Paw Paw Trail is a 2.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Pikeville, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October.
This trail is poorly marked, has a dangerous spot where you have to get on to the road and traffic is flying by and could easily be a spot for injury. There are a few overlooks, some are tricky to maneuver to get to the overlook, I would say it is moderate difficult at that part of the trail. Very shady and mostly flat walking. Several trails converge on this trail and markings are poor at best. It is a popular trail and will see lots of other folks on this trail.
nice easy flat trial
Easy trail to walk.. great views and over looks.. well worth the walk.
Ferns covered woods and big trees. Easy trail but not grand views that I was expecting.
This trail is actually a 2.5 mile point to point trail but it starts on the lower loop trail and cuts back into it. It features three (if i remember correctly) overlook side trails of which only one is worth going to. I think it was the first one going northbound. Either way, nothing special but it adds mileage to a day or backpacking trip and some "OK" overlook views. This one is also well maintained and pretty popular.
Nice trail for early morning hike. There are several places that one can view the gorges. Cane creek over look is really nice as it is a bluff with sheer drop-offs, not a place to take kids to.
Very easy trail, with some nice bluff views.
This s**t is boring, been on it a number of times; the last part of the 13 mile overnight trail that you end up wanting desperately to get out of doing. They're are several overlooks on the trail, the only one worth mentioning is the first that gives you a sense of awe for the gorge with water running through it down below while standing on a rock cliff. The others are long an uneventful due to most of the year it being overgrown so you cannot see much. The trail seems longer than 2 miles and if you do the entire trail you come out thirsty with some ticks if your lucky.
Paw paw trail is a great starting out point. The trail takes you to the heart of fcf's where you can see most of the falls and geological features...
While we were there in very late summer, a few trees had begun to change, but for the most part, the trail was generously shaded with bright green leaves. Those leaves gave way for plenty of beautiful views of Cane Creek Gorge. The views of the gorge were very impressive, as were the main falls. However, you may want to check with the park office before heading out to FCF. The weekend we were there the waterfalls were flowing at more of a roaring tumble rather than an massive fall. Despite not seeing its full waterfalling glory, it still made for plenty of impressive views.
I did the Paw Paw as part of the Lower Loop trail - the "official" park trail map says it is 2.6 mile loop. I haven't broken down my mileage by trail segments but I'm guessing their mileage is accurate.
The beginning part of the trail along the stream with overlooks is lovely. The sun was right in my face at overlooks in the afternoon, so it was difficult to take decent pics. The rest of it is just an uneventful walk in the woods by the road so you hear trucks racing by.
*disclaimer, this was the very last segment of my 2 day loop trail where I did 12 miles on day 2, and I was ready to finish & have a long shower... I thought there were other trails that offered prettier views.
Pics and more deets on my blog below...
A good, easy trail with a couple of nice bluff over looks. The 1st part of the trail run by a stream for a short while. While there are no real climbs it's good for fast hiking if you want to get your heart rate up.