Cumberland Mountain State Park is situated on the Cumberland Plateau, a segment of the great upland, which extends from western New York to central Alabama. It is said to be the largest timbered plateau in America. This 1,720-acre park was acquired in 1938 as a project of the Farm Security Administration to provide a recreational area for some 250 families selected to homestead on the Cumberland Plateau. The Homestead Museum, located one mile from the park, depicts the Cumberland Homestead Community of the 1930's. This community built the park along with help from the CCC and WPA.
I combined the Black Mountain CT trail and the first portion of the Byrd Mountain / Grassy Cove trail as an overlook-to-overlook hike. This formed a ~14-mile out-and-back, including boulder exploring and the Windless Cave spur. Black mountain has massive stone formations, a great overlook area, and a fairly gentle slope. Byrd mountain trail is a bit steeper but follows atv routes for the most part, and the overlook has a stunning, unobstructed eastward view of Grassy Cove and beyond. My app claimed 3800' total elevation gain but that seems off. Highly recommended.
Nate M. on Byrd Lake and Pioneer Short Loop Tr...
it's a good one
Trail is well-marked and mostly well-maintained, but there are some narrow places with slippery terrain (especially with autumn leaves on the ground). I've been on the trail a number of times with no problem, but a friend recently fell climbing over a dead tree in the path and broke her wrist. Be careful!
Enjoyable stroll around the lake - easy walk with no notable changes in elevation. Not the most scenic trail and narrow in spots but clearly marked and quiet even on the weekends. Good for dogs who can get water from nearly every point on the trail.
Janet K. on Byrd Lake and Pioneer Short Loop Tr...
I only covered a small section but it was gorgeous! The bridge beauty contrasts the natural beauty of the woods and water.
The Pioneer Loop was a very enjoyable hike. It was very quite and serene. The trail was beautiful, but there were no amazing views. Of course, in late October the trees were amazing. Most of the hike was close to the water. The first part of the trail has many roots and rocks. We will hike again.