• Cumberland Trails Conference Overlook

The Cumberland Trails Conference

Trailbuilders for the Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park

News Bulletin

TDEC Closes all 56 Tennessee State Parks
— Effective April 4

NASHVILLE –The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) today announced it will close all 56 Tennessee state parks and state-owned state natural areas to the public effective April 4 through April 14, in support of Gov. Bill Lee’s Executive Order 23.

This is a complete closure of facilities and access to all Tennessee State Parks and Designated State Natural Areas.

“We decided to close the parks in support of Governor Lee’s Executive Order 23,” TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said. “The health and safety of Tennessee citizens is all of our top priority right now.”

Tennessee State Parks officials will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit www.tnstateparks.com.

What is the Cumberland Trails Conference?

The mission of the Cumberland Trails Conference is to provide paid and volunteer labor, equipment, supplies and vehicles to design and construct the Cumberland Trail under the auspices of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

The continued development and construction of the Cumberland Trail is accomplished through a working relationship between the Cumberland Trails Conference (CTC), the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Park, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.  The CTC, private corporations, foundations, individuals, and others assist TDEC in raising funds for land acquisition, providing maintenance, and further developing the Cumberland Trail.

The Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail State Park operates a professional trail crew mostly in the north sections.

The Cumberland Trails Conference also maintains a professional trail crew that works twelve months a year.  Additional labor comes from thousands of hours of volunteer service provided through the CTC, including through the CTC BreakAway, a college Alternative Spring Break program.

CTC is a non-profit 501-(c)(3) membership organization.

About the Cumberland Trail

The Cumberland Trail is an ambitious hiking trail project under development in East Tennessee.  This extensive trail is being constructed and maintained largely by volunteers from Tennessee and across the nation. Efforts are organized and managed by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

Building the Cumberland Trail is a grassroots effort, driven by communities along the trail, government agencies, hiking clubs and a broad network of individuals. This successful private/public partnership is a model often cited to demonstrate the power of volunteerism and public/private partnerships.

When completed, the Cumberland Trail (CT) will extend more than 300 miles from its northern terminus in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Kentucky to its southern terminus at the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park located on Signal Mountain just outside Chattanooga, Tennessee.

As of November 2019 over 210 miles of the trail are open for hiking. And work continues. Another 17 miles are complete but not open. These sections are waiting for bridges, final parking arrangements, signage or official opening dates.

Estimated completion date for all trail segments on currently owned state land is late 2021.

Alternative Spring Break

CTC Breakaway

Crucial to the construction of the trail is the participation of college students.  The CTC is a host site for the national Alternative Spring Break program.  Since 1996 college students have constructed over fifty miles of trail or nearly 25% of the open trail.

Help us build the trail

Donate to CTC

The Cumberland Trail has been and continues to be constructed largely by volunteers from many walks of life. This volunteer construction effort is managed by the Cumberland Trails Conference (CTC), a non-profit organization supported by tax deductible donations from supporters like you.

Cumberland Trail Segments

The scenic footpath follows a line of high ridges and deep gorges along or near the rugged, eastern edge of Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau. The trail offers a unique wilderness experience and many scenic views, waterfalls, landscapes, gorges, wildlife, and widely varying flora. As a remote, back-country trail, it meanders through eleven Tennessee counties, on lands managed by Tennessee’s Departments of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), and Tennessee Forestry.

There are more than 50 trail heads for the 12 Segments and 28 Sections of the 210 open miles on the Cumberland Trail.

Below the map are links to these 12 segments with their trail sections.  Click on the  links to get maps to sections of each segment.