Hiking

Regardless of the time of year, every season offers its own special rewards to those who take the time to explore the Obed Wild and Scenic River on foot.

 

Lilly Bluff Trails


The four trails found in the Lilly Bluff area allow visitors to expore Obed's sun-baked bluffs, sheer cliffs, moisture-rich forests, cascading creeks, and expansive boulder fields.
 
Rocky bluff covered in small trees in front of a river valley.
Lilly Bluff Overlook

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Overlook Trail

Distance: 0.3-mile one way
Difficulty: Easy
Enjoy the high rock outcrop of Lilly Bluff, where you’ll find sweeping views of the river gorge. Strollers and wheelchairs can negotiate the gravel trail and boardwalk with minimal assistance.
 
A rock arch with bright green leafy trees on the other side of the opening.
Lilly Arch

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Point Trail

Distance: 3.8-mile round-trip
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
The trail dips to Melton Mill Branch, which can be a trickle in summer or a roar in winter and spring, then leads past a hidden natural arch, guiding you along the bluff to a secluded view overlooking the river gorge.
 
Waterfall surrounded by large rocks and trees.
Upper Melton Mill Falls

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Bridge Trail

Distance: 0.5 mile one way
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
The trail runs between Lily Bridge and the Overlook trail. It cuts beneath Lilly Bluff, where sheer cliffs are exposed. It lends you low past the trunks of sycamore and ash trees near the river’s edge, then high among hemlock, oak, and hickory canopies.
 
A young girl bouldering with a spotter.
Visitors bouldering during a ranger-led program!

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Boulder Field Trail

Distance: 0.4 mile round trip
Difficulty: Easy
The trail meanders among massive sandstone boulders, which fell from the bluff thousands of years ago. Today climbers train and test their skill on the boulders’ faces while non-climbers look on.
 

Nemo Trails

This day use area offers the perfect natural and historic backdrop for your next picnic, forested hiking adventure, or refreshing dip in the river! Do you want to experience Nemo after dark? Pick up a backcountry permit at the visitor center or online!
 
Juvenile copperhead on a leaf
A snake ssssssoaking up the sun along the trail.

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Emory River Nature Trail

Distance: 1.0-mile loop.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate.
The Nature Trail shares a small portion of the Cumberland Trail before looping down and around to return along the Emory River to the Rock Creek Campground. The trail offers a close up appreciation of the transition from bluff to gorge, where massive sandstone boulders fell from the bluff thousands of years ago and now rest in and near the river gorge.
 
Gated coal shaft.
Keep an eye out for evidence of how people used to use Obed's natural resources!

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Cumberland Trail – Emory River Gorge Section

Distance: 2.6-mile round-trip.
Difficulty: Moderate.
Above the Nemo Picnic Area stands the historic Nemo Bridge, now used by hikers to enjoy an above-ground view of the Emory River. The trail leaves the picnic area from the upstream end of the parking lot and ascends above the river to a sweeping overlook of the confluence of the Obed and Emory Rivers. The trail ends at a seasonal stream cascade.
 
White and pink mountain laurel flowers.
This trail really pops in the spring!

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Cumberland Trail – Obed River Section

Distance: 14.2 miles one way.
Difficulty: Very Strenuous.
The trail leaves Rock Creek Campground and includes many ascents and descents along the Obed River leading to remote overlooks that offer solitude and sweeping views of the gorge. The section terminus is at the Devils Breakfast Table trailhead. A popular abbreviated hike on this section is from the campground to Alley Ford and back (5 miles roundtrip – moderate to strenuous).

For more information on Cumberland Trail State Park, call 423-566-2229.

 

Last updated: June 15, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 429
Wartburg , TN 37887

Phone:

423 346-6294

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