New Emergency Route – Hope you never need it!

Every spring we clear and re-mark the rescue trail that starts behind the garage three lots south west of the Henson Gap launch. This was done again about three weeks ago. The trail originally only went as far as the Henson hang glider ramp. Last year we extended it north to reach under the Burnside launch. This year we decided to explore a faster route down to the bottom of the escarpment north of the Burnside launch.

We have just completed a new rescue trail access that starts from the northeast corner of the Burnside launch, traverses north down the escarpment and comes to a donated ladder that reaches the last twenty feet to the bottom of the bluff. From there we have cleared and marked several hundred feet of new trail headed south to beneath the south side of the Burnside launch where it meets with the original north bound rescue trail. This is now a faster route to the base of the bluff north of the hang glide ramp.

Rescue Trail, North

Please remember during any rush to rescue that there should be an organized plan. First, call 911, even if you’re not sure you need them, they should be alerted.  One person should take charge.  Someone should be appointed to stay on top with communication and direct first responders.  At least two people should head to the bottom, with communication, to locate the victim and assess conditions. If you are not physically fit and capable do not go to the bottom; you may complicate the situation.

If you’ve never been to the base of the escarpment it’s a worthwhile trip. Not only will it allow you to familiarize yourself with the rescue trail but you will see some beautiful scenery, hundred-foot-tall cliffs, large rock overhangs, and in the spring quite a few wild flowers. This is not an easy trail, steep and slippery on the way up and down, and rocky and rugged across the base. But if you’re up to the challenge it is well worth the trip.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Mark Dunn

President, Tennessee Tree Toppers