John C. Clayborn Millennium Trail and Merritt Ridge Trail Loop

HARD 89 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

John C. Clayborn Millennium Trail and Merritt Ridge Trail Loop is a 7.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Silver Point, 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 but must be kept on leash.

7.3 miles
1,377 feet

dogs on leash




nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


To access the Merritt Ridge Loop, head to the trailhead for the Jack Clayborn Millennium Loop. Hike in until you reach the sign (about a mile). The entire hike totals about 7.8 miles.

21 days ago

Good work out, not for beginners. Went in the fall and it was fine. Went back in the summer and holy crap, I can still feel the spiders crawling on me. We aren't talking about a few strings here and there we are talking about full sized webs that rap around your entire face. Gnarly trail in the summer, wait till fall then have fun.

22 days ago

Okay, so I read the reviews about the spider webs and normally no creature or insect bothers me but I walked through about 20 in the first 1/2 mile, then I got a walking stick to knock them down but just looked like a schizophrenic Harry Potter fan trying to cast a spell. I turned around. Go during winter. Unless you enjoy being covered in spider webs then go today.

1 month ago

Not a bad hike. The trail was a little overgrown and some areas could use more blazes but overall its not a bad trail. There are lots of hills but it isn't bad. It is closer to 9 miles when said and done. You must be comfortable with spider webs though because they are everywhere.

3 months ago

3 months ago

They're not kidding when they rated it hard. I have to agree but it is a beautiful trail winding through the woods, up and down the

5 months ago

I’d definitely rate this as hard if you do the full loop, though it’s also pretty balanced. Went during the late winter and it was a good hike. Not much reward at the end, but instead the majority of the hike as great views, and lots of wildlife! I saw two snakes!
I’d definitely make sure you’re in shape and/or well hydrated before doing this trail, as the incline can get pretty intense at times.

Wouldn’t recommend in the summer unless you’re just really hardcore.

5 months ago

Excellent trail in winter months but very muddy in areas. Beautiful views of the lake for much of the trail. You can hike down to the water in places though the trail does not lead to the water. multiple climbs. can be strenuous at times..just take a break. very beautiful and worth it. great park. friendly staff .

5 months ago

Good trail! I went in the winter months so there wasn’t much vegetation. It has been raining a lot so the trail was very muddy but doable. There were some fallen trees on the trail which I thought added to the experience and were several places with good views, especially when you do the Merritt Ridge trail (you basically scale a mountain.) I did this with my pup and we were able to do it in about 3 hours but we ran probably a mile of it so wouldn’t go in the afternoon, just in case you need some breaks. There’s a hunting area on the trail but I didn’t see anyone out there. Actually quite peaceful and it looked like it had been several days since the last person hiked it.

6 months ago

Good trail with nice views!

7 months ago

Finally got back around to this place. Last time, it was spider city. Coming back in winter was a good call.

The first mile or so of the Millennium Loop will leave you thinking this trail was rated wrong. Then you get to Merritt Ridge.

I won't say this is the most brutal trail I've been on, but I will say that there were times when I had to stop and catch my breath. It was freezing, and the views were all the better for the lack of leaves. Worth the long drive for me. One less hard rated trail on my list.

8 months ago

One of my favorites, although you may encounter a lot of spiders

9 months ago

Very pretty trail with some lake views in brief sections. We hiked this trail in early September and it was poorly maintained on the loop. At times we lost the trail or had to climb through thick brush and over fallen logs that hadn't been cleared. Also, spider phobics beware- we carried sticks in front of our face during the loop section after getting hit in the face with countless spiderwebs. Overall an adventurous hike but maybe better during the spring and summer months when there is more activity and trail maintenance.

11 months ago

Tough 8 miles with some good coaster-age. 4 stars for lack of real views.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Went in August. Spiderwebs everywhere. Only made it .7 in before I decided against purchasing the whole silk shirt. Getting 3 star for being average for TN from what I was able to see before I backed out. Will re-visit review in winter, and reassess.

trail running
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Great run; highly recommended. Veritable roller coaster. Definitely "lightly trafficked" with somewhat overgrown trails in parts, but they lead to amazing ridgetop lines and lake overlooks.

Monday, May 22, 2017

An excellent all-around hike. Great terrain variety, almost everything you can imagine on one hike except waterfalls. (The midpoint of the Merritt Ridge loop drops you to a surprisingly remote spot on the lake.)

Sunday, May 07, 2017

can get strenuous going up two large hills besides that pretty nice

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

2nd most difficult trail ive done besides Bear Waller Gap. lots of hills. 8.3 mi total. again lots of hills. found a total of 6 ticks on me. Doesn't go to water!! Waves to rocky on the hill near the end. the lake next to it is gorgeous though!!!! perfect for dogs and swimming. just needs to go to water for more stars. or be by it. not just. a small creek or a cliff BY the lake.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

4/15/17 Walked Millennium loop trail: 2.5 mile loop. Pleasant walk, enough uphill to get a good workout. Loops around a long hollow with two old home sites. ( just fireplace ruins and steps left) Numerous wildflowers. Trail in great condition. Good walk if you only have an hour or so and need a workout.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Really enjoyed the trail. Sparsely populated enough to let the dog run. Lots of challenging climbs but well maintained trails. No breathtaking views, but a couple nice places along the way to stop for a lunch break. Probably a little tough for little kids, but a fun workout otherwise.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Nice trail, not as many views as I would have liked. Lots of spiderwebs

Monday, April 10, 2017

Doing the whole trail including Merritt Ridge is well worth it. The views of the lake are gorgeous, with places to access the lake, great picnic spots on large rocks along lakeshore. Plenty of wildflowers. Great workout.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The Millienium loop is great for the difficulty. It would be a fun trail to take young people. The old homestead area is interesting. I went in early March and the valley had a lot of green - surprisingly. The connector trail is a good climb. The views from the top are great and the trail is nice. You walk along the ridge of a hill. The Merrit Ridge Loop was up and down and up and down and I don't think it is worth the difficulty. The views weren't great and there wasn't very much interesting to see or do. It is fine to do once, but I will not be re-doing this portion of the loop. 2 Stars for Merrit Ridge Loop. 4 Stars for Millenium+Connector.

My AllTrails app read 8.1 miles.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Great beautiful place! Fishing, fly fishing, camping, trails, wildlife, bird watching, crystal clear water, and beautiful view! Coming back soon!

Monday, January 09, 2017

Very challenging if you take all of the loops as there are alot of elevation changes. Was snow on the ground so when you went off trail was tricky. Some nice elevated views and probably not seen when foilage is full. However would be a good hike in summer if you wanted to get in the lake. Great job by the parks dept for clearing the roads after the very recent snowfall.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Very challenging but rewarding trail. Had the entire trail to myself.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The trail is a good workout and offers plenty of opportunities for wildlife to be spotted. The views in the summer aren't that spectacular mostly because the trees block the view. However, I can definitely see how there would be awesome views so I will be making a return visit come this fall/early winter.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Amazing trail, just don't underestimate it. Our plan was to come out and swim all afternoon, but that turned into just an hour of swimming due to running out of daylight. This place really is a hidden gem, and the only downside to that is parts of the trail are severely overgrown and ticks are EVERWHERE, so check yourself routinely. All else aside, definitely check this place out. I'll be coming back for more hiking and swimming during the summer as well as winter hiking for the amazing views. There are also some forest giants here you'll want to see.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Amazing views - they have definitely improved on marking the trails. BUT, with that being said, bring a map! My fiance and I went to go hike a couple miles and ended up hiking 10. The view was totally worth it.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Observation tower gives a good view of the Center hill dam. There is also a good 2 mile trail that leaves and comes back to the visitor center. We even walked out off trail on a couple of islands in the park.

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