March 4, 2018

Warrior’s Path – Wahoo Loop Trail

  • 5.05 miles
  • 3:38 duration
  • 251 feet elevation gain
  • 7 geocaches found

Although I had found a lot of caches in the last few days, I had been doing a lot of sitting and riding in the car. I needed to get out and stretch my legs, so started looking for someone to go out and play with. Rudekoolaid (Angela), her husband John Wayne (Billy) and redn3ck (Steven) answered the call to arms and met me at Warrior’s Path State Park on Sunday afternoon.

We met on the back side of the park at the parking area for the mountain bike trails. As usual, I had brought Signal the Frog® along, as well as my beautiful new hiking stick. Knowing this was a dog friendly place, I had also brought Andy with me. Angela and Billy brought their geopup Madi, and Steven was accompanied by Portland.

Billy wasn’t interested in hiking with us, so he stayed in the area of the parking lot to search for treasure with his metal detector. Angela, Steven, the pups and I headed out on the Darwin Trail in search of geocaches. Although there were several cars in the parking lot, we did not encounter very many bikes along the trail. We did see a few hikers and runners along the way.

Our first cache was an ammo can within the park boundaries. It was about 100 feet downhill from the trail. Steven and I had made it down to the area first, and were off in separate directions searching for the cache when Angela arrived and said, “There it is!” We noticed as we were logging it that we were very close to a switch back on the trail. Once we had replaced the cache, we made our way over to it rather than climbing back up the hill, and continued following the trail toward the river, turning off of the Darwin Trail onto the Wahoo Loop Trail.

At the river there was a small beach area, but we didn’t stop because a family with two dogs was there. In fact, one of those dogs was a little chihuahua that chased us up the trail. I promised Andy he could get in the lake when we came back. We followed the trail along the river bank and under the interstate bridges. Once on the other side of the interstate, we saw signs indicating we were leaving the park and entering TVA public use land.

Next to the river bank is a geocache that was originally intended to be a water-access only, terrain 5 cache. However, since it was hidden the Wahoo Loop Trail was blazed, which makes finding it by land possible. Steven made his way down the bank and onto a narrow ledge where he found the cache.

A little further along the trail, we made another detour so that Angela and Steven could find another terrain 5 cache that I had logged previously by boating to it. This cache is next to a small waterfall, and though I would have loved to have gone down to take some pictures, I decided to stay near the top with Andy and Madi to keep them safe. It would have been difficult to capture good pictures in the bright sunlight.

Once they returned from finding that cache, we made our way back on to the trail. At this point, the trail left the river and ran along a fence indicating the border between the public use land and private property. Just across the fence we saw an abandoned house that looked very interesting, but seeing “no trespassing” signs we moved on.

Within sight of the next cache we saw our first tree stand. From its position, the hunter obviously is hunting game on the public use land. Although hunting season has ended, I was happy to be wearing my blaze orange nCo shirt so that I wouldn’t be accidentally shot. We saw several more tree stands along the trail as it followed the fence.

We made our way on around the loop, grabbing caches along the way. As the trail looped back around, it was within view of the interstate. At one point, we had to cross a small stream to reach one of the geocaches, and Andy enjoyed splashing around in the water. Steven didn’t enjoy it quite as much and griped at me for making him get his feet wet.

Before leaving TVA land we found one additional cache. This was a puzzle that I had solved several months earlier. We then completed the loop and made our way back under the interstate to the beach area. I let Andy off leash and he spent a few minutes splashing around in the shallow water, and then swam into deeper water. It must have been cold, because he didn’t stay in for very long.

We had quite a bit of uphill hiking before getting back to the parking lot, but everyone did great. Once in the truck, Andy passed out in the back seat. He was one pooped pup, but told me he wants to go hiking again soon.


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