From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper (and Associated Press) Sunday, June 18, 2006--
"Soddy-Daisy, Tenn. --- In the depths of the Little Possum Gorge, a footpath strewn with the tools that built it suddenly emerges through a forest of hemlock and magnolia to a breathtaking waterfall.
"The treacherous falls, dubbed "Imodium" after the anti-diarrhea drug by those adventurers whom it has scared witless, was once known only to the most daring of kayakers willing to plunge down the 25-foot drop.
"With every clank, though, a team of volunteers cobbles together the latest piece of a rocky pathway leading to a shallow pool beneath the rapids, part of a 40-mile trail they're building just north of Tennessee's border with Georgia.
"The stretch is a linchpin in the ambitious Great Eastern Trail, a path of about 1,700 miles envisioned by hiking enthusiasts to someday string together a vast network of existing trails and link the Florida-Alabama border to New York's Finger Lakes.
"Planners hope that eventually it could serve as a foundation of a 10,000-mile network of paths spanning from south Florida to Maine, from Virginia to North Dakota. With increased development and sprawl along the East Coast, they believe the timing is right.
"If we don't do it now, it's not going to happen," said Jeffrey Hunter, the American Hiking Society's Southeast trails director.
"Hunter is working with local trail groups and volunteers across the nation to build roughly 600 miles of new trail to connect a system of trails already in place. The new trail will largely be constructed on public lands, but occasionally trail groups will have to negotiate the purchase or donation of land.
"Trail for the 21st century ...
(much more at this link to the whole article...)