DEL RIO, Tenn. (WJHL)- When you hike a trail, many people don’t think about the work that goes into making it ‘hike-able’.
Well, one group has been working all summer in a specific section of our region to make it a good place for everyone to visit. Weavers Bend got the title of an “ecological nightmare, so there are quite a lot of invasive that have been growing for the past 30 years or so,” explains Matt Garland, a member of the Conservation Core who has been working to restore Weavers Bend for months.
“We put in for a grant through the two Chiefs project which is the two Chiefs of the forest service and the natural resource conservation service,” explains Leslie Morgan, the District Ranger with the Cherokee National Forest. With that money, the area was able to get the help it desperately needed. “This place was just chop full of invasive species that were competing with the natural habitat… so we wanted to do some improvements [at Weavers Bend]. We had the ACE crew, the American Conservation Crew here all summer. They came in with a little bit of heavy equipment initially. Students have been here all summer working on this just making it look absolutely beautiful so it’s closed right now but we’re hoping to get it open here in the next month or so and have people come out enjoy it.”
If you want to get a view of the work from above though, prepare for the climb up the mountain. This hike is technically a loop trail, running about 6.5 miles round trip, but to get to a good overlook you only have to go about 1.5 miles before turning around.
Hiking isn’t your only option though, this is also a popular trail for mountain bikers and horseback riders as well. Hikers should also be aware that this area is used by hunters as well. Watch the video below to learn more
“There are no creek crossings this is very much a High Dr., Ridge,’ explains Morgan. However, that doesn’t mean the trail itself isn’t prepared for water. While hiking Morgan explains one of the water bars on the trail. ” So here’s one of the water bars that the crew that was here all summer put in They did a lot of maintenance work on these trails to keep it in shape. The water bars keep the water from diverting down the main trail … so it doesn’t wash the trail out.”
Once you climb your final incline, hikers will hike straight into a beautiful over look. “I don’t think folks realize that the river here, the French broad river, is as windy as it is here. You don’t really notice that until you get up into the higher elevations in and you can look down on it in and see and the winds and curves of the of the river.”