Hiking in and around Cocke County, Tennessee, can be adventurous, spectacular and even relaxing. Depending upon your experience and desired sights, you may want to hike to explore Wolf Creek Falls, Forney Ridge Trail or Mt. Cammerer Trails.
Wolf Creek Falls offers the most serene view of local waterfalls. The falls are accessible either off Hwy 25/70 or via Hwy 40 at exit 107. They are located on the outskirts of Del Rio/Harmony Grove in the Cherokee National Forest. The hike is approximately 6 miles round trip with level terrains and steep inclines. Hikers will enjoy crossing four rivers and potential spotting of snakes, raccoons and the occasional black bear. Wolf Creek offers a graveled parking lot but visitors beware that if there have been severe rains, they may wish to visit with a high ground clearance vehicle due to muddy areas and pot holes leading to the parking area. Be ready to be wowed not only by the hiking trails but also the scenery along the way.
If waterfalls are not your ideal hiking destination, and you are more like me and prefer the easy trails, then I am sure you will enjoy the Forney Ridge Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains. This trail is more family friendly with a breathtaking view of the Southern area of the Great Smokey Mountains. The beginning of the trail is located in the parking lot of Clingmans Dome. Pack a lunch and enjoy it along this 3.5 mile roundtrip hike. While the actual trail is a short hike, there is plenty of open space during the hike to not only enjoy your lunch but to also enjoy a friendly game of Frisbee or a relaxing stretch while you take in the beautiful wildflowers. First time hikers may find this one of the more preferred trails as the elevation gradually increases 900ft.
If you are an experienced hiker accustomed to rough terrains than I am sure that you would much rather hike the 2500ft climb to Mt. Cammerer Trails beginning and ending in Cosby, TN. The trail will take the avid hiker on a journey of a lifetime before ending with a climb up a tower to enjoy a 360 degree view sure to please even the most experienced. While many would love to see the end result, few make the 12 mile round trip hike. According to locals in the area, hikers will certainly want to be prepared with extra water and snacks for their journey.
While hiking may not be for everyone, there is sure a trail for all. Make the most of a visit to East Tennessee by enjoying nature and wildlife at its best.