Friday, December 2, 2016

Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee

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Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
Cumberland Mountain State Park is located near the town of Crossville, TN, just over one hour from Knoxville, TN. The park is situated on the Cumberland Plateau, a segment of the great upland, which extends from Alabama to New York. Cumberland Mountain State Park was created in part by the New Deal and the C.C.C. as a homestead project. The project helped relocate poverty-stricken families to small farms, which happened to be what is now the state park. In 1938, the project turned the 1,720 acres into a recreational area and was given it's current name.

Cumberland Mountain State Park is home to Byrd Lake, a man-made lake created by the impoundment of Byrd Creek in the 1930s. The park features fully furnished cabins for rent, a restaurant, The Bear Trace Golf Course, camping for tents and RVs, as well as activities like hiking, birding, and sight-seeing.

For our hike, we chose to follow the Byrd Creek Trail, which follows the creek, is very shaded and fully forested, crosses the Boy Scout Bridge, and creates a 3 mile loop. It was perfect to walk off those Thanksgiving calories!

If you are traveling from Knoxville, TN use this driving map.

Distance: 3 miles RT (loop)
Elevation gain: 66 ft
Time: 1-3 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, on leash
Kid friendly? Yes
Fees/Permits? None
Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
Make sure you stop by the visitor center to get a trail map and get your Tennessee State Park Stamp Book. It's just like the National Parks Stamp Book, but for Tennessee's State Parks (plus they are free)! 

The hike starts just to the north of the restaurant by the bridge. It's easiest to park at the restaurant, then walk to the TH. You should see this sign for "Cumberland Plateau Nature Trail".
Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
 The trails in this state park is really well marked and color coded! You'll start out on the red trail.
Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
 Within the first 5 minutes you'll end up behind the CCC bridge. This is the largest masonry structure built by them in the world, and was completed in 1938. The dam is faced with local Crab Orchard Sandstone. The dam was closed but some water was still dripping out, and as it flowed over the rust, it created this orange pool of water. Kinda gross!
Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
 Follow the trail north.
Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
 You'll cross this wide open area for the electric poles. As you make your way back on the loop, you will actually be hiking on the other side of Byrd Creek. The campground is over there too.
Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
 Once the trail meets up with Byrd Creek, it has already changed colors from the yucky orange to the very blue color. If you bring your dogs here, I wouldn't let them drink out of the stream. The water was pretty stagnant and gross.
Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
 You'll see this small billboard, which has the map. From here, keep right.
Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
You should now be on the yellow trail.
Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
My mom and I crossing the Boy Scout Bridge. This bridge was built for an Eagle Scout project. It cross a dry stream bed.
Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
 Just after the bridge you'll see another trail split. Stay right again.
Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
 The trail is flat the entire loop - it gains a mere 66 ft! This would be perfect for a trail run.
Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
 You'll reach the "Old Road" and walk along this for a few minutes. This section is pretty noisy - you are right next to the main road leading into Crossville, TN. 
Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
One last trail split sign. From here, make your way back along Byrd Creek and back to your car.
Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
The CCC Bridge as viewed from the restaurant.
Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
Our route via Gaia GPS. It took my mom and I just over 1 hour to complete the loop.
Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee
Trail map looking North.

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Hiking at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee

1 comment:

  1. I do enjoy hiking in the leaves. I love that sound. Another special day on the trail with mom:) Wonderful:)

    ReplyDelete