Cumberland Trail Conference, a Tennessee State Scenic Hiking Trail.

Cumberland Trail
Grassy Cove Segment

Click for PDF Description of Black Mountain Trail

Click for PDF Description of Brady Mountain Trail

Click for Detailed Nat Geo Explorer Topo Maps of Grassy Cove Trail

Photo by volunteer Jim McCullough
Some of the BreakAway '07 Student Volunteers
Take a Picture Break on Black Mountain Overlook

Black Mountain trail has been-re routed southwest of Windlass Cave, trailhead has moved from Cox Valley Road to TN Highway 68, 10/01/2013.  Check back for corrected maps.

Trailhead Directions:

Black Mountain Trailhead (south):
To reach the Black Mountain trailhead (south), take Hwy. 68 for 4.6 miles from the Hwy. 68/127 junction just east out of Crossville, TN. The trailhead is a large paved pull off on the right at the top of the rise. Park nearer to the telephone pole with the CT sign and white blaze (where the van is in the picture).

Photo contributed by volunteer Don Deakins

The Black Mountain trailhead can also be reached from I-40 at exit 329 and following Battown Road south.

Map contributed by Trail Volunteer Don Deakins

GPS Readings For Important Points:
LocationGPS Waypoint in WGS 84 format
I-40 exit to Crab OrchardN35 54.310 W84 52.590
Highway 68 and Cox Valley Road intersectionN35 52.510 W84 55.960
Cox Valley Rd and Haley Cove Rd intersectionN35 54.430 W84 53.590
Haley Cove Rd and Battown Rd intersectionN35 53.765 W84 53.084
Battown Rd and Black Mtn Rd intersectionN35 53.250 W84 53.360
Black Mtn Loop Trail ParkingN35 52.092 W84 53.254
CampsiteN35 51.864 W84 53.897
Windless CaveN35 52.106 W84 54.534
Foot path connects to ATV trailN35 51.943 W84 54.506
Cox Valley Rd TrailheadN35 52.754 W84 55.742
Cox Valley Rd ParkingN35 52.895 W84 55.680
Cox Valley Rd, Highway 70 IntersectionN35 54.580 W84 53.480
Brady Mountain TrailheadN35 52.179 W84 55.752
Spur to Brady Bluff OverlookN35 50.794 W84 56.747
Brady Bluff OverlookN35 50.717 W84 56.665
Brady Mtn ArchN35 50.585 W84 57.017
Airplane Crash SiteN35 50.615 W84 57.087
Spur to Lost OverlookN35 50.020 W84 58.036
Lost OverlookN35 50.003 W84 58.007
Spur to Donnelly OverlookN35 48.625 W84 58.861
Donnelly OverlookN35 48.601 W84 58.805
Jewett Rd TrailheadN35 47.550 W84 58.587
Jewett Rd, Highway 68 IntersectionN35 46.150 W84 52.550
Photo contributed by volunteer Don Deakins

Brady Mountain Trailhead:
To reach the Brady Mountain trailhead, take Hwy. 68 for 4.6 miles from the Hwy. 68/127 junction just east out of Crossville, TN. The trailhead is a large paved pull off on the right at the top of the rise. Parking is plentiful and the trail comes out on an old roadbed. Shuttle to the south trailhead by continuing on Hwy. 68 east through Grassy Cove 8.4 miles to a right on Jewett Road.

Take Jewett Road 6.6 miles to the access the Jewett Road trail crossing.  The trail crossing is easy to miss, so study the picture below carefully.  There is no constructed trailhead parking area, only a wide spot in the road.  There is parking directly across the road from the trailhead that is large enough for 1 average size car or maybe two small cars.  There is another wide spot in the road about 200 feet past the trailhead that is large enough for 2 or 3 cars.  This trailhead and section of trail are on private property.

Map contributed by Trail Volunteer Don Deakins

Photo contributed by volunteer Don Deakins

Hike description Black Mountain (north to south):

Black Mountain trailhead to TN Highway 68 trailhead: 4 miles: easy (difficult if you hike uphill, south to north)

From the trailhead parking area, on top of Black Mountain follow the paved path to the Cumberland Trail intersection, the Cumberland Trail has a white 2x6 blaze on trees to mark the trail. Take a right to hike the Cumberland Trail and come to the spring house.

Photo contributed by volunteer Don Deakins
Springhouse on Black Mountain

At the spring house, take a right going up the steps, passing the trail kiosks, and climbing to the crest of Black Mountain.

At the top of the slope, a side trail to the left takes hikers out to a spectacular overlook of Grassy Cove. The CT continues to the right. The trail gently follows the top of the mountain and turns to the left through a rock gateway down through the bluffs. In the winter months, watch for ice here. Upon descending, the hiker finds oneself among rising narrow bluffs with numerous passageways. Exit the bluffs and continue 0.5 miles over recovered fields and down to the campsite.

Map contributed by Trail Volunteer Don Deakins

At the campsite, the trail goes left around the campsite down the west slope of Black Mountain. Many wonderful flowers can be viewed in the spring time in this mainly hardwood forested slope.

After descending Black Mountain, the trail rejoins an old roadbed and turns right onto the road. This road will take the hiker to the opening of Windless Cave (GPS: N35 52.106 W84 54.534).

Photo contributed by volunteer Don Deakins

The cave is the official end of this section of the Cumberland Trail at this time.

Unofficially, after the cave, the old trail route took the hiker on ATV roads out to the Cox Valley road walk and onto Hwy 68 trailhead. This is private property and the property has been sold since the original verbal agreement was obtained to use this road as a trail. The new property owners have not been contacted for permission to walk this road. However, many hikers still hike this ATV road out to Cox Valley road. Old blazing is still visible to guide the hiker out to Cox Valley Road. At Cox Valley Road turn left to Hwy 68.

The Private Road From Windless Cave
to Cox Valley Road


You are REQUIRED to register to camp after sunset on Black Mountain. There is no fee. The information you provide will help us to provide security and also to determine if there is a need to expand the camping area and provide designated campsites in order to enhance your hiking and camping experience. As people discover this spectacular area, public use is increasing rapidly.

To register your group on-line, please complete the ONLINE BLACK MOUNTAIN CAMPSITE REGISTRATION FORM. You will automatically be emailed a copy of your submission for your records. A confirmation code will be supplied upon submission of the online form. Please be prepared to supply this confirmation code to the Park Ranger if asked.

To register your group by phone, please call 423-566-2229 and give this information on the phone. Almost all cellular phones will reach in this area.

Brady Mountain Trail:

Length: 7.8 miles: moderate (Starting at Jewett Road trailhead makes for a much easier hike)

This portion of the Grassy Cove Segment covers 7.8 miles along the ridges of Brady Mountain. From the Jewett Road trailhead, ascend 0.5 miles up to the gap and a road between Brady's Dorton Knob to the west and Bear Den Mountain to the east. Cross the road and join the trail moving off through the woods to the left to soon rejoin a logging road which then rises to the ridge top of Brady Mountain. Turning north, the trail follows the ridge, alternating between wide sweeping forests to narrow spiny ridges.

Map contributed by Trail Volunteer Don Deakins

Soon you will see a spur trail, yellow blazes, moving off to the right 100 yards to an overlook offering spectacular views of the south end of Grassy Cove, Bear Den to the east, and Dorton Knob, at 2,980 feet, the tallest point of Brady, to the south. You are 1.6 miles from the trailhead. Rejoin the trail and continue to ascend along the crest over the second highest point on Brady at 2,920 Feet. An additional 1.8 miles brings you to an additional spur trail with views of the Grassy Cove below, Black Mountain to the north, and the Smoky Mountains to the east. This side trail is often difficult to locate and is approximately 100 yards past a road junction on the right -- look for the yellow blazes and small stacks of stones marking the entrance.

Rejoining the main trail, over the next 1.8 miles you will pass interesting stacked rock formations before reaching a large overhanging rock shelter offering dry shelter for the hiker. Soon the trail begins a steep descent off the north end of Brady and in 1 mile rejoins a roadbed at Lowe's Gap. Follow the road 1 mile to the Hwy. 68 trailhead.

If you wish to continue and hike the entire Grassy Cove Segment, you can reach the Black Mountain Trailhead by following the powerlines along Hwy. 68 west 0.3 miles to a right on Cox Valley Road and 0.4 miles to the trailhead on the right.

Hiking the Black Mtn. Loop of the CT's Grassy Cove Segment:

Black Mtn. Loop length: 1.7 miles with overlooks: easy

This 1.7 mile recently constructed loop provides an easy hike around the top of the Black Mtn. Recreation Area with access to two overlooks, and passage for the Cumberland Trail. Traditionally, many visitors make the short jaunt to the Black Mtn. Southern Overlook, considered to be the best view of the Cumberland Plateau and the Tennessee Ridge and Valley system beyond, but consider taking a bit of time to hike the Black Mtn. Loop Trail.

Map contributed by volunteers Don Deakins and Caroline Woerner

To hike the loop begin at the Black Mtn. Parking Facility and walk the paved ADA connector trail 700 feet back across the road and on to the Spring House. At the Spring House quickly pick up the Black Mtn. Loop Trail and Cumberland Trail up the stairs on your right and hike 0.2 miles to a left turn leading to the Black Mtn. Southern Overlook. On a crisp day the hiker will see White's Creek breaking through the Plateau on your left, Watts Bar Lake just beyond the Plateau, and the Smoky Mountains rising in the background. At your feet lies Little Cove with Grassy Cove, ringed by Brady and Bear Den Mountains to your far right.

Photo contributed by volunteer Don Deakins

Now retrace your steps to the main trail and take a left. In just another 0.2 miles you will reach the steps leading down and out for the Cumberland Trail, just continue to the right and another .4 miles brings you to the Black Mtn. North Overlook containing glimpses of the Crab Orchard Valley, with the best views found in the winter months. Retrace your steps and continue on the loop 0.5 miles back to the springhouse through an oak-hickory forest.

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Cumberland Trail Conference
409 Thurman Ave, Suite 102
Crossville, TN 38555
(931) 456-6259