CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Tenn. — The Great Smoky Mountains often steal the spotlight when it comes to gorgeous vistas, but East Tennessee is full of hiking trails and scenic drives for every kind of outdoor adventurer.
Cumberland County boasts a variety of destinations from waterfalls to beaches to trails. Here are three to consider for your next excursion.
Ozone Falls near Crab Orchard. While it’s only a quarter-mile roundtrip from top to bottom, this hike can be challenging. The trail is rocky and does require some climbing so watch your footing as you make your way down to see the 110-foot falls flow. It can be slippery when wet.
Pioneer Loop at Cumberland Mountain State Park. This loop is the park’s most traversed trail. If you're in a hurry or just want a quick trek, you can take the Short Loop at just under 2 miles and cross the swinging bridge. If you want a longer hike, you can continue on for just over 2.5 miles to do the full loop. Either way, you’ll be treated to scenic views of Byrd Lake all the way around.
Soldiers Beach at Meadow Park Lake in Crossville. This 2-mile loop trail is considered an easy hike with the beach around the halfway point. There are picnic tables and a dock so you can stop and enjoy the views before finishing the loop and heading home.
These are just three of many trails in Cumberland County. A full list is available online.
Some tips before you visit:
- Let someone know where you plan to hike, when you plan to be back, what clothes you are wearing and what your car looks like.
- Wear sunscreen and bug spray.
- Wear layers depending on the weather.
- Pack plenty of water and snacks.
- Keep an eye on the weather.
- Pick up after your pet.
- Be courteous to other hikers.
- Leave the plants and wildlife alone.
- Have a backup plan if the trail is closed or too busy.