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Colditz Cove Trail



1.0 mile 1.7 kilometer point to point
97% Runnable


Ascent: 81' 25 m
Descent: -82' -25 m
High: 1,669' 509 m
Low: 1,593' 485 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 10% (6°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Jackie Broeker

Local gem of the Cumberland Plateau and Fentress county. A short trail, easy access, amazing waterfall, old hemlocks!

Jackie Broeker

Features Birding · Cave · Spring · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Runner Notes

Be careful of the wood crossings—they are slippery when wet. Also, there are a few larger rocks you need to be careful leaping off of, onto, and down from as they are always slippery no matter the time of year.


An amazing gem of the Cumberland Plateau and Fentress County, this trail is only about a mile long with a beautiful waterfall, rockhouse, and hemlocks that are hundreds of years old.

Park your vehicle in the provided parking area, and you'll find the signs leading to the trail. This trail and area is a state natural area that is managed by the wonderful people of Pickett State Park. Take the time to look at the kiosk for the great information provided.

Firstly, the trail is easily accessible and very well kept. Frequented by the locals, it is a wonderful place for a short jaunt in nature. The trail from the parking area takes you into beautiful shaded hemlock stands and to the edge of the cove. From this point, you can overlook the cove area and get the first glimpse of some hundreds of year old trees as well as the waterfall and the rock house. Follow the trail around to your right, continuing on through hemlocks, you'll cross a small bridge over a creek. Look to your left while on the bridge, and you'll see where the water flows over the rock, which will have created the beautiful waterfall that you'll run under once down in the cove.

Follow the trail around to the left after crossing the small bridge and continue running through the hemlock stand. You'll note some of the hemlocks have blue dots on them. This dot represents that the tree was treated for an invasive adelgid that is killing off the eastern hemlock. The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Strike Team for the State of Tennessee Division of Forestry is traveling around the Cumberland Plateau trying to save this species from extinction.

There will be a sharp turn to your left that will take you under the bluff and towards the waterfall and rock house. You'll start to see the larger and older hemlock trees down in this area.

Follow the trail under the waterfall and back into and around the rock house, it will then take you back up the bluff and loop around to the trail that will take you back to the parking area. Be aware that there are social trails off of this main trail so look for the white blazes and trail signs on trees to keep you on track.

Flora & Fauna

Things you'll see on this trail include pink lady slipper, hemlocks hundreds of years old, blooming mountain laurel and rhododendron.

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Northrup Falls, Colditz Cove State Natural Area
Mar 22, 2017 near Jamestown, TN


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