, also spoke at the event.