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Rock/Creeks dubs this ‘Support your local rainy weather’ weekend

The snow is melting off the mountains and the temperatures are fairly good enough to hike this weekend, as long as you don’t mind some mud and rain. If you are thinking of getting out on some local trails, we recommend hiking the Mullens Cove Loop along the Cumberland Trail within the Prentice Cooper State Forest. [Scroll Down for Information]. This loop is the same trail used in the Rock/Creek Trail Series Rock/Creek River Gorge Trail Race in March.
Now, due to the variation in weather conditions this weekend, we suggest you hike with plenty of layers and bring a Rain Jacket in case it starts to rain.
I personally like wearing my Icebreaker Chakra Zip 200 weight, a 1/4 Zip Neck Long Sleeve, when weather seems threatening to change. If the temperatures are colder, I usually throw on my Icebreaker Oasis Crew under my 200 weight long sleeve and de-layer as my body temperature warms up.
Merino wool adapts to temperature change really well so if it’s damp I keep warm, and if it warms up, my skin stays dry due to the Merino Wool’s natural wicking properties. I always hike with my Marmot Precip Jacket (Women’s) in my day pack, along with a North Face Cable Fish Beanie because I really don’t like my ears getting cold. I have experimented enough with layering clothes for hiking so I am happy I found a good combination between my Icebreaker Merino and Marmot Precip Rain Jacket. This is especially beneficial in the Southeast because it beats the unwanted clammy, covered-up feeling typical with cottons or other blended layer materials. For the exceptionally muddy excursions like this weekend+, I prefer to wear a pair of Marmot Precip Pants with a next to skin baselayer like the Patagonia Capilene Bottom Baselayer. To keep my feet dry, stable and happy, I hike with SmartWool Medium Crew Hiking Socks and rely on the durability of the Vasque Sundowner (Women’s) Boot to battle off the elements such as mud and water. And with that, we ope you enjoy your weekend!
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Mullens Cove Loop Trail
Distance: 10.2 Mile Loop
Trail Type: Rugged
Difficulty: Strenuous- Tight Trails and Technical Elevation Changes
Location: Cumberland Trail, Prentice Cooper State Forest
Directions:
From I24- Take US 27 N to the Signal Mountain Rd. Exit Ramp
Stay on Signal Mountain Rd. for 3.1 Miles [passing Wal-Mart and Bi-Lo]
until you see a Left turn onto Suck Creek Rd. (US 27) This Left turn is at the base of Signal Mountain before heading up
Stay on Suck Creek Rd. for approx. 9 Miles- Look for signs for Prentice Cooper State Forest
Turn Left on Choctow Trail for .25 Miles- you will travel through a small housing area
Turn Left on Game Reserve Rd. and enter into Prentice Cooper State Forest and Wildlife Management Area.
Parking for Cumberland Trail is approx. 4 Miles on right [present end of section 9]
Mullins Cove Loop Starts Right or Left of Game Reserve Rd. We advise you to preview the Trail PDF below to plan your desired direction and desired sights to see along the Loop.
Trail Access Map PDF >
Attention to Hikers:
This is a managed hunting area. As posted by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).
“Hunters take pride in their record of keeping hunting safe while sharing the public lands, and are very careful to look past their target before shooting. Hunter orange makes you much more visible to hunters and increases their confidence that they are aware of the location of any hikers or other hunters before firing. For this reason, hunters are very uncomfortable when hikers not wearing blaze orange enter big game hunt areas. Most hunters feel that not wearing hunter orange is discourteous and disrespectful. As a courtesy to hunters, we STRONGLY recommend that hikers wear hunter orange during the fall and spring in ALL Wildlife Management Areas. ”
TWRA has posted a PDF for all Wilderness Management Area Hunting. It contains a Seasonal Guide for Small Game and Big Game. Prentice Cooper State Park is listed on Page 66-67. WMA Seasons PDF >
IMG_6703On the following dates in 2009 and 2010 the Prentice Cooper Wildlife Management Area will be closed for managed hunts and the section of the CT in this area cannot be accessed by hikers:
October 15-17, 31
November 1, 6-8, 28-30
December 1-3
April 6-11, 14-16, 22-24, 27-30
May 1-2
* When searching for information, hikers may discover a few variations to spell “Mullens”. We try to be consistent with the -E- for Mullen’s, but other may spell it with an -I- for Mullins, Mulins, Mullin’s or Mulin’s. Either way, you are looking at the same great hiking destination.