Bearwaller Gap Hiking Trail is a 9.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Carthage, Tennessee that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Great trail. There are a lot of hills to walk up and down with scenic vistas along the Cumberland River. Hiked it in mid-February. You can park overnight at either trail head. One point of clarification, the 9.8 mileage listed in the profile is the mileage for an out and back hike. If you were to hike from one trail head to the other it is approximately 5 miles. I camped at the eastern trailhead near the river and had the entire park to myself. It looks like it would be very popular during the summers for car camping, but it is also a great spot if you want a quiet night in the off season. There are also plenty of flat enough areas for backcountry camping along the way. There is a decent supply of water throughout the trail if you need to replenish.
We did an overnight trip. The campsite is great and had a spring.
I loved this trail. We hiked it on Nov. 11, 2016. We dropped a car at Tater Knob Overlook and then drove a few short miles to the Defeated Creek Campground to start the trail, so we only did about 6 miles (the full trail, but not out and back). We saw 7 other hikers. It took us about 4 hours at a slow, leisurely pace (I had a baby 3 months ago). The biggest inclines seemed to be right off the bat through the stone garden to start and at the very end up to the overlook. There were lots of long flat sections. The trail is very narrow in places, but not a problem in the late fall/winter. It is also very wide in places, like an old service road. Since the leaves were off of the trees we had a view of the river for at least 85% of the trail, which was amazing. There is a GREAT overlook at about mile 2. The campsite is a nice stopping point for a snack and bathroom break at 2.5/3 miles in. There are awesome rock formations, interesting cave like holes, old stone walls and pillars from a former homestead, interesting plants (cactus-not expecting to see that) and enough ups and downs to feel like you're getting a good workout. There would be quite a few creek/water crossings, but we have had a really dry fall so they were all dry, as was the spring at the campsite. I can definitely see how the trail wouldn't be great when the trees/shrubs are in bloom though. The trail is quite overgrown, so I would stick to late fall-early Spring. The trail is market almost too well with blue spray paint blazes and some arrow placards and mile markers. I highly recommend the Timberloft Restaurant just off of I-40 in Carthage for your after hike meal. Happy hiking!
It was alright. took my kids some of the spots were hard for them.
It is overgrown to say the least which at first I thought was exciting and fun. It was also super neat to be so secluded and while on the trail I had a blast. After getting home from this trail was a different story. I had at least 20 deer ticks attached to me even though I wore pants. This is the type of tick that causes Lyme by the way and are about the size of a sesame seed. They are TINY and as someone with a bunch of freckles this was a pain. Then fast forward a day and all of sudden I can't stop itching. I thought I had a rash from something I must have touched. Investigated further and I had dozens and dozens of chigger bites. Spent an entire week itching like I had the chicken pox. So yes the trail was fun and to me not that hard but coming home from it left me with a bitter taste and I probably won't be going back anytime soon.
there's no loop so it's one long stretch and wow it was brutal. I go hiking quite often but honestly this was quite tough the hills are just up and down for most of the way. The place is absolutely gorgeous though on a beautiful campgrounds and I loved stopping at that Backwoods campsite that was pretty neat I would like to stay there sometime overnight. You will definitely have an amazing workout if you do the whole thing and back. would recommend this once in awhile but just plan better knowing it's going to take a while. It took me four and a half hours but I was walking fast.
Definitely a moderate hike, but pretty boring. The cobwebs in there are AWFUL! I understand it's the woods, but you're constantly walking through those things. The lake is pretty, but you can hear jet boats and cars for most of the trail. It was more of a walk through the woods than a hike.
Definitely overgrown. Looks like it hasn't gotten much use this year yet. I'm still pulling off ticks. Also ran into a rattlesnake within the first mile pretty close to the camp grounds. Periodically has amazing views though and isn't too easy which is nice.
Hiked this yesterday, 5/22/16, with my dog, Daryl, starting/ending at Defeated Creek. Gorgeous and intense trail! I usually don't hike with trekking poles, but I really wish I had brought mine for this trail! Oh well, definitely feeling the burn today :) Trail is clearly marked and there are lovely views of the lake along the way. My only complaint is that you can hear jet boats from the lake, but I would highly recommend this trail. Happy hiking!
Great hike, trail is over grown in places, prob because not traveled that often. Saw a couple other hikers within the first half mile of the trail heads but saw no one going all the way across the trail. Trail is 6.2 miles across one way. Took 4 hours 50 min to go across and back and take time for pictures. You cross several shallow creeks, I think it was 5 creek crossings.
Great trail! A good workout, but when the trail is muddy, it is like walking on grease! Beautiful views. We spent the night at the back country campsite, which is in a great setting. The shelter seeps when it rains and the dirt floor turns to muck. We stashed our gear on a small ledge at the rear of the shelter and the wall seeped through and soaked everything. But hey! That is life in the Great Outdoors! Great trail; would make an excellent day hike.
My husband and I completed this hike today and we were pleased to witness the spring flowers in full bloom. I agree with prior posts, this hike is closer to 12 miles than 10. The trail covers a lot of up and down hills with some rocky trails in certain areas. I did not consider this trail to be difficult due to the clear trail path but it's definately strenuous. Plan ahead with plenty of water, snacks and at least 7 hours to complete the trail round trip. I would suggest starting at the Campground due to the fact that the halfway turn around point (Outlook) is a uphill climb. This trail is a do over on my list of hikes around Nashville!
Did this one on 4/5/16, started out at 9 AM. It was a challenging hike to say the least. But oh so beautiful. Definitely glad we brought our trekking poles and lots of water and snacks. The trail is easy to identify, steep and sharp turns here and there. Very nice to have the Boy Scout camp just past the midway point. The views from the overlook were fantastic. I do believe we logged it at just under 12 mi., the sign at the campground end says it's a 10K trail, which makes our log about right.
Great hike. The distance is wrong and we had to jog flats and downhills to make it back to the Jeep before dark as we had timed out an avg. pace for a 10mi. hike and it was closer to 11-12. Some of the inclines on the way back are BRUTAL...prepare mentally for that ascent. We picked an abysmal day to do and the small chance of rain was an all afternoon drizzle with sleet and snow thrown in the mix. Fun hike to do once and check off the list. Glad I went, but not a hike I would repeat over and over.
The trail is great - fairly strenuous at times with several changes in elevation. If you go from the base at Defeated Creek all the way to the overlook (or vice versa) and back, it is a 12 mile hike. Not sure where the 9.6 miles comes from. Bring plenty of water and snacks. Took a buddy and I (who are admittedly not pro hikers) 6 hours. We stopped a lot climbing the hills - especially on the way back. Beautiful scenery though and I will do it again!
A little longer than 9.6, it was more like 12+ to the overlook. Definitely some steep elevation. Great hike, though. Nice campsite just passed halfway.