dogs on leash
off road driving
My personal favorite trail in Clarksville. While it is often times busy and the gates close at sundown, it is possibly the best trail to run on that's somewhat challenging around here. There are two loops both of which connect in the middle. They are not paved and not made for bikes. The short loop is easy and less than a mile long. The recovery loop is about a mile and a half and has much higher incline with no switch backs. The cave is not always open, but offers a cool area to rest after your run.
I frequent here often. There are two paths. The one on the left is flat and paved. It's the busier of the two so I don't go that way. The way on the right is also paved but it has lots of hills and less people. It currently ends at 2.5 miles but the city plans on expanding it. The whole greenway is great for walking, running, or biking with nice views of trees and water along the sides.
It's a nice place to have a leisurely stroll or play Pokemon go. If you go here you might find it busy and that's because of pokemon go. It's not a great place to run or bike because of the amount of people that walk slowly and stop suddenly to catch pokemon. If you love the game, it's great. If you're looking for a workout, it's pretty terrible recently.
I've been on this trail twice and enjoyed it both times. Went in early May 2016 swimming hole at end was very cold. Went again in mid June (did not swim this time), went early morning very relaxing. It is rocky, can be difficult at times, and not good for small children.
Great views even on a somewhat overcast day. Late start or the views would have been clearer. Trail going up was beautiful on the ridge areas with the moss covered rocks and downed trees, beautiful ferns. So exciting when you get that first view of the large rock formation that is the Bunion!!
Went on the first day of fall after particularly dry summer. Very little water at the falls. Great hike otherwise. Rates as difficult and I think that's a fair assessment as first 2.7 miles are all uphill. (1500 ft of elevation gain). I would do this again in wetter weather I'll bet the falls are very impressive when running at capacity.
*Facilities at the Elkmont Campgrounds before you reach the parking area*
This trail has it's challenges, but the first half is relatively easy going. Once you reach past the Goshen Prong junction, is when the creek hops will get VERY challenging, and when water is much higher, can be dangerous/treacherous. Cross these creeks, if going to campsite 30, with extreme care!!
The water levels have been very low, due to the fact we've not had much rain...so they were more just boulder/rock hops, than wading pools. But when rains have fallen, and the levels are high, be prepared to get wet.
Also...as of the date that this review was written, there is a VERY large yellow jackets nest, just to the upper right of the camp/fire pit, just off the base of the tree. There were TONS of them....we stayed away to take our break, and we were left alone/not stung. Just be cautious before running around the site, looking for a place to camp, or relax.
The photos I will post will show the levels of the water, at the time of this review.
Other than these few points, the trail was very easy to navigate and hike. Steady, gentle incline, not very strenuous at all. Campsite 24 and 30 look to be very nice spots to lay your head, if you are making a several day hiking trip, or just an overnighter.
*Facilities at both Sugarland Visitors Center and Rainbow Falls parking lot.....depending on which end you start at*
Very nice hike, with some incline challenges. Nothing too strenuous, but definitely not a flat, straight-away trail. We car shuttled, and started at the Rainbow Trail head parking area, and ended at Newfound Gap Rd. There are many hidden gems in, and around, this area...many are off the trail, and some are off the trail a ways. You will pass remains of a CCC camp, the Clock Tower that once stood in front of a very large CCC building, the Sugarlands Cemetery and Rock House are up off the main trail, on a very easy manway. You can Google these places, to read up on ways to get there, from different blogs that are more in depth, than what I have written here. I have included photos of these location, so you can see what you'd be looking for.
No bears were seen, today, but there is evidence that they are around, so just be aware of your surroundings.
*NO facilities at this trail head. I suggest driving to the Twin Arches trail head to use the restroom, before hiking this trail*
Very easy trail to hike, not super strenuous at all. Also, this trail had many spider webs across the trail, in many spots. I recommend using either a long stick or your trekking pole, to clear your path, as you walk. The water levels have been VERY low, no significant rain falls.....so the actual "falls" were nonexistent. But regardless of water flow, the area is absolutely gorgeous, and the history of this spot is amazing.
Although VERY, VERY small, in comparison to the Twin Arches, I recommend making the short trek to Needle Arch, while you are there. It's a nice addition to the Slave Falls walk, you might as well do it, while you are there.
*Facilities at the trail head*
This was a fantastic hike! If you're thinking about doing it, but may push it to the back burner due to the driving distance (2+ hours from Knoxville, TN)....forget about the distance, and DO IT. You will not be disappointed, I promise.
The trail was challenging, but not too strenuous. The stairs getting up and down from the arches are VERY steep, but doable. There is also a giant rock overlook that you can go checkout, before heading down to the Arches (trail is not marked, but just keep going past the both set of stairs, and climb up....you will know it when you get there).
What is so very cool, is that when you see the Arch to the west, you will then realize that at one point, you were actually walking ON TOP of this massive structure, and didn't even know it!!
If you are familiar with the panoramic option on your cell phone for photos, I suggest using it...it's pretty much the only way you will ever get the entirety of either of the Arches in one single photo. They are massive!
There is an option to take a trail down past the arches to Slave Falls, or get back in your vehicle and drive to Slave Falls. Just keep in mind that there are NO restroom facilities at the falls....only at the Arches trail head.
Whether or not you decide to make the drive or trek to Slave Falls, I HIGHLY recommend that you hike around the south side of the sandstone formations....you absolutely will NOT be disappointed. The massive outcropping of the sandstone just keep going, and going. You will be awestruck by the sheer massivness of what will stand before you.
I have added many of these images to the gallery here, so you can see what else is in store for you.