Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Chattanooga's Prentice Cooper State Forest : Haley's Road a 4x4 Adrenalin Rush

This weekend I went down to Chattanooga to see my son's family and give the Jeep a workout on Haley's Road in Prentice Cooper State Forest.  Haley's Road is off of TN Highway 27 in the Sequatchie Valley.  This road for 4x4 vehicles only takes you to the top of Prentice Cooper Mountain within the Prentice Cooper State Forest.  This 7000-acre state forest is named after the 39th Governor of Tennessee; Prentice Cooper.  The State Forest is a four-wheelers recreation heaven. 

It takes us about 2 hours to overland the 6.2-mile road in a Jeep Wrangler JL. We came across two obstacles that we had to go around. First, taking an easier 4x4 route made the trail have a moderate rating and, for me, much more enjoyable.   There were obstacles that a stock Jeep just couldn't handle. Luckily we were able to get around those areas. The best part of the trip was a steep descent into a creek bed. Then the steep ascent that leads out of the creek bed. After fording the creek, the Jeep crawled up the other side with no problem.   It was a complete adrenalin rush.

After completing Haley's Road at the top of Prentice, Cooper Mountain it's a short drive to Snoopers Overlook.  We couldn't spend much time there because a wedding was getting ready to start.  So we got our pictures wished the couple good luck, and left.  

Here is the description of the State Forest from the State of Tennessee State Parks web page.  

" Prentice Cooper State Forest is located in southeastern Tennessee, Marion County. The forest is approximately 10 miles west of Chattanooga. It is situated on the scenic Tennessee River Gorge.

Approximately 6,939 acres are designated as unregulated scenic zones that protect this view shed and other scenic areas of the forest. Hicks Gap Natural Area (350 acres) also occurred in the forest and was developed to protect the federally endangered Large-flowered Skullcap. 

There are 35 miles of hiking trails, including the south end of the Cumberland Trail State Park. There also are two designated camping areas. Hunting has been a traditional use of the forest. Other recreational activities include OHV use in designated areas, rock climbing, hiking, Mountain biking, horseback riding, bird watching, and camping."

The recreation opportunities are endless at Prentice Cooper State Forest. So if you spend any time in Chattanooga, please make your way to the Prentice. Be prepared for an awesome time. You won't regret it.  

Friday, May 6, 2022

The First Revolutionary War Battle in the South: The Ninty Six Historic Site

When we drive to Charleston SC to see our son's family we always try to visit a historic site along the way.  This time we stopped at the Ninty Six Historic Site.  This is a very peaceful place that deserves a stop. 

This was the first Revolutionary War Battle in the south.  There is a 1-mile loop trail to the original star fort.  The area is called Ninty Six because it is around 96 Miles from Clemson to here.  There are some cool examples of original frontier roads here.  

The siege of Savages Old Fields took place at Ninety Six on November 19–21, 1775. A one-mile interpretive trail begins at the visitor center and takes visitors to the remains of Star Fort as well as the original site of Ninety Six. 
"Additional off-road trails weaving through the woods lead to Star Fort Pond, an old unidentified cemetery (believed to be a slave cemetery from post-colonial times), and to the graves of Major James Gouedy, a trader influential in the founding of Ninety Six, and Major James Mayson, who captured a significant gunpowder cache here to be used by the Americans." 

We don't get to visit many Revolutionary War Sites so this was a special treat.