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Cumberland Trail - Mullens Cove Loop Trail

MODERATE 77 reviews

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

9.6 miles
1,587 feet

dog friendly


nature trips

trail running


bird watching



wild flowers

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!

1 month 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.

4 months ago

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.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

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

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Great trail with awesome scenes and many waterfalls.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

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

Wednesday, December 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!

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

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

trail running
Saturday, September 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.

Thursday, August 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.

Friday, July 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.

Sunday, June 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!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

tough. bring water. beautiful views.

Sunday, March 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".

Wednesday, January 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!!

Sunday, October 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.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

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

Friday, August 26, 2016

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

Friday, August 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!

Monday, August 01, 2016

pretty hard hike. comes to a point that is NOT well marked and is a pain to find the way. my suggestion would be to park in the parking area and walk across the street. go to snoopers rock and back. the rest is not worth it.

Monday, July 25, 2016

This was a beautiful hike! Trails were groomed and well marked. We did end up doing the whole loop, but for future hikers or even advise to ourselves, is to park at the trail head and walk to the Indian house, then to snoopers point and turn around and head back. If your ambitious, keep going across the road to Mullens point and then turn back and hit either the road or follow the trail back, the ladder half of the trail is not worth it to be honest. The front half of the trail was though, the views were incredible! Would recommend that to anybody.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Tough trail but some fantastic views, especially at snoopers rock. Got off the trail twice once in a very rocky part near a stream bed, another time missed an unmarked/poorly marked switchback. Views would be even better when the leaves are down.

Monday, May 16, 2016

It's was an awesome trip. We went the wrong way but it e ended up being a blessing in disguise. We stayed the night at Indian Rock House after hiking the loop. It had some great lookouts and the rock house was super dope to make camp at.

trail running
Sunday, July 12, 2015

This was a great trail! I ran it about 4 weeks ago. Only cons were tons of spiderwebs and there were several areas I had to bushwhack through, which is probably what you get for running it in June. Started across the street from Parking and followed the trailhead to Indian Rockhouse first. It was moderately flat with some mild gains and falls, so in all it was a pretty mellow trail. Super fun and many beautiful views on the first half (snoopers, mullins cove, and a few others). Only part that gave me trouble was the transition across Haley Rd at 6.7 mi. The trailhead on the other side was really hard to see and I ran up and down the road indecisively for awhile until I finally found it. So stick to your guns and keep a close eye, you should do fine. Aside from that pretty straightforward. I can't wait to do this one again!

Friday, October 21, 2011

I hiked to Mullen's Cove Overlook, it was nice, but not anywhere close to Snooper's Rock. I came back to Hemlock Branch Campsite and went on to Ransom Hollow Overlook.

My advice, skip Mullen's Cove. Take trailmarked to Hemlock Branch campsite, You'll see sign to various trails - You can go to Mullen's (North) or Ransom Hollow (South).

Take Ransom. You have to cross 2 trees on trail - one I had to hike around (up/down slope) - trail not easily marked in area, but I managed (if I can, you will figure it out). Another tree down was too big /slippery for me to crawl over on way out (easier to hop over on way back) Both weren't a big deal.

You encounter a huge rock outcropping where you walk thru crevice. Cool. Took lots of pics. Rest of hike was relatively easy, some minor ups/downs. Couple small creeks - again, easy rocks to manage. You'll see previews of view before you get to the overlook. Keep going. Beautiful view. Nice to sit for a spell, take pics & have lunch. Enough space for 4-ish people to sit on rock & enjoy view. It got really windy up there. My trail app said it was 2.13 miles from Overlook to Tower Drive (so 4.26 RT). I stopped to take lots of pics, looking at my data, guessing it took about an hour in and similar out.

If you go to cumberlandtrail.org, you can get maps to print out. It doesn't give distances, but it gives a good overview. This is the TN Rivergorge map.

I video tidbits from my hikes & I'll (eventually) upload them to Youtube - tagged with Alltrails

trail running
Sunday, May 22, 2011

Really great views throughout the entire loop. And snooper rock overlook has an amazing view of the TN river. Moderately difficult with lots of creek crossings, rock stair cases, and well shaded single track. Deffinetly running this loop again soon.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Moderately difficult. Great view of the TN river. I ran in the Rock Creek River Gorge trail race on this loop. No question, I'd totally do it again! Great views, stream crossings, rock garden; the whole trail package.

11 days ago

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