Hikes: Tennessee

Hike Name White Rocks & Blackstack Cliffs
Closest Town  Greeneville, TN
Difficulty Level** Moderate
Distance 4.4 miles round trip
Features Great views
Description From the Camp Creek Bald fire tower, hike 0.25 mile southwest on blue blazed trail (passing fenced in communication sites on right) to the junction with the A.T.  Turn left of the A.T. and hike north.  At mile 1.9, climb via switchbacks, and in another 0.1 mile reach the junction with the short side trail leading to White Rocks Cliffs.  After enjoying the view or NC at White Rocks, return to the A.T. and continue hiking north (right).  Hike another 0.25 mile to the junction (look for sign on a tree) with a 100 yard side trail leading left, through a rhododendron tunnel to the top of Blackstack Cliffs with great views down across Greeneville, TN.  Retrace your steps to return to your car.
Directions From the NC/TN state line at Allen Gap, follow Tennessee 70, 0.5 mile north and turn right onto Upper Paint Creek Road; road turns to gravel and ascends to open ridge crest at Camp Creek Bald.  Road is paved for short distance, turn right at intersection in field and follow gravel road uphill to fire tower on the summit of Camp Creek Bald.

 

Hike Name Laurel Fork Gorge and Falls
Closest Town Hampton
Difficulty Level** Easy to moderate
Distance 5 miles round trip
Features Laurel Falls, Laurel Fork Gorge, lots of great Laurel Fork pools to play in.
Description From the trailhead, follow the blue-blazed trail into the Gorge.  At mile 0.4, pass "Buckled Rock," a rock cliff across and above the stream.  Hike another 0.6 mile to the junction with the white blazed A.T.  Follow the A.T. south (east), hiking upstream along Laurel Fork for 0.25 mile, and cross the stream twice on footbridges.  The Trail beyond the bridge climbs and briefly follows a ridge where there are good views of the gorge.  Reach the junction with the side trail to Laurel Fork Shelter. The Trail then drops down off the low ridge and at mile 2.3, skirts the base of a cliff on a built-up section of trail.  Hike another 0.25 mile to the base of Laurel Falls.  (Swimming in pool below falls may be hazardous.) Retrace your steps.
Directions The USFS gravel trailhead parking lot is on the east side of Hampton, about 1.5 miles from US 19E, along US 321, just beyond where US 321 crosses Laurel Fork on a bridge.  The blue blazed trail into the gorge leaves the south end of the lot.

 

Hike Name Round Bald and Jane Bald
Closest Town Roan Mountain, TN or Bakersville, NC
Difficulty Level** Moderate
Distance 2.6 miles round trip
Features  Graded path through spruce-fir forest and ridge crest pastures; rock outcrops.
Description From the parking area at Carvers Gap follow gravel, white blazed A.T. north (east) through log fence and ascend graded trail through balds, then to left through spruce-fir forest.  Re-emerge on grassy bald and continue to summit of Round Bald at .7 mile.  Go downhill .3 mile to Engine Gap, then ascend .3 mile to rock formation with good views, crossing 740 million year old black rock dikes which intrude into 1.1 billion year old gneiss, the oldest rocks on the whole A.T.   Retrace your steps to return.
Directions The parking area at Carvers Gap is on the Tennessee-North Carolina border, 14 miles south of Roan Mountain, Tennessee, on Tennessee 143, or 14 miles north or Bakersville, NC on North Carolina 261

 

Hike Name Little Rock Knob
Closest Town Roan Mountain, TN or Buladean, NC
Difficulty Level** Moderate to Strenuous
Elevation Gain 900’
Distance 4.6 miles round tip
Features Great views, hike through beautiful cove hardwood forest.
Description The hike starts on the same side of the gap as the small dirt parking area.  Follow the white paint blazes of the A.T. compass north (though you are actually hiking toward Georgia) as it gradually ascends up to a highpoint on the ridge in 0.25 mile.  At mile 0.4, cross a second highpoint on the ridge and descend to a gap.  The Trail climbs steadily to the highpoint of Little Rock Knob (4918’) at 2.2 miles, and at 2.3 miles reach excellent views into Tennessee from overlooks at tops of cliffs.  Look north to view White Rocks Mountain, ove which the A.T. passes.  Retrace your steps to return.
Directions From the town of Roan Mountain, Tennessee, take Tennessee 143 through Roan Mountain State Park to Burbank. Turn right on Hughes Gap Road and go 3 miles to ridge crest intersection with A.T.  Small dirt parking area on right at ridge crest.   From the North Carolina side, Hughes Gap Road turns off of North Carolina 226 in the small town of Buladean.  From here, it is 4 miles to the parking at the ridge crest on the left.

 

Hike Name Cliff Ridge
Closest Town Erwin, TN
Difficulty Level** Moderate to Strenuous
Elevation Gain  Up to 900’
Distance 3.6 miles round trip
Features Many fine viewpoints
Description From the bridge, follow the road to the left and, shortly thereafter, cross the road and climb the bank on steps, following the white paint blazes of the A.T.  In 0.25 mile, the Trail begins to ascend on switchbacks.  At mile 0.5, reach the southern end of Cliff ridge.  For the next 1 mile, the Trail continues to climb as it parallels the cliff. To the left, there are many fine views through the trees and from rock outcroppings.  Retrace your steps to return.
Directions The trailhead at the Nolichucky River is in Chestoa on Tennessee 36, 0.5 mile east of US 23 and just over 2 miles south of Erwin, Tennessee.  Park across the street from the church on the east side of the Nolichucky River, walk west across the bridge, turn left, then shortly turn right onto the dirt A.T. and ascend on steps.