Appalachian Trail: Jones Meadow to Jerry Cabin Shelter

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Cherokee National Forest

Appalachian Trail: Jones Meadow to Jerry Cabin Shelter is a 7.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Greeneville, Tennessee that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from April until October.

Length7.4 miElevation gain1318 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingCampingHikingForestViewsWildlife
Waypoints (19)
1
Backcountry camp spot
At the ruins
36.03214, -82.70306
2
Ruins
36.03229, -82.70327
3
Trail junction
Jones Meadow
36.03317, -82.70131
4
Trail junction
Spur to Jones Meadow
36.03358, -82.70125
5
Trail junction
Blackstack Cliffs
36.03406, -82.7011
6
Trail junction
Jerry Miller Trail / to Baxter Cliff and Jerry Miller Falls
36.03465, -82.69837
7
Trail junction
Exposed Ridgeline Trail
36.03507, -82.69855
8
Secondary amazing view
36.03846, -82.68933
9
Main view at Howard’s Rock
Amazing / nearly 360° view
36.03876, -82.6889
10
Trail junction
Unknown trail heading NW straight down / most likely a spur to Bad Weather Trail
36.03968, -82.68749
11
Trail junction
Spur to Bad Weather Trail
36.0404, -82.68695
12
Amazing view
36.04099, -82.68629
13
Backcountry camp spot
Really nice little spot / good way to get sunrise or sunset up here / trail continues on / needs exploring / possible connector
36.0424, -82.68497
14
Trail junction
Exposed Ridgeline / Bad Weather Trail
36.04659, -82.68121
15
Backcountry camp spot
36.04665, -82.68109
16
Trail junction Bee Tree Hollow
Spur to Round Knob
36.04673, -82.68108
17
Trail junction
Spur to Round Knob
36.0518, -82.67175
18
Trail junction
Fork Ridge Trail
36.0556, -82.66004
19
AT shelter
Water and privy
36.05664, -82.65712
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (25)
Photos (239)
Recordings (28)
Completed (60)
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Chuck Simpson
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Walking

Extremely fun trail, especially the ridgeline.

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Steve Mtnotter
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Paddle sports
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David Lewis
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Backpacking
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“ shiggs “
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HikingGreat!

Hiked the loop from Jones Meadows, Bad Weather Trail, and back on the Exposed Ridgeline Trail on the AT. Fall colors have started but need another week or two to peak.

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Cynthia Robertson Hannah
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HikingOver grownRocky

Starting from Little Bald Mountain (more commonly known as Viking Mountain), I did the hike from Jones Meadow to Jerry Cabin Shelter with a short side hike to Blackstack Cliffs. The road up to Viking Mtn is fairly well-maintained by the forestry service and there is plenty of parking at the top. I parked right next to the start of the trail, which looks like a road and is marked with a BLUE blaze. I DO NOT recommend driving down this road. The trail starts about 0.2 mi down the road and it is NOT in good condition for even 4wd. About 0.3 miles from the parking lot, the trailhead for Blackstack Cliffs is on the left. The sign is VERY HIGH so don't miss it (I posted a pic showing sign). It is a short ways out (maybe 0.2 mi) and there is a rock climb before you get to the edge. I actually took my pack off and left it when I climbed out. The views are magnificent of Greeneville, Tenn from here. Going back to the original trail, turn left (or skip Blackstack and continue straight) to find the AT which is heavily marked with WHITE BLAZES. You will see a side trail to Jerry Miller Trail to NC, but you will continue slightly left on the AT. You will then reach a point where you have to make a decision to get across Big Firescald Knob -- go right to the Exposed Ridgeline or left to the Bad Weather Trail. Both are 1.4 miles and rejoin the AT after Big Firescald. I went right on my way out and I'm glad I did. The Exposed Ridgeline is very rocky and slow-going, but the views are outstanding. I would rate it moderately difficult because of the rock climbing. The rhododendron are getting ready to bloom and it looks gorgeous with the mountain backdrop. Howard's Rock is the peak of Big Firescald, although there are several great lookout points of Greeneville, Tenn on one side and Pisgah, NC on the other. I will get to the Bad Weather Trail in a moment. After Big Firescald, the trail is rolling and pleasant, although badly overgrown in areas. This is why I knocked this trail down a star. It could be because of Covid the trail maintenance hasn't happened this year or lack of hikers to stamped it down. There is no point where you lose the trail, but expect waist high grasses and weeds. About 4.0 miles later, I hit Jerry Cabin Shelter. It is a delightful little AT shelter with a privy and fresh water source coming out of pipe in the mountain. I did not filter my water like usual here, so drink at your own risk. I set up my hammock and made a campfire to cook my lunch. There are no views, but there is an abundance of songbirds. I did not see a single person during my hour of hanging out here. My original plan was to continue 1.5 miles onto Big Butt Lookout, but my legs were really fatigued (maybe from rock climbing). I'm not in as good of shape as I usually am, and I'm glad I did NOT do the additional 3.0 miles this would have added. I head back south on the trail to return to Viking Mtn. I chose the Bad Weather Trail for my trip back across Big Firescald. This trail is also overgrown, very narrow in spots, hilly, and slow-going. There are no views along this trail. My legs were pretty tired at this point and it felt like I was never going to get back to the AT rejoining spot. My total mileage worked out to about 8 miles when I returned to the parking lot. I felt like this was a great challenge and doing the AT in Greene County has been a goal of mine. Again, the next two weeks will be gorgeous with the rhododendron blooming. Try to go on a cloudless day with low humidity for the best views. I only saw five people total all day, so this is not a popular section of the trail right now. Great time to go!

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“ shiggs “
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Hiking

Section hike from Devil Fork Gap to Allen Gap.

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Brian Johnson
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HikingRocky

On 5-17, I hiked Jones Meadow AT to Jerry’s Cabin shelter, and proceeded on to the Big Butt Bypass (how could I resist) before turning back which added on close to 3 miles. Overall, it took about 5.5 hours to complete. I took the bad weather trail to and the exposed ridge trail back. With tired legs, the exposed ridge trail heading back towards Jones Meadow was brutal, but the views are worth it. Also, don’t miss out on Blackstack Cliffs if you take this hike. It’s only a short distance from the parking area on the initial blue blaze section. Love this hike especially since it’s in my backyard, and I remember my Dad taking my brother and I up to the resort ruins when I was young.

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Maggie Pelick
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HikingRocky
First to Review

We did the ‘exposed ridge trail’ to the shelter and then the ‘bad weather trail’ back. Out and back on the AT from the little loop to the shelter somewhere around 7-8 miles. The ride up is a little washed out. Not too terrible but don’t want to bring too low of a car up there. The expose ridge is great. Lots of rocks to climb up and down. Some great views. We saw two groups on the way to the shelter (one a family with teen agers and some adults, one a couple at the shelter) it was Labor Day so on the way back we passed a few more and a lot of jeeps on the way down. Beautiful section of the AT for sure!

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David Miller
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Hiking
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Jessica Miller
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Hiking
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Joel Palilla
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Hiking
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Rick Noble
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Hiking
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Timothy Shaw
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Hiking
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Wyatt Thompson
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Hiking
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Gary Trochta
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Hiking
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Justin P
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Hiking
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Rodney Freeman
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Hiking
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Brian Gerber
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Hiking
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Shanna Richesin
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Hiking
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B C
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Hiking
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Jessi Fuller
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Hiking
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Steve Dickinson
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Hiking
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Jordan Banks
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Hiking
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John Szott
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Hiking
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Jordan Banks
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Hiking
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