Thursday, October 09, 2008

Governor's Land and Water Forum and Devilstep Hollow Cave

First of all I want to note that Governor Bredesen has been awarded the National Humanitarian Award for his work in preserving Tennessee's natural heritage.

Well Done, sir!

I'll talk more about that later and will try to link to the actual announcement if I can find it.

As part of the Governor's Land and Water Forum, we were taken on a tour of our newest state park at Devilstep Hollow. It's 12 miles South of Cumberland Mountain State park but is not yet open to the public. The driveway crosses private land and a new easement is being purchased and developed.

The farm is beautiful, sitting at the very head of the Sequatchee Valley. Grassy Cove is on the other side of the massive sandstone ridge which separates the two valleys,, which are geologically the same.

Here is the Devilstep Hollow sinkhole where the cave is located.

This is where the Sequatchie River flows out of the ground at the Devil Step Hollow farm, a few hundred yards from the sinkhole.

I'll try to add more photos of the actual conference as I have time. There is some great stuff going on in Tennessee that will improve and preserve the beauty of our state for future generations. As a result of Phil Bredesen's personal commitment TDEC Commissioner Jim Fyke made this announcement,

"Governor Phil Bredesen has been selected as the National Recreation and Park Association’s 2008 National Humanitarian Award winner for his work to preserve and protect Tennessee landscapes."

Fyke nominated Bredesen for the award, which NRPA presents to an individual or organization whose concern for humanity has been expressed through park, recreation and conservation efforts that enrich people’s lives.

The one worry I kept hearing from the folks in the room is what will happen after Phil Bredesen leaves in two years? He has set the bar very high for the next governor, and folks are concerned that Tennessee may return to the environmentally indifferent years the hallmarked the previous administration.

Phil Bredesen will be a hard act to follow.



Update: The Link


  1. Steve - Ran across your blog today and looked through your posts as far back as April.

    I've been coming to White's Creek since 1996, when introduced to the area by a girlfriend's family. It truly is a great area, and I appreciate the land-owners in the area allowing others to use the land for recreational purposes.

    I too have seen a dramatic change in the area during that time. The piles of trash you mention and the general disregard for nature's beauty is disheartening.

    I have driven a truck into the camping area near Flat Rock only twice, but remained responsible for my actions each time by taking every action to minimize my impact. (and once the creek got its revenge on my transmission.) I understand your frustrations with the ATVs, and fully support your efforts to prevent their destruction of the area. I was glad to see the signs on my last trip in June.

    As an old Boy Scout, I still live by "Take only pictures and leave only footprints." It's for this reason I always take an extra trash bag with me on the hike in and carry everything I can out with me; the least I can do for the Creek and the landowners allowing me to escape their is to shoulder some of the burden.

    I love the area, and I love the feel of the gorge. Everything about the Creek is amazing, and it's my place to escape. Thanks for allowing me and others to share in the beauty.

    Feel free to contact me anytime at knightbrad at gmail dot com.

  2. Just found your blog... My grandfather, born 1888, grew up at Devil Step Hollow. I've visited once. Remembered he spoke about paw paw trees and there were.