Buffalo Mountain-White Rock Trail

MODERATE 118 reviews
#1 of 5 trails in

Buffalo Mountain-White Rock Trail is a 4.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Johnson City, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,236 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Great view, rhododendron gardens, beautiful stream This is a nice place to hike when you don't have a lot of time to get out of the city. The view is great, especially on a clear day. The hike isn't difficult, but if you take the White Rock trail, it is easy to get off the path. At a sign marking the direction of the access road, the trail seems to follow the stream, but this simply leads back to some small waterfalls. It is definitely worth a look if you have time, but the trail to White Rock actually goes uphill at the sign. If you stand with you back to the sign, the trail goes up the mountain over some tree roots, then curves back to the right. May/June is a popular time to visit this trail, as the rhodedendrons are in bloom. You can make the hike a loop if you take the Tip Top trail back to the parking area. Word of caution: This may not be the best place to hike alone, especially for females. Sometimes there are strange people hanging around the picnic area.

hiking
25 days ago

Hike was more challenging than I thought. Slippery rocks and roots during multiple unbridged stream bed crossings were found on trails other than the loop. We went clockwise from the picnic area on the loop and it seemed to be uphill most of the time. After White Rocks we took Tower trail down to Noggin and then Hartselle to get back to the car quicker. Noggin was narrow and steep with Hartselle being an active creek bed most of the way.

When we stepped out on to White Rocks we found more than one type of poisonous snake sunning itself and absorbing heat from the near by rocks. That was expected as possible so we were looking and cautious. No problems and good pics from a distance.

Did notice older men driving and parking around the around the picnic and camping areas. Got the feeling this could be a pickle park but we were not bothered nor did we see any casual encounters.

hiking
29 days ago

This trail offers some pretty good views at the summit, but it is by far the worst marked trail I’ve been on. I do not mind unmarked trails, or having to venture to find my way, but there is a highway of trails that are either marked blue or white with no indication of where they go or why. This trail would be better if it were unmarked as it would be less confusing as the markings that have no rhyme or reason. That being said, it leaves a lot to be explored especially if you take a wrong turn. It would be easy to keep walking In small loops unintentionally

1 month ago

kind of confusing at parts, but that's part of the fun. it's beautiful there!!!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike with several good overlooks. The loop is the best trail here. Most the others are hard on your legs

hiking
1 month ago

The trail is a little hard to follow because there is usually a big gap between markings. Also, the trail is very small and you will hit overhanging branches and foliage. There is mostly steep inclines and declines with little medium walking ground. The views are amazing though, definitely worth all the hike! When you get to the road it is a little tricky getting back on the path but just look and you should find it no problem! Hiked a total of over 5 miles and they were all worth it! DO NOT go on these trails when it is raining because some parts would be impossible to pass.

hiking
2 months ago

Had a good hike through Buffalo Mtn today. The trails kind of cross each other. We did some of the white and some of the blue. Some pretty views over the white rocks. Like the others said...there are no water falls on Buffalo Mtn. The trails were pretty well maintained with a couple small downed trees, nothing that couldn’t be navigated over though. Good hike!! Will be back to hit the trails I didn’t get today!!

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great hike and will take you around the entire mountain. It does take quiet a while to complete

2 months ago

suuuper fun!! i went with three of my friends, we’re in highschool & it was really great. i would definitely recommend this as a half day, bonding type of hike.

2 months ago

Good family hike good view needs to be marked a little better

hiking
2 months ago

The trail is marked by the white blazes and I had no difficulty following them. The trail also seems to be well maintained. I did venture off trail a couple of times just to explore or to see if there was a view. Overall great hike with some rewarding views!

3 months ago

there are nooooo waterfalls on buffalo mountain lol. beautiful views from the overlooks and pretty quiet once you get past the overlooks. be cautious about snakes, have seen many timber and copperhead up there.

5 months ago

Fun hike. Needs better markings. Blue trail confusion

hiking
7 months ago

This trail is very rewarding with a few steep elevation gains and beautiful views. I hiked it this afternoon and only saw one other person, so the woodland solitude just outside of town was well worth it! The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because the trails are very poorly marked. I'm very glad I had my All Trails app with me, otherwise it would have been easy to get lost. Even still, the navigation was rather tricky, so come prepared with maps and or a GPS.

hiking
7 months ago

Has a great overlook that is not difficult to get to.

9 months ago

it was snowing with a lot of clouds when I went. parts were very steep and the trail markings are a bit confusing. the payoff might be better on a clear day

hiking
9 months ago

Nice little hike if you want to just get out doors for a little bit and do a light to moderate hike.

hiking
9 months ago

I hike the loop once or twice a week year around. It's a great place to bring kids and (friendly) dogs. And a good trail for exercise since it has a pretty good elevation gain, but nothing too strenuous. I typically hike the loop + Tip Top in about an hour and twenty minutes in a fairly fast pace for exercise. Allow for 2 - 3 hours or more if you want to walk in a more leisurely pace or are bringing kids, or if you just want to take your time to enjoy the views on a pretty day.

It is more strenuous to follow the loop clock-wise than counter clock-wise as it is a steeper incline going up the east side of the mountain to White Rock compared to going up the Cascade trail on the other side. For an extra challenge as far as getting exercise, follow the Tower Ridge trail up to the towers instead of the loop towards White Rock once you see the sign . It is shorter, but an even steeper incline. It will merge back to the loop at the top, but you have to go a little bit back in the "wrong" direction of the loop if you want to see White Rock going that way.

The views from Tip Top are good towards the south, but kind of overgrown towards Johnson City in the summer months (better in the winter). The views from White Rock are very nice year around, and on a clear day there are mountains as far as the eye can see.

I will say that the people that come here looking for the waterfalls (and I meet people that do all the time) will go home disappointed. There are a couple of small streams, but no real waterfall. If you come here during or right after a heavy rainfall you might see some water-flow in the "cascade" and in the creek that comes down by the gate (still not what I or anybody I know would call a "waterfall"), but normally it's just a small trickle. Tons of options around here to see real waterfalls, but this isn't one of them.

hiking
10 months ago

the trails themselves were fairly easy to stay on. however, the trails were poorly labeled. and you didn't know which marker was for what trail. the view was beautiful, hence the 4.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike and dog friendly

11 months ago

The loop was a perfect hike to get outside for a little while and immerse in nature. Very quiet and calm. Challenging in some parts but very worth while.

hiking
11 months ago

I made a short loop instead of the white rock loop (see recording). It is not worth it. The trail that leading back I did, which include the part of lady slipper loop, is really not very interesting, the forest is not in a good shape and the trail has a strong slope. I suggest to take a bit longer but much nicer full loop.

hiking
Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Great hiking! Lots of uphill and downhill! At tip top point it was great but lots of flies and bugs. The white marker is to follow the trail. It took about 3 hours to do.

hiking
Sunday, July 02, 2017

Our first visit to this trail we encountered a black bear and her cubs just 30' away, the bear was not aggressive, we just kept walking. Hike has great views of Johnson City. There is also a great overlook down from the towers just off the service road.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

hiking
Monday, April 10, 2017

easy hike and a lot of fun.

hiking
Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Great hike, easy and safe.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Great place to hike, especially in the fall. Crazy to think it's just 5-10 minutes from downtown Johnson City!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Beautiful views on the "tip top" trail!

Monday, August 22, 2016

took my son when he was 5...awesome hike....

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Nice views, easy uphill climb. Good to do, when time is a factor

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