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.
Andrews Ridge Trail is a little less than 2 miles of easy hiking at the park's highest point, but it only has minor elevation changes along the way. The trail is wide and well-marked with blue blazes on trees.
Its trailhead is on the road to the West campground near The Canteen and dumping station, just look for the wooden kiosk. The trail features Andrews Cemetery and remnants of the old home sites that were present before Norris Dam was built.
It loops around at Backcountry Campsite 3 and leads back to the start. The Chuckmore Trail, Hootin Hollow Trail and Sinkhole Loop Trail all branch off Andrews Ridge as well.
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.