Hollow Ridge Trail
The "Hollow Ridge Trail" winds around the ridges of the Hollow with an additional spur that goes up to about 1100 feet elevation which in winter offers views towards the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau. Another overlook provides a panoramic view over the drainage of Brush Creek and surrounding hills. This two and a half mile trail which goes through deep woods and along steep slopes gives the impression of a rugged pioneer mountain track. The terrain is typical of the many ridges in the Great Valley of Tennessee River. The trail is open for mountain biking or hiking.
Another new gentle walking trail which runs around the interior of the Hollow is named "Azalea Trail." It is Dave's favorite trail of all the eight miles of trails on the property. It is approximately two miles in length. This trail travels through the hollow where hundreds of native azaleas bloom in the Spring. In addition to the Native Azaleas, we eventually hope to display a large number of Rhododendron and Azalea species and hybrids as well as numerous Hellebores along the trail. The combination of the different bloom seasons will give us late Winter bloom from the Lenten Roses (Hellebores), early Spring bloom (Native Azaleas) and late Spring bloom (Rhododendrons). This trail is finally finished in 2016 with the completion of the last bridge over "Sunshine Creek" near the end of the trail at the Dougherty Garden.
Fern Gully Trail
The Fern Gully trail is complete. A short hike of about 700 feet one way, it leads off the main Garden path "Vicki Lynn Trail" and follows the creek that feeds the two acre lake at the center of the Hollow finally intersecting with the "Azalea Trail". The trail has benches for sitting in this deeply shaded area. There are magnificent large older trees and since this is a "North Slope" aspect it much cooler even in the Summer time. The shade combined with moisture from the Creek has fostered hundreds of Native ferns. We intend to keep upgrading the amount and variety of ferns in this area and possibly expanding the walking trail into other areas.
George Wetland Area
Just below the large dam that creates "Sunshine Hollow Lake" is a large Bog or Wetland. We have developed this naturally swampy area for use in displaying water-loving plants such as Iris pseudacorus, Louisiana Iris, bog sage, Lizard Tail, variegated sweet flag and others. In 2004 we roughed in a trail around the perimeter of the area. In 2008 we cleared out the underbrush and cull trees and cleaned out the little creek through the area. A little water pond we named "The Casper Pond" because it looks like Casper the Ghost was built also in 2008. Two foot bridges were built in 2009 to access the area from the "Fred Lee Rhyne Nature Trail". Other perennials and shrubs have been added for color. We also will be adding large planters of Hosta in 2017.
Electric fencing around most of our growing areas has been finished. Deer are very prevalent in our forest and without the fencing we would not be able to grow most of our plants. The fences present a tall barrier and deters deer from jumping over or squeezing through. Some additional areas may be fenced in the future.