Breaking News
More () »

10Explores: Hootin Hollow Trail in Norris Dam State Park

The hike is 2.2 miles round trip and is rated as easy to moderate. It gets its name from the barred owl calls heard along the way.

ROCKY TOP, Tenn. — Norris Dam State Park covers more than 4,000 acres in Anderson County with its dozens of campsites, over 21 miles of hiking trails and its location on Norris Lake drawing in outdoor adventurers during all seasons.

While the area is popular for boating and fishing, the park's trails offer scenic views and historic sites left behind by early settlers and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp that built Norris Dam in the 1930s.

One of these trails is the Hootin Hollow Trail, which gets its name from the barred owl calls that are commonly heard along the Gaylor Hollow Fishing Cove, according to the park. 

The hike is 2.2 miles round trip and is rated as easy to moderate. It starts at the park's West Campground and connects with the Andrews Ridge Trail. 

The trail is open for hikers and mountain bikers so it is important to be aware of your surroundings and share the path. The park recommended a night hike for the best chance to hear the owls.

More information about Norris Dam State Park is available on the Tennessee State Parks' website. Those looking to learn more about the area's history can visit the nearby Museum of Appalachia

What to expect on the trail:

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.

Before You Leave, Check This Out