Cumberland Trail: Mullens Cove Loop Trail

MODERATE 104 reviews

Cumberland Trail: Mullens Cove Loop Trail is a 9.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Chattanooga, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 9.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,587 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

A great training run or day hike in Prentice Cooper Wildlife Management Area. This incredibly diverse trail lies within the 24,686 acre Prentice Cooper Wilderness Management Area. This entire loop is part of the Cumberland Trail. A significant length of this trail hangs airily along the edge of a 1000 feet of vertical drop down to the Tennessee River. Many spots along the trail offer peaks into the depth of the river gorge which has carved it's way through 26 miles of the Cumberland Plateau. The most spectacular view into the gorge comes just before the trail turns westward into the Mullen's Creek drainage at Snooper's Rock. The trail is generally gradual in it's relief but not without a few steep switchbacks to sizzle your calves and quads. Creeks gurgle and bubble along before plunging steeply over the breach into the rocks below on their way to the Tennessee River. Lichen and moss encrusted outcrops of rock emerge from the soil creating a stunning collage of texture and color that changes as the canopy morphs with the seasonal shifts. The mesophytic forest of the Cumberland Plateau is home to a great diversity of trees. Some of the more dominant tree species include: American Beech, Yellow poplar, Hickory, Eastern Hemlock, Loblolly Pine, and many varieties of Oak. Enjoy the views as you buzz down the trail!

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

Spent Labor Day weekend in Chattanooga and couldn't pass up the view of this trail. Overall a good trail. If you're the first on the path, make sure you carry a big stick; so many spiderwebs. We went counter-clockwise after reading some of the previous reviews. Here are some notes from the hike: Mile 2.0 - A lot of reviews mentioned losing the path around here. We didn't have an issue here. There's an intersection but follow the blue "Foot Travel Only" signs and you should be fine. Mile 2.8 - Another intersection with the road here. We didn't expect the trail to follow a road, but we walked down to the right for about 0.2 miles until we caught the trail into the park again. Look for a faded brown sign that says "TRAIL". Also watch out for vehicles. It seems to be a popular off-roading site and we nearly got run off the road by some aggressive Jeeps. Mile 4.9 - Path looks like it could go straight or left. Go left. Mile 5.5 - Tree down, but a short detour to the right then back up to the trail. Mile 5.6 - Just after the camp; easy to get lost down the rock path. Veer to the right up the hill here and keep following the signs for Snoopers Rock. Mile 7.0 - Downed tree. We just walked over it. Mile 8.7 - Another tree in the path. Detour to the left (pretty easy to spot the detour here). We really enjoyed the view from Snoopers Rock. Lots of other people, as it's easy to get there from a parking lot without much of a hike. That means it's harder to get an uninterrupted picture, but easier to get pictures of your group because there are other people to take them. Indian Rockhouse at the end of the trail was pretty cool too! We finished the hike in approx 5.25 hours with about a 45 min stop at Snoopers Rock. Enjoy the hike!

hiking
blowdown
off trail
over grown
rocky
4 months ago

A great day hike. Went counterclockwise and was watching for around mile 2 when other hikers have mentioned losing the trail. I definitely got off trail for about half a mile or more, but there is an actual trail you're on - I guess from so many people making the wrong turn. When it looks like you're going straight after the rock hopping, you're actually making a sharp left and climbing up. My friend redid the makeshift barrier that was there to try and deter hikers from taking the wrong turn. There is even a faded sharpie arrow on a rock. Otherwise, amazing day hike. LOTS of ticks, but none latched before I flinged them away. Dried up creeks make me sad. :(

hiking
5 months ago

This loop is a very nice 10 miler through the woods. Typical south Cumberland. Rocky in spots. Some rock hopping. Lots of ups and downs. Spectacular view from snoopers rock! We hiked counter clockwise. Got off trail once- where rock hopping combined with a blaze uphill on a tree. Missed it looking down at our steps. We weren’t the first to do this because there was actually a pretty good “trail” for a bit. We found our way back and continued on. Took a little over six hours taking in our hammock break at the camp and time spent enjoying the view at snoopers. The Indian Rock House is very impressive. All in all it was a very good day. I’d recommend this hike. Take plenty of water and pack bug spray for ticks.

Well it’s not 9.6 miles like the app says. And I wouldn’t recommend going counter-clockwise- it is all uphill on the backside when you are already tired. Trail is nice in most places and the overlooks are awesome.

backpacking
bugs
6 months ago

We backpacked a 2-nighter here, hiked counter-clockwise. Great trail with all the elements: dense forest, multiple stream crossings at nice water refill intervals, ups and downs and flat parts, incredible overlook at Snoopers Rock of the TN River, a great campsite by the stream called Hemlock Branch Camp at the halfway point (4.8 miles) with three separate tent camp areas. Only downsides are that there is some occasional vehicle noise from the ATV roads that cut thru, and Game Reserve Rd for cars too actually bisects the entire loop so we ended up hiking back to the start (from a makeshift campsite just prior to Hemlock Branch) on day two, and then driving right back to Hemlock Branch to camp at the nice site. Lots of ticks, but it’s easy to flick them off before they latch - prob did that about 15 times total. Very little foot traffic so a nice quiet hike.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

Trail is amazing, very well marked. Only got off the trail once, unwanted. Still don't know how, or where. We went back up the trail couldn't figure out how or where. We went clock wise. However I would have went counter if I knew how rough mile 8 to 8.8 was. 2 or 3 rock gardens that become highly technical, but the trees are very well marked in this area. one point you have to walk up a 4 wheeler road but they have a sign for the trail. Had a blast, trail is very easy overall.

7 months ago

This trail was perfect for a quick overnight hike/short weekend trip. The scenery was fairly monotonous over the first half of the hike. The second half is gorgeous, particularly if you catch the sunrise around Snooper’s overlook. It was poorly marked in a couple of places, around the 2-mile mark and the 6-mile mark, but otherwise very well-maintained and easy to follow. My hike was three days after a light rain, and there seemed to be a creek every mile or so. I’m pretty out of shape, and found the hike to be challenging, but not overly daunting at all. The campsites at the halfway point are secluded, as they dispersed along a creek. My neighbors at the next site down didn’t even realize I was there until I popped in to say hi and borrow their lighter. There are well-built fire pits in each one.

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

Love this trail. Hiked it for the first time today. Heading opposite of Indian house for the start makes for a less strenuous finish. Only downside to this trail is that trail markings are poor around the 2 mile mark the direction we headed. Be sure to have a trail description with you. We ended up going off trail for a bit before we realized. Otherwise awesome hike. Snoopers Rock makes the 6.5ish mile hike in worth it. 3.5 opposite direction. Great trail definitely recommend.

hiking
Fri Nov 09 2018

This was a wonderful fall trail with interesting changes in topography. The trail could be marked a little better, but if you use the trail map from this app on your phone to double check your location you’ll be fine. I started on the opposite side of the parking lot and didn’t have a problem. The forest was very quiet, somewhat eerily so, and hardly anyone was there in the middle of the week.

hiking
Sat Mar 17 2018

enjoyed this late winter hike but let the tick season begin. found two even after liberal application of Deet.

Sun Mar 04 2018

Great trail with awesome scenes and many waterfalls.

hiking
Mon Feb 19 2018

hiking
Sun Jan 21 2018

hiking
Wed Dec 27 2017

Found this trail today it was a great hike with fantastic scenery and fun to hike.

hiking
Wed Dec 20 2017

Spent a short winter's day on most of this loop - very enjoyable and the majority of the trail was well-marked with white blazes, especially the Snoopers Rock portion. Had some trouble finding where the trail continued after reaching the ATV road on the western part of the mountain - had to walk up the road itself maybe 150 feet to find a small wooden sign marked "Trail." All in all it was a great experience despite the fog and I'll definitely be back!

Wed Sep 06 2017

Markers can be difficult to follow at times, but if you stay on any trail here it is gorgeous

running
Sat Sep 02 2017

FOLLOW THE WHITE MARKERS. Unfortunately there are some side trails that are also marked white. If you think, ""hmm this doesn't look like a trail, but look! Now there's some blue markers!" GO BACK to the last white marker you saw and go from there. Maybe eat something and look harder and say a prayer too. You'll find it! The trail is well kept and you'll know for sure when you're on it. I started at the trail head directly off of the Cumberland parking lot and it got dicey quickly. The first 2 miles took me almost 2hrs I was so far off the trail. I would suggest starting from the trailhead across the road, that side of the loop has much better signage and markings. It's a great trail once you figure it out! Also, I saw 0 snakes.

backpacking
Thu Aug 03 2017

Great trail. We were thinking it was Pot Point Loop, but about half way through we realized we were not on Pot Point Loop. But great trail just the same.

hiking
Fri Jul 14 2017

We saw some incredible wildlife on this trail, including a bald eagle, deer and a copperhead (be careful). This trail is very hot in midsummer so I would recommend it as a fall, winter or spring hike.

Sun Jun 18 2017

Great loop for a trail run. Not as technical as most trails in the area. I had 2 beautiful black labs accompany me on most of my run. They must have been camping with their owner, but they were wonderful pacers!

Tue Mar 21 2017

tough. bring water. beautiful views.

Sun Mar 19 2017

The trail was well and apparently recently remarked with great views and wonderful intimate woodland settings. The trail is easy to moderate between the trailhead and Snoopers rock with some signs of misuse and graffiti. Between Snoopers rock and Mullins cove overlook it remains easy to moderate difficulty with evidence of only light traffic. There is one area which is confusing at a wash but look for the sign marked "trail". Between Mullins cove overlook and the parking lot the trail is moderate to hard with a 1.5 mile stretch of rock hopping. There is little traffic although there is an unfortunate cut road crossing that is both very confusing and very damaged by truck/ATV use. Again look for signs marked "trail".

Wed Jan 25 2017

Good trail, great views, not marked well, but far from primitive. A bit of storm damage with trees covering the trail and the creek crossings are a bit swift right now. We had wet feet for 1/3 of the trip. Enjoy!!

hiking
Sun Oct 09 2016

Great 10 mile loop with rock formations. Indian rockhouse is titanic of rock formations. Snoopers and Mullens cove both have panoramic views. Make sure you look at the trees for white blazes or you'll find yourself on a side trail. Thank you Chattanooga, TN.

Thu Oct 06 2016

Great wilderness view on the back side and awesome scenic view on the front side!

Fri Aug 26 2016

Trail is not well marked. Side trails have same white blaze as Mullins. Not helpful. Views r beautiful. No snakes.

Fri Aug 12 2016

There are rattlesnakes EVERYWHERE on this trail so be on the lookout!! Especially with dogs! I had a close encounter with my dog when I went on 08/11/2016. Spotted it before Snoopers Rock. Turned around and hiked back out to find another snake in the trail as well. Probably a great hike, but won't be returning due to the safety of me and my dog. Side note, Indian Rockhouse was pretty cool!

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