“A straightforward run with fantastic overlooks and great rock formations on the Cumberland Trail.”
— Jeff Shearer
Cave · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers
This pleasant run makes for a scenic outing no matter the time of year. You'll have a handful of tough climbs, but the gentle running along the ridgeline will be well worthwhile.
The trailhead is just under five miles from the intersection of 68 and 127. The Cumberland Trail - Grassy Cove Segment
, heading south, starts off steeply climbing, and goes mostly uphill for about the first two miles. Part of that first section is on what appears to be an old logging road.
After gaining altitude and reaching the ridge line, the going is pretty easy. But there are some parts that really could use some switchbacks, and it's best not to forget that these portions are a part of your trip! The trail is well-marked with white blazes and it is well-travelled. At about 2.6 miles, there is a spur (about a tenth of a mile) that leads to a fantastic overlook of Grassy Cove. There are some pine trees that are perfect for a hammock, and this in itself can be a great stopping point.
After returning to the trail and continuing south, the trail becomes much less well-traveled. This part of the trail will require long pants in the summer, as it is LOADED with blackberries. While a great snack in season, beware of their prickly branches. There are some great rock formations and varying terrain, all of which make for an entertaining run.
The trail to the four-mile mark is completely dry. In late April, it was pretty exposed, so use sunscreen. By summer, there should be a lot more shade. I didn't see a soul the entire day.
Once you've enjoyed your journey, simply turn back and retrace your steps to the trailhead.
Flora & Fauna
Deer, lots of bear sign.