Cumberland Trail Conference, a Tennessee State Scenic Hiking Trail.


Cumberland Trail
Obed Wild and Scenic River Segment

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Hike Description Obed Wild and Scenic River Segment (north to south)

This segment, with 14.2 miles of trailhead-to-trailhead core corridor constructed, will lead the hiker over some of the most rugged terrain in Tennessee.  You'll find excellent stone-step work on several portions of this segment.  At present, this trail begins at the Nemo trailhead and incorporates the Obed's 2.5 mile Nemo Trail.  The trail then extends an additional 10.5 miles to the Devil's Breakfast Trailhead, providing the hiker with a challenging and exhilarating thru-hike.  Planning is currently underway to add another 4.0 miles in the future.

Nemo Bridge Trail: This portion of the Obed W.S.R. Segment, within the Obed and Emory River gorges, incorporates the Obed's 2.5mile Nemo Trail and an additional 2.5 mile segment built by the Cumberland Trail Conference, Tennessee Trails Association, and Breakaway Volunteers, giving a total one-way distance of 5.0 miles. The initial 2.5 miles is rated moderate, and the final 2.5 miles strenuous, as you find yourself hiking down into the Obed basin. From the Nemo Trailhead the hiker is exposed to rising bluffs and glimpses of the Emory and Obed Rivers. As you rise to the top of the gorge among a dryer forest of oak and hickory, you will soon walk on the tailings of an old strip mine, indicative of the history of the Cumberland Mountains. Notice and explore the pools of water tapped by these old tailing piles---what aquatic creatures have benefited from these pools? At 2.5 miles the trail continues on across old Alley Ford Road and continues 1.5 miles into and out of the Obed Gorge to the rewarding Break Bluff, a dramatic overlook of the Obed Gorge. On your way to the bluff notice and give thanks to the trail builders' talent, particularly when you reach the door, a 40-foot drop from the bluff into the Obed Gorge below. The next 1.0 miles follows the bluff.

Devil's Breakfast Table Trail: This portion of the Obed W.S.R. Segment, built by Morgan County Regional Correctional Facility and CTC volunteers, covers 8.0 miles one-way and currently terminates deep inside Catoosa W.M.A. at the end of the abandoned dinky rail line.  From the Devil's Breakfast Table Trailhead, the trail winds on the right side of the road for 0.2 miles before crossing the road and dipping down below the bluff.  You now find yourself in Daddy's Creek gorge, rich with rhododendron, and for the next mile you will walk under sheer bluffs and among the rock steps laid down by the trail builders.  Once again, the given name "a trail of a thousand steps" becomes apparent here.  At 1.2 miles you will rise out of the canyon through an Appalachian cove forest overlooking a ninety-foot sheer bluff cut by a cascading stream.  Cross the stream and proceed a short distance to the aptly-named Blueberry Bluff side trail, with views of Daddy's gorge.  Return to the main trail and continue north 0.75 miles a side trail to Morgan's Overlook, offering views of Daddy's to the north. Rejoin the main trail and travel 0.4 miles to the Rain House, so named for the shelter it offered the builders of this trail on many a day.  Then the trail works down in the gorge of Daddy's Creek as it winds its way steadily north to join the Obed River and connect in with the Nemo Bridge Trail.

Trail Closure Information

The Obed WSR Segment is CLOSED in Catoosa WMA during Big Game Hunts and During February and March.  A 2.6 Mile portion of the Nemo Bridge Trail, within Obed WSR and terminating at Alley Ford, is open year round.  Call Catoosa WMA 1-800-262-6704 or Obed WSR 1-423-346-6294 for current closures.

Directions to Trailheads

1.) To reach this trailhead take I-40 to exit 322 Peavine Road and head north 1.8 miles to a left on Firetower Road.  Take Firetower Road 14.7 miles to Daddy's Creek and the Devil's Breakfast Table parking area across the bridge on the right. Park and walk NE 40 yards on the road to the trailhead.

2.) To reach the Nemo Trailhead, take I-40 to exit 347 and go north on Hwy. 27 to Wartburg.  Follow the signs in downtown Wartburg to the Nemo/Catoosa Rd., and travel 7 miles to the Obed W.S.R. bridge crossing, cross and take the first right down into the Rock Creek Camp Area and the Nemo Trailhead.

                                           Click for PDF Description of Obed Wild and Scenic River Trail

"Maps contributed by volunteers Don Deakins and Tom Dunigan"
The following detailed topographic maps of the trail were created using TOPO! 2009 National Geographic found at National Geographic Topo Explorer.

Click HERE for a topographical map of the constructed trail in the
Obed Wild and Scenic River Segment


CTC - Obed Wild Scenic River Trail

CTC - Obed Wild Scenic River Trail


CTC - Obed Wild Scenic River Trail

CTC - Obed Wild Scenic River Trail
Overall Map of Obed Wild Scenic River Segment of the Cumberland Trail

Obed Wild Scenic River Segment of Cumberland Trail

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Send email to cumberlandtrail@rocketmail.com

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