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.
Today was the day we actually hiked and explored more than just to the overlook and back, which we have done probably 5 or 6 times. And WOW at what we have been missing! Below the overlook, you are introduced to HUGE boulders and interesting rock formations. I'm not really sure what sections of trails we followed, as we cut back on and off the trail so many times. We came across the remains of a pretty big house foundation and tall chimney attached to it on the way back off the old jeep trail. We explored it and took pics that I will add. I researched the history of this and also the spring house & chimney you pass at the very beginning, and these date back to the 1800s! So very cool to enter the doorway of the remnants of this home and walk around where the family lived so long ago. We had no idea this was even here just going to the overlook and back! Next time when we have more daylight we will go explore the Windless Cave and finish the entire trail to Brady Mtn.
Quiet. Well marked. Although would probably rate it more of a moderate than easy hike. Not because of elevation or difficulty, but there are extremely slick, large and loose rock throughout mixed in with the roots and stumps. The trail is very narrow too. Not much room when passing others with pets or trail runners. But still, very pretty and peaceful. Would recommend it and would do it again.
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.
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!