Explore wild Oak Ridge with the Oliphants

The Hike

Saturday, September 28, 8:30 - 11:00-ish am  

4.5 miles easy to moderate loop of Big Oak, Quarry Lake and East Quarry Road in Oak Ridge

Led by Steve & Lisa Oliphant
Joined by Linda Spangler, Secret City Trekker Award hiker, & Ray Smith, historian and author.

The hike is free but please bring your own water and snacks.

Gretchen Pardon photo.

The hike will start here near the intersection of Wisconsin Ave and Oak Ridge Turnpike.  We will post parking info once we get a feel for group size.

There were and still are three Cold War era checkstations that were built when the gates to Oak Ridge were opened to the public in 1949. The original gates were removed and then these buildings were built as gatehouses and pass stations to the three weapons and research facilities for workers and vendors. These stations only lasted about 10 years as the gates were moved closer to the facilities in the early 1960's.

Even if you are not be able to hike all or part of this loop, it would be great to stop by and meet Ray and classmates at the beginning of the hike. If you have walked a couple of miles in your neighborhood recently, you can do this hike.  A few members of my Oak Ridge hiking group "Secret City Hikes" will also be on hand as docents, co-guides, and to assist any needs of hikers.


The hike will be guided by Steve & Lisa Oliphant and Linda Spangler who recently earned her Secret City Trekker Award for hiking all the trails in our Secret City. Oak Ridge historian and author Ray Smith will be on hand to open the check station for us and share some of the fascinating background of the building and the historic Ed Wescott photo collection and furnishings.

Ray Smith and I when we did a trial run of this itinerary in conjunction with Maryville's Little River Trading Co hikers in March. It was a big hit with rave reviews. — with Ray Smith.

We will travel through the old growth and virgin forest Beech and Oak massive tree community on the Big Oak Trail, then stop for a group photo and break at the mysterious and historic and beautiful quarry lake built on top of old Wheat/ Robertsville trace that connected Kingston and the Oak Ridge area before WWII and dates to 1788.

Time permitting, we will stop at the pre- Manhattan Project-era Gallaher and Jack Rather cemeteries and tour ruins of pre WWII homes and artifacts in the Wheat and Ethel communities in Roane County prior to Oak Ridge.


For more updates, parking info, what to bring, and to sign up, please watch this website and the ORHS Class of 79 Facebook page over the next few weeks for updates.

Hope to see you there for this unique opportunity to tour this vintage building and hike the historic trails with our wonderful classmates. . .

We will visit beautiful Quarry Lake built in 1943 for Manhattan Project construction materials.
Connie Dunkel Warford photo

Let us know if you plan to come.




In the meantime, keep an eye on this website and the ORHS Class of 79 Facebook page for updates


please sign up for the class mailing list at the bottom of this page.

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Please make sure your information is up to date by signing up for the Class Mailing List.  This is how we will keep you informed for this reunion as well as future reunions.