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TENNESSEE WILDLIFE VIEWING TRAIL » East Tennessee
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Black Mountain - Cumberland Trail State Park

Site Directions: From Crossville: Travel east on 1-40 to the Crab Orchard Exit 329. Follow Battown Road south up to a four-way intersection. Take the immediate left at the Cumberland Trail State Park sign and proceed three miles up the narrow and steep paved Black Mountain Road to the paved trailhead parking area on the right. Parking is ample and the ADA connector trail begins on the west side of the parking area. Follow the paved connector trail 700 feet and it connects to the Cumberland Trail just 150 feet west.
Lat: 35.88613°N Long: -84.87554°W
Hours: daylight hours, except for campers
Seasonality: year round
Fees: none

Site Description: Upon completion, the Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park - the state's only linear park - will be 300 miles, cutting through 11 Tennessee counties from the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park on the Tennessee-Virginia-Kentucky border to Signal Point near Chattanooga.

One hundred fifty miles of the Cumberland Trail are open and ready for exploration, including Black Mountain, considered one of the crown jewels of the Trail. You may find other sections of the Cumberland Trail at the Cumberland Gap National Park, the Tennessee River Gorge Segment in Prentice Cooper State Forest, and the Obed Wild and Scenic River Segment in the Obed River Gorge and Catoosa WMA.

Black Mountain is a high-elevation site that serves as midpoint of the linear Cumberland Trail State Park. A hard-surfaced parking area and 700 feet of hard surfaced, ADA-accessible trail connect hikers to the Cumberland Trail. Ecologically, Black Mountain is well-known for several rare native plants found there. It is also known for its disjunctive, southernmost populations of northern species, such as Showy Lady's Slipper orchid and Yellow Birch. We recommend hiking the 700-foot connector trail. More intrepid/mobile travelers can access even more via the Cumberland Trail itself. Currently, the Grassy Cove segment has two miles of trail open on Black Mountain, plus a 1.7-mile loop on top of the mountain. The two-mile section goes from the Black Mountain trailhead down the western slope of Black Mountain to Windless Cave.

Wildlife to Watch: Woodland birding is excellent along the trail, if you venture far from trailheads with birding gear. Wild Turkey and other game species are commonly seen along the trail.


For more information:

Cumberland Trail State Park web page

Tennessee Conservationist article

Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau Nature Trail


Submit your data to eBird and help us build a list of birds seen at this site


Be sure to check out our Safety Tips page for important information regarding viewing wildlife in these areas.