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Completing the Cumberland Trail

The Cumberland Trail

John Dorough has been climbing rocks for more than twenty years, and moved to Chattanooga about fifteen years ago to take advantage of the growing rock climbing scene.

"It's on the circuit now," John Dorough said.

It's John's passion and his job to keep it growing.

"We're helping complete the Cumberland trail," John said.

There are a lot of reasons he's helping with this project. One is because of his two young sons at home who love the outdoors.

"I definitely have the goal of one day when the Cumberland Trail is finished to hike the trail with both my boys," John said.

Right now John is working with the Tennessee State Park Rangers to complete the Cumberland Trail through Rhea County.

"Most people would call this Dayton Mountain," Tennessee State Park Ranger Bobby Fulcher said. "We call this section, between highway 30 and Graysville, Graysville Mountain to make it easier for us to communicate."

John works for a company called Petzl.

"We're using (Petzl) ropes, our acenders, our descenders, pullies, and carabiners, " Dorough said.

They use all of that gear specifically to help build bridges. Right now they are working on a walking bridge over Gilbreath Creek.

"We think about being in this remote wilderness, and you have to move a thirty-two foot long, fifteen hundred pound log to a bridge site," John said. "The obstacles that you're gonna run into while doing that, the terrain, and then not only getting it there, but then how do we get it elevated to move it into place to set it into place."

Once the trail is complete it will be a place for any of us to go hike, bike, run or rock climb.

"Climbing is growing so much, and getting so big," John said "Obviously that has impact."

Once completed, the Cumberland Trail will stretch more than 280 miles from the Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia border to the north and south to the Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama border.

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