Bearwaller Gap Hiking Trail is a 10.8 mile heavily 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.

Distance: 10.8 miles Elevation Gain: 2,201 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

Trail heads on either end are easily accessible with parking, however, the marina side parking will be locked at 10 pm. Trail views are stunning in the cooler months when foliage is minimal.

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
2 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

Great trail, great workout! I got over 2k elevation going out to mike marker 4 and back. The trail was very well marked, but I still missed a few turns. Compared to other trails, like Montgomery bell, I didn’t find it too overgrown. Next time I’ll wear running shoes instead of boots for better grippy in some of the low elev slippery rocks. Beautiful bluff views!!

backpacking
blowdown
bugs
over grown
rocky
17 days ago

backpacking
blowdown
bugs
over grown
rocky
18 days ago

hiking
muddy
over grown
19 days ago

If you’re looking for a great trail that will kick your butt, this is a great one to go to. You’ll need to arrive early in the day if you want to go the whole length. Be prepared for ticks and to see wildlife up close. Many great opportunities to see the lake and some decent photo opportunities if you’re adventurous enough to leave the trail.

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

So just a heads up this hike is not for the faint of heart. A lot of this path is a bit overgrown due to it not having heavy traffic through it. Though let me tell you it does not take away from the beauty that is in this gem of a spot. Throughout the hike you will get glimpses of the lake and even be able to see a Full views of the lake as well. There are small waterfalls along this journey and towards the end of the journey about halfway through there is a old hand built rock wall that I ended up finding out from someone local that was built by slaves back in the day true little piece of history and beauty. Also very important in order to get back to your car you must walk back through the trail because it takes you to outlook and then it’s a hour and a half walk back to the main park. So what I would recommend is if you’re going in a group of two or more have one group park in outlook while the other group parks at the lower level so by the time the group as a whole Gets to the top they can just ride down to the other vehicle

hiking
bugs
over grown
1 month ago

Cool walk through the woods. Trail is tight and buggy. Can’t see the water through the trees. Still a nice hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail for an overnight getaway. If you want an easier hike to the primitive campsite at two prong just start the trail at tater knob overlook instead of defeated campground. The campsite is secluded with a good privy.

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

Great views towards the end of the long trail. Relatively easy hiking for most of the trail, but not very well marked. If you're looking for a brief or long hike with some rocks to climb on, this is a great one.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Great trail, muddy and fun with Great Lake views and some waterfalls!

2 months ago

Good trail. Would rate more moderate than hard. Ended up being more like 12.2 or so miles. Started around 11:15A, took a 30 or so minute break at overlook and back to car by 4:30P. Good elevation throughout. Saw less than 10 people total. Several patches of wildflowers:

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great example of a rustic Tennessee trail: narrow, overgrown, rocky, muddy, tree-fallen, steep (at times), tick-infested, spider-webbed and backwoods beautiful. Loved it! At the end of the trail turn around, the recorded route doesn’t take you to the top of the vista. Go all the way for the full view.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful and secluded trail! We only did a portion of it and hope to go back soon to hike the full length.

hiking
2 months ago

Would rate as moderate. Best time to hike would be winter or spring. lots of pretty wildflowers but I can see how the trail would be overgrown in the summer months. also there is not many views of the water in full foliage. Closer toward Defeated Creek the trail splits right fork is labeled as difficult and left easy. Going in I took the left fork it was a little steep and rocky in spots , coming back I took the opposite fork and it was not as rocky and seemed to have more switchbacks. The campsite is located roughly 2.5 miles in from the Bearwaller Gap side. Nice campsite however I did not see a water source nearby, also of another group shows up you will have to share camp but there is plenty of space for tents. Nice trail for exercise and to see wildflowers.

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

This was my first longer hike as I have just recently got into hiking seriously, and I was very impressed with this trail with how little traffic it seems to attract. I came in at Defeated Creek Campground, went up to Tater Knob, and back down to the campground in a day trip. Be prepared for constant elevation change as the trail consistently leads you up and down ridges. There are beautiful views of the forest and lake around every turn. I completed this hike back in late March, but I can imagine during the summer with all the plant growth that some sections may be very buggy and overgrown, so definitely keep that in mind as well. All in all, awesome hike and defintely a heck of a day trip.

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