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Some days I feel like the squirrel; some days I feel like the hawk.

For a few weeks, while I drank my coffee and read the news, I would look out the window and see this squirrel sitting on a stump; he was there more mornings than not. Then I noticed for a a 2014-04-06 10.00.16few days I didn’t see the squirrel.

Later, I was looking out the window and saw gray feathers descending like snowflakes in front of me. I went outside to see what was amiss and saw this creature not 30′ from the squirrel’s stump. I don’t know my birds well 2014-05-19 08.48.09enough to identify this hawk; and I don’t know if it is large enough to take a squirrel, but it was definitely large enough to remove a dove from existence.

Some days I feel like the squirrel; some days I feel like the hawk.

Good Sign?

virgin falls signFall Creek Falls State Park draws over one million visitors per year, the majority passing through Sparta on Hwy 111. What would it do for the businesses in downtown Sparta TN if they had one-tenth of that traffic driving through town?  Baxter Tennessee reports that they are collecting 20% more sales tax out of one location that is directly attributed to the three-year-old Cummins Falls State Park.

If someone has two hours, they can see Lost Creek. If they have all day, they can visit Virgin Falls. If they have several days, soon they will be able to walk in at Lost Creek, and walk out at Fall Creek Falls and have more waterfalls and scenic overlooks per mile than any other park – – perhaps  anywhere in the US. What kind of draw do think that will be? It will dwarf Cummins Falls.

Please share this with all Sparta groups and friends. If we get enough people talking about it, perhaps it will get done. Tourists are a great industry, they come, they spend money, they leave.

The Mid Cumberland Recreation Area

Mid Cumberland Trail compilation Imagine a loop trail where you can walk in near Sparta Tennessee, and walk out at Fall Creek Falls State Park and then back down Bee Creek into the Caney Fork River Gorge and return to your car via Virgin Falls. The total trail system will be over sixty miles long and have more waterfalls, scenic overlooks, and caves per mile than anywhere else in the United States. The Mid-Cumberland Recreation Area is becoming a reality. Beginning with what might be the most under-recognized gift that the state of Tennessee has ever received, the Bridgestone / Firestone Bicentennial Wilderness at the north end, and continuing to the most popular state park in Tennessee; Fall Creek Falls, there is now enough state-owned property in between to make this work. The friends of the Mid-Cumberland Recreation Area meet the fourth Monday of fcfareamap-03042014every even-numbered month. We need numbers. We need names, and email addresses for people who don’t mind letting their representatives know that they are excited about this endeavor. We need avid hikers, cavers, bird-watchers, and paddlers to help plan. Sometimes, we’ll even need a few strong backs to help build and maintain the trail. And last, and perhaps should have been first, we need to know as many obscure features in the area that should be accessible along this trek. If you know locals, hunters, loggers, fishermen, etc.; ask them to share their knowledge and history of the area and report it back to this site. If coordinates, maps or written directions can be provided; that is a plus, and from time to time a Mid-Cumberland t-shirt or cap will be awarded to those providing the data. We would also like to know the treasures that lie in adjoining and nearby properties as well. There is a possibility that we can acquire those lands and add them into this project. When we are done, we will have one of the most admired wilderness trail systems anywhere, right here in our own back yards. There will be over twice as many miles of trail, than in Zion National Park, with more biodiversity than the Smokey Mountains. Time to stock up on Dr. Shoals.