Walls of Jericho State Natural Area
Site Directions: From Nashville take I-24 east toward Chattanooga. Take exit 127 on Highway 64 and turn toward Winchester. Stay on Highway 64 for about 15 miles and turn south on Hwy 16 and go 16 miles to the trailhead on the Tennessee side. The Alabama trailhead is approximately two miles south of the Tennessee trailhead and one mile south of the stateline.
Lat: 35.0002°N Long: -86.0319°W
Hours: daylight hours
Seasonality: year round
Site Description: The Walls of Jericho is a 750-acre Natural Area that is within the 8,943-acre Bear Hollow Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA), which is contiguous to the Skyline WMA in Alabama. Both of the public lands on the Tennessee and Alabama sides total 21,453 acres. The natural area is approximately 12 miles south of Winchester in southern Franklin County. The southern boundary of the natural area follows the Alabama-Tennessee state line where the actual "Walls of Jericho" is located.
The "Walls" is an impressive geological feature that forms a large bowl-shaped amphitheater. Embedded in the limestone are bowling ball-size holes from which water drips and spouts, creating a unique water feature. This amphitheater gives rise to steep 200-foot sheer rock walls that create the natural feature defining the amphitheater. Turkey Creek drains through the "Walls" and has been an active geological force in creating the amphitheater. The natural area forest is comprised of maples, oaks, hickories, tulip trees, American beech, eastern red cedar, and many other plants commonly associated with limestone. The forestland beyond the "Walls" feature is noteworthy with its many bluffs, large rock outcroppings, caves and sinkholes.
Not only is the "Walls" significant as a geological feature, the natural area is also important because of its biological richness. The area supports several aquatic and botanical species of concern.
Wildlife to Watch: Breeding forest interior Neotropical migratory songbirds are common, including Worm-eating Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, and Wood Thrush. At dusk in spring and summer, Whip-poor-wills are heard. In spring migration, nearly all warblers can be found, including Cerulean Warbler. Cerulean Warblers can be found breeding along the creeks near the Walls of Jericho (technically in Alabama). Louisiana Waterthrush nest along the creeks. Timber rattlesnakes occasionally cross the trail, so keep eyes open for them.
NOTE: Please refer to TWRA Hunting Guide about hunting seasons on Bear Hollow Mountain WMA and public access dates. Access dates vary by site.
For more information:
Walls of Jericho SNA web page
Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau Nature Trail
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Be sure to check out our Safety Tips page for important information regarding viewing wildlife in these areas.