CARTHAGE, Tenn. (Sept. 25, 2023) – Cordell Hull Lake recently received a Handshake Partnership Grant in partnership with Smith County Rescue Squad to make improvements to Bear Waller Gap Trail in Defeated, Tennessee.
Kenny Claywell, Cordell Hull Lake Resource manager, said volunteers re-marked the 5.5-mile trail on the shoreline of the lake and installed new first aid stations along the trail. The two emergency stations include benches, first aid kits, LED lights, and bulletin boards with safety and navigational information.
“The objective of these improvements is to provide injured or lost hikers safety stations to receive first aid and access to a trail map along with emergency numbers,” Claywell said.
The trail improvements were made between Sept. 24, 2021, and Sept. 15, 2023. Smith County and USACE contributed $6,000 each worth of labor and/or materials. Eight volunteers from Smith County Rescue Squad volunteered during the project.
The Corps of Engineers Handshake Partnership Program provides a financial incentive to Corps facilities to engage with their local communities to complete worthwhile projects that benefit public lands. From 2004 to 2023 the Corps’ Headquarters has provided more than $3.6 million to Corps facilities for 212 partnership projects to improve recreational opportunities and benefit environmental stewardship activities on Corps-managed lands and waters.
The Corps has formal partnership agreements with more than 40 national organizations, including American Chestnut Foundation, Boat US, CAST for Kids, Kids to Parks, Leave No Trace, International Mountain Biking Association, National Audubon Society, Ruffed Grouse Society, Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, the YMCA and more! These partners have been vital in helping the Corps of Engineers meet its natural resources and recreation management goals.
Bear Waller Gap Hiking Trail is a popular destination for hikers wanting a more intense hiking experience. The trail is often used by hikers training for the Appalachian Trail, due to its similar terrain and elevation changes. These features also make the hike difficult for beginner hikers. Bear Waller Gap Trail is a one-way trail, so additional vehicles and adequate water are encouraged before embarking. For more information, call the Cordell Hull Lake Resource Manager’s Office at (615) 735-1034.
(The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps. The public can also follow Cordell Hull Lake on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cordellhulllake.)