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Off the Beaten Path: Lesser-Known Hiking Trails in Tennessee

When it comes to hiking, Tennessee offers a plethora of options for outdoor enthusiasts. While popular trails like the Appalachian Trail and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park attract a large number of visitors, there are also hidden gems waiting to be discovered. In this article, we will explore some of the lesser-known hiking trails in Tennessee that are off the beaten path.

One such trail is the Fiery Gizzard Trail, located in South Cumberland State Park. This 12.5-mile trail is known for its rugged beauty and challenging terrain. Hikers will be rewarded with stunning views of waterfalls, cascades, and rock formations along the way. The trail also passes through the Grundy Forest Natural Area, where hikers can marvel at the ancient hemlock trees that have stood for centuries.

Another hidden gem is the Virgin Falls Trail, located in the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness. This 9.3-mile trail takes hikers on a journey through lush forests, across streams, and past scenic overlooks. The highlight of the trail is the breathtaking Virgin Falls, a 110-foot waterfall that cascades into a cave-like opening before disappearing underground. This hidden treasure is truly a sight to behold.

For those seeking a shorter hike, the Walls of Jericho Trail is a perfect choice. This 6.6-mile trail leads hikers to a natural amphitheater surrounded by towering cliffs and a picturesque waterfall. The trail is named after the biblical story of the walls that came tumbling down, and the awe-inspiring beauty of this natural wonder will surely leave visitors speechless.

If you’re looking for a unique hiking experience, the Lost Creek Cave Trail is not to be missed. This 4.1-mile trail takes hikers through a scenic forest before descending into a cave. Inside the cave, visitors will find a labyrinth of passages and underground streams, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. It’s a thrilling adventure for those who are willing to explore the unknown.

For a taste of history, the Cumberland Trail offers hikers a chance to step back in time. This 282-mile trail follows the path of the Cumberland Plateau, passing through historic sites and offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Hikers can explore remnants of old coal mines, Civil War battlefields, and even an abandoned railway tunnel. The Cumberland Trail is a journey through both nature and history.

These are just a few examples of the lesser-known hiking trails that Tennessee has to offer. Whether you’re seeking a challenging adventure or a peaceful retreat, there is a trail for everyone. So, why not step off the beaten path and discover the hidden treasures that await in the great outdoors of Tennessee? Lace up your hiking boots, pack your backpack, and embark on an unforgettable adventure.