August Newsletter


                                                                                                         August 2020
         The Cumberland Trail Catoosa Wildlife                  Managment Area Section is COMPLETE!!
During these uncertain times with COVID-19, the Cumberland Trails Conference has made great strides to continue to bridge the gap in the Cumberland Trails core corridor by completing the trail in Catoosa Wildlife Management Area.  This section of the Cumberland Trail is part of the Obed Wild and Scenic River  Segment and runs from Peavine Road all the way to the beautiful Devil's Breakfast Table in Catoosa WMA.   
The 6.3 mile distance crosses Keyes-Harrison Wildlife Management Area with a primitive camping site south of McGinnis Branch. Please look for updates at

North Chickamauga Section

Recently two Cumberland Trails Conference Board Members, Jameson Miller and Jeff Berger hiked the newly completed Hall Rd. (Signal Mtn.) to Barker Pounds (North Chickamauga Segment)  in Chattanooga.  This is the newest open section of the Cumberland Trail and it has many sights that make hiking this segment a must do, including: the original “Cumberland Trail Bridge System” designed by Gator Bridge, a wooden bridge built and donated by Chattanooga Dock Builders, several blue holes, views of the peak of the Hellican.  For a detailed description of this section please look for it at

Warning: Sections of this segment are still marked with orange flags rather than a white blaze. Total distance is approximately 10.6 miles.  Difficulty is mildly strenuous; primitive hiking – 638 feet of ascending; 983 feet descending (west to east direction).  Allow ~6 hours with breaks to hike from end to end.

North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy
Tennessee State Parks Commissioner, Jim Bryson,  has made The Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail State Park a priority for completion.  Recently three "Cumberland Trail Bridge Systems" Gator Bridges were approved to be installed at various locations in order to complete sections of the Cumberland Trail.  Current Cumberland Trails Conference Chairman Frank Jamison traveled to Ozone, Tennessee and snapped this picture of the bridge that will help accelerate the completion of the Cumberland Trail that runs from Black Mountain in Crab Orchard  to Ozone Falls State Natural Area.  Want to know more about this Bridge System?  Click the link below: 
Cumberland Trail Bridge System

Brie Stewart


I'm an attorney, and I've been practicing in Tennessee since 2006. Property law/easements/land grants are not a part of my general practice, although I do have some experience with those things, and I'd be glad to handle whatever the CTC needs in terms of legal advice pro bono as long as it's something I feel comfortable handling. I also do some corporate and nonprofit work for 501(c)(3) corporations, and give advice on employment issues to those clients with some regularity. My practice really centers on medical malpractice defense and general litigation, but I'm always happy to learn new areas, especially if it's in the service of the Cumberland Trail, which is something I'm passionate about.


On the trail side, I'm a former collegiate runner who spends every waking minute possible on the Cumberland Trail. I love trail ultra racing, but my focus in the last few years has been on adventure runs and trail work. Dreama and I have teamed up frequently to organize trail work days in the Chattanooga area, and I seem to have found a niche feeding trail workers out of the back of my truck (or packing in lunch/snacks if the work is more remote). I live on Mowbray Mountain in Soddy Daisy with my husband, Travis, and my two kids, Tucker (9) and Shelby (7). Travis is an avid mountain biker, and the kids also love to hike the trail, as long as I provide the good snacks.


Mark Akers


I am Mark Akers, I am 49, and I was born in Virginia. Virginia is a lot like Chattanooga in that it is a small town surrounded by beautiful mountains. I was drawn to Chattanooga because the outdoor life makes it feel like a very big, small town, with its endless miles of trails and nice people everywhere you turn.

For me, trail running clears the mind and I always find myself when I am not afraid of getting lost. My day job is commercial construction. I love wood-working because it allows me to make something out of nothing, taking raw materials and turning them into something that inspires others, and to me trail maintenance epitomizes this. I feel that trails are important because they let people get out and enjoy the outdoors and stay healthy for free. I think there is a bit of selfishness in us all when it comes to our love for the outdoors and our desire to share it with those we love. For me, the silence of the outdoors brings about a certain peacefulness unlike anything else. Stepping away from the problems of the day and re-approaching those same issues with a new found clarity and insightfulness is the gift nature gives us, and this is why it means so much to me.


Dawson Wheeler

I have had a passion for the Natural World all my life thanks to my mother who could do anything in the mountains. Recreationally I am an avid cyclist, hiker and skier and when I was younger a climber. I am an Appalachian Thru Hiker and a Tour Divide rider. I spend part of each winter in Co skiing.  I was Co-Founder of Rock/Creek Outfitters for 30 years. During that period and today working with conservation groups and non-profits has been a very high priority that I have dedicated myself to. I have two grown sons, Josh and Jake and a wonderful wife Stephanie.   

Co-Founder of Rock/Creek, owned 32 years

University of Tennessee Chattanooga
2018 inducted Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Most Innovative Retailer (2016)

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Retailer of the Year (2011, 2013, 2014)
Online Retailer of the Year, Backpacker Magazine & SNEWS (2009)
Top 25 Retailer, Outdoor Business (2008, 2009)

 Founding Team for RootsratedFounding Team for The Adventure Guild 
 Current  Founder 

  Past Board Positions

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance

Tennessee River Gorge Trust

Wild Trails 


Outdoor Industry Association

Ralph Lauren Outdoor Retailer Advisory Board 


Current Board Position 

Reflection Riding

Trail Crew News
The Cumberland Trails Conference currently has two Trail Crews working to complete sections of the Cumberland Trail.  One of our summer workers came from Oregon.  Lauren is studying Environmental Studies at Lewis & Clark College in Portland Oregon, where she will return in the fall to complete her degree.   She has an impressive resume and is certified in Wilderness First Responder, USFS Crosscut Certified, NOLS Wilderness Medicine as well as many other outdoor training programs.  She has lead many back country hikes, participated in the Youth Conservation Corps in Yosemite National Park and hiked the John Muir Trail section of the Pacific Crest Trail.  According to her Trail Supervisor, Pete, she worked hard daily and had a great attitude.  On her first day building the trail she saw a black bear!  We all feel lucky she found us and helped finish the Dripping Springs section in Catoosa WMA and worked on the Piney River section.  
A special thank you to all who contributed to the Cumberland Trails Conference memorial in Gary Grametbauers name as well to those who met and participated in the Memorial Hike for Gary.  

                      Gary Grametbaur Memorial Walk


On May 30, 2020 about thirty of us gathered on Peavine Road to remember Gary Grametbaur who passed away in late January. We walked a section of the Cumberland Trail that Gary had put a lot of himself into. He had laid out the trail from the point of view of his great interest in nature and his care about how future hikers would experience the trail.

We came in many cars. Hopefully we will be able to go back to carpooling soon. Tim Bigelow was able to find good parking places for all. We divided into three groups lead by Tim Bigelow, Jimmy Groton and Larry Pounds following virus guidelines.

All three groups stopped at a fossil along the trail. At this spot Carol Grametbaur scattered some of Gary’s ashes. Gary loved to study fossils.

Everyone chose their own distance to walk with many eating lunch on the shore above a small delightful waterfall. Some walkers reached the Twin Towers and others got all the way to Moonshiners Bluff.

If you get a chance someday to do a car shuttle between Peavine Rd. and Devil’s Breakfast Table, take it. Gary left us many things to enjoy on this section of the CT.

Want to support the CTC?  Donate $12 and receive this super soft, limited edition T- shirt. 50% cotton/50% poly, an organic heathered earth brown in color.  Worth every penny!  If you would like to donate by PayPal and have a shirt mailed to you please include $5 for shipping.  Don't forget to add your size!  
Due to Covid-19, the Cumberland Trails Conference is not accepting Volunteers at the time.  When the Board Members feel like it is safe for Volunteers to come out on the trail with our Trail Crews,  an email will be sent out.  Thank you for your understanding in this matter.  
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