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Summer is here and it’s time to get out and play! From hiking, biking, camping and fishing … the opportunities are almost endless on TVA public lands. June is when TVA celebrates National Trails Day,  only for us, it’s extended to the entire month. We are kicking off our Team up for Trails initiative in June by working with our volunteers and trail partners to host several opportunities across the Valley for you to have fun and to grow your volunteer skills. Make sure you check out our events below and come join us!

Have a great summer!


Celebrate National Trails Day with us

TVA trails crisscross more than 170 miles of public land--- there for you to hike or bike, no matter what your difficulty level. They’re fun to explore and great for exercise.

The only downside is that trails can be enjoyed so much; they often need some extra work to maintain them. Fortunately, volunteers throughout the Tennessee Valley step up to help TVA take care of them. This year, TVA celebrates National Trails Day with Team Up for Trails, a new initiative designed to empower volunteers to take their interest in trail maintenance to an engaging, new level. Find out how you can join in.

Upcoming Opportunities

Name: Tellico WATeR Trail Day
Date: 5/30/2019
Time: 8:00 am – 12: 00 pm EST
Location: Meet at the Coytee Trail parking lot, GPS Coordinates: 35.710270, -84.234966
County: Loudon, TN
Description: TVA will team up with the Watershed Association of Tellico Reservoir (WATeR) to help perform maintenance at the Coytee Trail Bridge.

Contact: Space is limited, please contact Brian Ross at (865) 632-1354 or

Name: Forest City Trail Day    
Date: 6/1/2019
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm EST
Location: Forest City Trail is located on the Watts Bar Dam Reservation. GPS Coordinates: 35.625852, -84.777504
County: Meigs, TN
Description: Annual trail maintenance and invasive plant removal at Forest City Trail. TVA will team up with the Watts Bar Lake Association to host their annual trail maintenance activity at Forest City Trail. The trail is located on Watts Bar Dam Reservation. Trail work will begin at 9 am and end at noon. Gloves and tools will be provided.
Contact: Scott Ledford at (865) 632-1326 or

Name: Muscle Shoals National Recreation Trail Workday
Date: 6/1/2019
Time: 8:00 am-12:00 pm CST
Location: TVA Nature Trails Thunder Rd Parking lot in TVA Muscle Shoals Reservation. GPS Coordinates: 34.780249, -87.655571
County: Lauderdale, AL
Description: TVA will host a volunteer trail maintenance day along the nature trails on the Muscle Shoals Reservation. Wear long pants and work boots (gloves and water will be provided).
Contact: Pre-register with Derek South (256) 386-3429 or

Name: Raccoon Mountain Trails Day
Date: 6/1/19
Time: 8:00 am-10:00 am trail maintenance and group ride at 11:00 am
Location: Meet at the Laurel Point parking lot, GPS coordinates (35.045678, -85.415416)
Description: Join TVA and SORBA Chattanooga for a celebration of Raccoon Mountain. We’ll be doing light trail maintenance in the morning and participating in a group ride beginning at 11:00 am. Join us for one or both. For trail maintenance, bring work gloves, wear closed-toed shoes, long pants and long-sleeved shirt. If you have rouge hoes or loppers, please bring your tools.
Contact: Les Warnock (423) 751-7449, or Heather Sellers (423) 876-6736,

Name: River Bluff Guided Hike
Date: 6/8/2019
Time: 10:00 am-11:00 am
Location: TVA River Bluff Trail and Small Wild Area, GPS Coordinates: 36.220442 -84.095179
County: Anderson, TN
Description: Join us for a guided hike along the 3.2 mile loop of the River Bluff Trail
Contact: Suzanne Fisher (865) 632-6935 or

Name: TVA Honeycomb Trail Volunteer Workday
Date: 6/15/2019
Time: 8:30 am-1:00 pm CST
Location: Meet at the trailhead parking lot of the Honeycomb Campground, GPS Coordinates 34.45188, -86.33447
County: Lauderdale, AL
Description: Join TVA and SORBA Huntsville for a trail maintenance day at the TVA Honeycomb Trail. We’ll be doing light trail maintenance. Bring work gloves and bug spray, wear closed-toed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
Contact: Josh Burnette (256) 458-3298 or

Name: Trotter Bluff Bioblitz
Date: 6/15/2019
Time: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm EST
Location: Trotter Bluff Trail at Douglas Dam off Boat Launch Road, GPS Coordinates: 35.957878, -83.537164
County: Sevier, TN
Description: DLiA has partnered with TVA and regional scientists to engage people in a biological inventory of TVA’s public lands through BioBlitzes. Join us for this free, family-friendly event. It’s a fun, hand-on opportunity to learn about the flora and fauna in our area! No experience is necessary. Just download the iNaturalist app and join in the fun!
Contact: Todd Witcher or (865)-430-4757 or Melinda Watson (865) 632-1329,
Pre-register at

Name: Remove the Dam Invasives
Date: 7/6/2019
Time: 9:00 am-1:00 pm EST
Location: Meet at the Appalachian Trail shelter parking lot at Fontana Dam.  Pre-registration required through the Appalachian Trail Conservancy at

GPS Coordinates: 35.449296, -83.796694
County: Graham, NC
Description: Work to protect native species in the Southern Appalachians by removing non-native, invasive species like russian olive, honeysuckle, thorny olive, and oriental bittersweet from both sides of the Fontana Dam, where the National Forest meets the National Park and the Tennessee Valley Authority lands. Participants will also receive a coveted “Kill the Dam Invasive Plants” long sleeve tee shirt!

Volunteer work will be positioned in multiple locations along the A.T. to make the greatest impact. Once the work finishes at 1, there will be lunch and a Naturalist Walk led by Matt Drury (ATC) and Matt Bushman (USFS). Come learn about all of the native species you spent the morning protecting! This event is suitable for all experience levels. Please be sure to wear a long sleeved shirt, long pants, and sturdy boots. Bring plenty of water and snacks for the day, as well as sunscreen, bug spray, and a rain jacket.  Fontana Village Resort is making a limited number of discounted rooms and tents sites available for the event until June 5th or until they run out. When you make your reservation, tell them you’re with the Kill the Dam Invasive Plant event. Get yours before they’re gone!
This event is sponsored by REI, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Tennessee Valley Authority, Mount Inspiration Apparel Company, Fontana Village Resort, Fontana Dam Tourism Development Authority, US Forest Service, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club. REI will be contributing lunch and some swag for volunteers.
Contact: Pre-registration required,

Contact: Suzanne Fisher at (865) 632-6935 or, or Matt Drury, .

Five “Leave No Trace” Essentials for Dispersed Camping

Dispersed camping can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors especially if you like getting off the beaten path and spending a more primitive night under the stars. With this increase in freedom from common camp amenities also comes an increase in potential for human impact. Dispersed camping requires extra responsibilities and skills to Leave No Trace. Here are the five most important things to do to have a low-impact outing.

1. Choose the Right Spot
Dispersed camping is typically allowed in National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, TVA lands and some Wildlife Management Area lands, but that doesn't mean you can just go anywhere. Make sure to do some planning ahead and preparing by researching your intended camping area online or by calling the land managers office. Only dispersed camp where it is permitted, and stick to already impacted and established sites. The best campsites will be on previously disturbed bare soil within 150 feet of a roadway. Keep your campsite 1 mile away from established campgrounds and at least 200 feet from any natural stream or water source. Try to keep a low profile to maintain a wild setting and be considerate of others. Guidelines may be different in specific ecosystems, so always defer to local land managers suggestions.
2. Pack It In, Pack It Out!
There won't be any trash cans or services while you're dispersed camping so make sure you are prepared to pack everything out, and we mean everything. Trash is the most obvious to pack out, but don't forget all organic materials like banana peels, food particles from dishwater, and toilet paper or feminine hygiene products. These items last a lot longer than you think and can harm wildlife!
3. Keep Campfires to a Minimum
Some public lands allow camp fires but many do not or will have seasonal restrictions. Unattended camp fires can have serious consequences and often dispersed camping sites have no fuel management done. Bringing a stove or dehydrated food are great ways to not rely on fire to cook a meal. If having a camp fire in the area you intend to camp is allowed (and always double check that it is), use only existing fire rings and don't build new ones. If no ring exists, consider using a fire pan or mound fire to protect the soil from sterilization that comes with new fires. Learn more about responsible fires, firewood collection and fire pans.
4. Have a Poop Plan
Very few dispersed camping areas have restroom facilities so have a plan for how to poop before you set out for your trip. The best Leave No Trace option is to drive to nearby restrooms at visitor centers, trailheads, established campgrounds, or gas stations. If you can't do that, a “cat hole” is the next best method of disposing of solid human waste while primitive camping. Dispose of solid human waste in a 6-8 inch hole that is 70 big steps (200 feet) away from any water sources. This layer of soil breaks down human feces the fastest and isolates it from contaminating water. In areas where digging a hole is not allowed or possible, or in high use dispersed camping areas, consider using a W.A.G. bag to pack out solid human waste. Learn more about using this portable restroom here. No need to dig a cat hole for urine-- simply pee on a durable surface that's at least 200 feet from water sources, trails, and the campsite.
5. Washing Up
Need to wash dishes or yourself? Keep in mind that even biodegradable soap isn't safe to use in natural water sources, and things like food scraps, sunscreen and bug spray can all impact our natural space. For dishes, wash and rinse everything in a water container, strain out any food particles, and broadcast the remaining greywater over a wide area at least 70 big steps from any water source. If showering, stand in a basin to collect the wastewater and soap. Use biodegradable soaps, and broadcast the greywater as you would for dishes.
There's always more to learn about responsible dispersed camping, but these five tips are essentials in keeping our shared public lands healthy. Whether you're looking for a quick spot to sleep on a cross-country road trip or just looking for a more disconnected and primitive camping experience, Leave No Trace while enjoying your dispersed campsite!

Visit to find TVA’s undeveloped public lands and learn how to enjoy them sustainably.

Volunteers at work

  • Linda helps us at the Dement Bridge stream access location on the Duck River Floatway. This is a popular launch site for people wanting to enjoy paddling on the Duck River. Thank you, Linda!
  • TVA sponsored 17 Earth Day events with 22 partners this past April. The events covered 15 Tennessee counties, 2 Georgia counties and 3 Alabama counties. A big part of our Earth Day activities involved litter cleanups with 1,400 volunteers collecting 1,800 bags of trash and 70,000 lbs. of trash!
  • We also celebrated Earth Day by hosting educational outreach tables at community events, assisting partners with their education programs, providing outdoor opportunities for special needs children and handing out native vegetation.

These beautiful places need your help!

Lady’s Bluff is located in Perry County, TN on Kentucky Lake. It is a National Recreation Trail and a TVA Natural Area. Help us take care of this beautiful 2.6 mile trail with an amazing scenic overlook by signing up through our Adopt a Trail initiative.

The Battle Creek area is 200 acres of bottomland hardwoods and wetlands located near Jasper, TN. A short 0.75 mile gated farm access road runs through a portion of the property. This area receives foot traffic to popular birdwatching sites and streambank fishing. Volunteer through our Adopt a Spot initiative and help us keep the parking lot free from litter and looking its best.
Email  for more information on these site or other volunteer opportunities.

Reminders and Upcoming Events

  • Adopt a Spot Volunteers: remember to fill out your Condition Evaluation Report and submit your volunteer hours to
  • Complete four site visits and you’ll earn a hammock. Complete eight site visits and you’ll earn our new volunteer t-shirt. It is quick dry and long-sleeved.
  • Celebrate National Trails Day on a TVA trail and tag your photos at #tvafun to be featured in our next newsletter!
Join the fun!
We would love to see photos of your volunteer activities and stories.

Share your adventure on social media by tagging #tvafun to your posts

Share your volunteer story by emailing for a chance to be featured in the Volunteer Spotlight

Find out about volunteer events and opportunities on TVA public lands in other parts of seven states in the Tennessee Valley

Plan your next adventure on TVA lands
This newsletter is published monthly to keep TVA’s stakeholders informed about activities associated with work on the earthen embankment at Boone Dam.

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Knoxville, TN 37902

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