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Cumberland Trail: Pot Point Loop

MODERATE 25 reviews

Cumberland Trail: Pot Point Loop is a 11.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Chattanooga, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 11.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,387 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

A rarely used loop in Prentice Cooper Wildlife Management Area. Pot Point Loop is an add-on to the Cumberland Trail in Prentice Cooper Wildlife Management Area. Seldom used, the track presents a peaceful day hike. Begin at the parking area for Snooper's Rock along Tower Road.

hiking
18 days ago

Absolutely a blast! Feels a lot longer than the 11 miles it says, but the reward you get after making around the toe and heel of the trail makes it worth it. Near perfect campsite at McNabb, no one to bother you, in fact I didn't see a soul the entire trip. Though the views are a little obstructed off the bluffs, the rock formations you see along the way more than make up for it. Huge boulders, rocks, massive trees, pretty untouched out there. That being said, quite a lot of falling trees, heard three while sleeping in camp, and even had to climb around one on the hike out. Was wild to see a tree that big so recently downed. Lastly, bring deet. Didn't see a single mosquito the whole trip, but man the ticks were BRUTAL. All shapes and sizes. Everywhere. And honestly, I don't think they even cared about the deet. Also, fill up on water whenever you see it. McNabb has a decent creek, but if you take the long way around, I'd bring a couple liters, as you don't really see much, even if it has rained. All in all, great hike for one who is out for peace and quiet.

backpacking
20 days ago

Online information for this area is limited and inaccurate. I will relate what I discovered upon arriving at the Cumberland Trail Trailhead parking lot. I had planned to spend 3 days backpacking the Mulin’s Cove loop trail, hoping to walk a few miles each day and camping along the way. A nice slow leisurely trip. While I was at the trailhead preparing, a Ranger arrived and gave valuable info. He said there are no maps anywhere that are correct. The best ones are on display at the trailheads but they have errors. (I will post photos of them) He encouraged me to backpack the Pot Point Trail. So I took the expert’s advice and moved to the Pot Point trailhead. Basics: You do not need a permit or check in. The Ranger said trail cleanup will soon begin and the will be adding medallions to mark the trails. Area roads close, with gates, at sundown. So if you haven’t left you are stuck for the night. Camping at designated areas only. Trail signs are scarce. Current trail blazes limited. Even with recent rain, water was almost non-existent., even at the campsites. You need to plan on carrying all the water you think you will need. The only true views are at Snoopers Rock and Ransom Hollow. Snoopers Rock you can drive to and Ransom Hollow is less then a mile from the main gravel road. The views are good and worth driving to. Raccoon Mountain overlook was a waste. If you stand on top of a rock, you can barely see the river through the trees. Pot Point has NO views. It is a pile of dirt to mark the furthest point of the trail. You have to branch off the main trail and walk a short distance to it. A complete waste of energy. Natural Bridge was a rock you walked across. No views. It’s a rock. Mileage on maps are not accurate. My GPS put the loop at over a 13 mile walk. My trip: I hiked counter clockwise. From the trailhead to Hemlock Branch Campsite is about a mile. Basic campsite. I only saw one area for camping. I spent the night at McNabb Gulf Campsite. From the trailhead to the campsite was about 4 miles and took a little over four hours to walk. There were 3 campsites scattered over 100’. No flowing water, just some small pools in the rocks. Day 2 I continued counter clockwise. While I consider the whole trail as moderate, this was the hilliest portion. I was hoping to find a campsite that was not listed to stay at for my second night. This was not to be. From the McNabb campsite back to the trailhead was 9.25 miles on my GPS. And there was nothing to see till arriving at Snoopers Rock Overlook. From Snoopers to the trailhead was .4 miles. Since I was at my car I gave up on making this a 3 day trip and went home. If I was to do this area again I would park at Cumberland Trailhead and hike northeast to North Suck Creek Campsite.

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
25 days ago

The trail would be great if it wasn’t so overgrown. There were a lot of poison ivy which caused us to stop and turn around when it was unavoidable. Parts of the trail were blocked by down trees which we had to climb over or around. The trail has potential but needs some work in the spring.

4 months ago

we hiked into the Hemlock creek camping area Fri evening, then made the loop on Sat. it ended up being right at 15 miles, not the 12 as advertised. However it was enjoyable, Great views.

hiking
5 months ago

Moderate and nice sunny yet cool day. Few deer, woodpeckers and many bluebirds. I’ve been wanting to try this 12.38 Pot Point Loop Trail (from Snooper’s Rock parking area around pot point to Ransom Hollow to the Hemlock Branch campground. We saw no one and it took us 6 hrs 14 min with few overlook stops and such. It’s such a sneaky trail which makes it fun - at times going over creeks, through boulders, up ravines etc. a varied trail but was well blazed and had a few signs as well. A few trees downed on the trail here and there. Lots is scenic highlights - 3+ overlooks, natural bridge, creeks, hollows, hemlocks and other old deciduous trees. The prettiest and sweetest hollows were Bill McNabb Gulf but the prettiest campground was Hemlock Branch not far from the parking area. I should tell people this is not a nice trail so I can keep it for myself. Did the suck creek to Indian schoolhouse the weekend before. Love this area.

hiking
Monday, March 26, 2018

Was a great hike lots of pretty views. I would rate the hike more on the strenuous side rather than moderate. The loop could use some more paint on the trees but pretty easy to navigate. We found one beautiful waterfall. Well worth the visit!

backpacking
Saturday, November 04, 2017

Beautiful campsite at McNabb Gulf

camping
Friday, May 12, 2017

A friend and I hiked the Pot Point Loop over May 10-11, 2017. This was our first experience with the Cumberland Trail. We had a good time, despite the trail conditions. The view from Snoopers Rock is excellent. As the video shows, the view toward Racoon Mt. is obstructed by foliage spring - fall. There are many large trees fallen across the trail, and it's apparent that they've been down for a long time. The blazes are often sparse or missing altogether. We camped at McNabb and it was pleasant under a full moon and near the babbling brook. The next day, we missed the Ransom Hollow Overlook completely due to missing signage; bummer after hiking 10 miles. AllTrails.com rates this hike as moderately strenuous, which I think is a bit of an understatement. Pot Point Loop needs LOTS of care and work to bring it back from the grips of nature. A few more years of neglect and this trail will disappear.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Its great

hiking
Sunday, December 11, 2016

Nice hike with multiple overlooks, a natural bridge, and a small gorge section.  Moderately strenuous, but be prepared to bushwack around fallen trees and search for elusive blazes.  The trail might be more visible in summer,  but the winter views are hard to beat! This is in a Wildlife Management Area, and many weekends during hunting season the trails are closed for managed game hunts. Check the forest website before you go.  Also the access road is unpaved, so depending on conditions you may want to park at the first Cumberland Trail parking lot instead of going all the way to the Snooper's Rock lot.

hiking
Sunday, March 06, 2016

The trail was nice. Could use a little work in some areas to clean up some fallen trees, but overall it was relatively easy to traverse. According to the distance I ended with from starting at the parking area and map, going out to view the designated areas, making the whole loop, and finishing back where I started, I came up with the whole trail being almost 15 miles long instead of the 12 miles listed. Regardless, that's just something to keep in mind while out on the trails. Happy trailing!

hiking
Saturday, June 20, 2015

This could be a five star trail, but it needs come TLC. The highlights are 1. Snooper's Rock- Panoramic view of the Tennessee River. 2. Natural Bridge- Be sure to hike under the bridge to see it at its best. 3. McNabb Stream / Camp- Pretty woodland stream. 4. Ransom Hollow Overlook- Another great view of the Tennessee River. The Raccoon Overlook is mostly obstructed. It probably has a good view in the Winter. The trail from Natural Bridge (heading southeasterly) to the first crossing of Tower Rd. is overgrown and in need of maintenance. There are also many downed trees; however, these are easy to get around. Because of the overgrowth, it can be tricky to stay on the trail. You have to go slow and look for the white blazes to navigate this section of the trail. One particularly bad part has 5-6 ft. pine saplings growing in the trail. After a rain, these will soak you like a car wash. Also, the overgrowth kept my feet wet for most of the hike. I brought home a tick and some poison ivy from this experience. Once you cross Tower Rd., the trail is in good shape with very little overgrowth all the way to the parking area at the other end of Tower Rd. The "restroom" at the parking area is an old fashioned outhouse. Bring your own toilet paper! You will need to clear the spider webs before sitting down and doing business. I had not used an outhouse since 1970 and the garter snake encounter. Until the trail is improved, it is better as a Winter hike. This could be a 5 star hike with some basic trail maintenance.

trail running
Saturday, May 16, 2015

Trail runner...disappointed. The southeast third badly overgrown, little travelled. Little maintenance evident. Saw no one else( warm Saturday morn in May). Trees block view from the overlooks

hiking
Monday, April 01, 2013

This was a really awesome nature walk. Then for some reason whoever maintains the trail just closed the river-walk portion so now you either have to turn around or walk on the road.

hiking
24 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
Sunday, November 19, 2017

hiking
Saturday, August 27, 2016

hiking
Friday, February 05, 2016

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