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House Mountain Loop

  4.2 ( 18 ) Favorite


3.8 mile 6.1 kilometer loop
79% Runnable


Ascent: 930' 283 m
Descent: -931' -284 m
High: 2,063' 629 m
Low: 1,239' 378 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 36% (20°)


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Trail shared by Max Willner

A great (but challenging) run only thirty minutes from downtown Knoxville.

Max Willner

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers

The House Mountain State Natural Area opens at dawn and closes at dusk.


A strenous run with roughly an 18% gradient that grants runners a beautiful view of several mountain ranges in the area.

The only drawbacks to this run concerns erosion from hiking/trail running. Orange fences have been built to maintain the trails.

The state natural area is dog-friendly, although the trails are rather narrow and perhaps not ideal for two-way traffic with a dog.

Need to Know

This is a fairly strenuous run with rocky outcrops that may prove difficult to traverse.


Directions: Take I-40 East to Rutledge Pike, exit 392, and turn right off the exit. In ten miles, turn left on Idumea Rd. Turn left on Hogskin Rd and the House Mountain State Natural Area will be on the right.

Beginning at the House Mountain State Natural Area parking lot, runners will take West Overlook Trail from the trail junction. In 0.8 miles, the trail will switchback to Crest Trail, roughly 1.5 miles in length. Following the mountain ridge, runners can take Crest Trail to the West Overlook which provides a view of the Cumberland Mountains to the North and the Smokies to the South.

From there, Crest Trail continues uphill until it dead-ends at the East Overlook. The East Overlook is considered the more spectacular view of the two, offering a view of the Clinch and Unaka Mountain Range. Runners will proceed to backtrack from the East Overlook to the trail junction at Crest Trail and Mountain Trail. Follow Mountain Trail back to the parking lot to conclude the run!

Flora & Fauna

Hawks, grouse, woodpeckers, tanagers, turkeys, and many other birds.

History & Background

House Mountain, which consists of roughly 525 acres, was designated a state natural area in 1987.

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Mar 27, 2018
Blair Nelson
Mar 4, 2018
Matthew Esslinger
Dec 25, 2017
Sean Lavery
Extremely technical and sharp climb! 2mi

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 18 votes


  4.2 from 18 votes
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in Tennessee


76 Views Last Month
2,546 Since Nov 18, 2015



East overlook.
Nov 25, 2016 near Mascot, TN
Looking west from the East Overlook.
Nov 19, 2015 near Mascot, TN
Sentinels standing guard on the western ascent.
Dec 7, 2017 near Mascot, TN
The view from the House Mountain East Overlook.
Nov 18, 2015 near Mascot, TN
Nick hiking along the ridge of the Crest Trail.
Nov 19, 2015 near Mascot, TN
Hiking along the Crest Trail towards the East Overlook.
Nov 19, 2015 near Mascot, TN


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