Whites Creek Trail

A bridge along the Whites Creek trail in north Rhea County is pictured above. A trail maintenance day is set for Jan. 9.

There will be a day of trail maintenance work on Saturday, Jan. 9, at Whites Creek Small Wild Area in Rhea County at 10 a.m. as part of ongoing stewardship activities for this TVA Small Wild Area trail.

Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning [TCWP], an Oak Ridge-based environmental advocacy organization, maintains the trail and is sponsor of the Saturday event.

The White’s Creek Small Wild Area is located in northern Rhea County, near the Rhea-Roane county line, and can be accessed from Rhea County Highway. The TVA public land features a boat launch, dock and a nearly three-mile hiking trail that traverses ridges and valleys lining Watts Bar Lake.

“There is a nearly one-half mile hike to the beginning of a loop,” TCWP officials said. “The total trail is probably nearly three miles. It’s a beautiful little trail.”

On Saturday, TCWP members and volunteers, will walk the trail, making sure fallen trees were cut and the trail was clear. Officials said part of the land is TVA-owned property, while TCWP owns the other part, so keeping the trail ready for use is a joint venture.

TCWP officials said the group began eyeing land in the area once the Bowater Corporation began selling land around 1983. She said TCWP spent years raising money and eventually bought nearly 45 acres from Bowater to develop White’s Creek Small Wild Area.

“When Bowater had a huge sell-off, we saved up enough money to buy several acres,” officials said. “We’ve been looking after this trail for years.”

Participants should wear sturdy shoes or boots and bring work gloves, loppers and small bow saws or folding saws. Some hand tools will be available at the event. Please, be sure to bring clothing appropriate for weather conditions, water, snacks and a lunch. Participants can join the crew at the trailhead at 10 a.m.

“We plan to spend three or four hours at the site, but volunteers may come and go as they wish,” TCWP officials said. “If the weather is uncooperative —excessive rain, or snow and ice — we will reschedule for the following Saturday.”

This activity will be conducted to protect participants from the COVID-19 virus. Please, wear masks to the start of the event and during group mingling, and try to maintain a six-foot distance from others whenever possible. This event may have to be reconsidered based on conditions at the time.

For more information, call Sandra K. Goss at (865) 583-3967.