Tennessee’s hiking trails are a prime attraction to the most visited parks and provide numerous opportunities for environmental and cultural education. Located in an economically challenged region, the Cumberland Trail provides both recreation and viable economic opportunities to the communities of the Cumberland Plateau.
Still a work-in-progress, the Cumberland Trail passes through 11 Tennessee counties and numerous communities on the eastern escarpment of the Cumberland Plateau.
In addition to providing quality outdoor experiences and supporting tourism, the Cumberland Trail provides opportunities for conservation education and the protection of natural and cultural resources. The Trail brings watershed and view-shed protection, green-way corridors, and wildlife conservation to this rich ecological region.
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.
The CT is designed for hikers by hikers. The long-distance trail provides access to some of Tennessee’s most stunning landscapes: waterfalls, gorges, four bird and wildlife-rich Tennessee Wildlife Management Areas, a National Park Wild and Scenic Area, two State Parks, two protected State Natural Areas, and two National Parks. The CT is a foot traffic only hiking trail, designed and built to minimize the potential environmental impact on sensitive wildlife habitat, unique aquatic or terrestrial habitats, or endangered/threatened species. Designed as a sustainable single file back country-hiking trail, part of the Great Eastern Trail, the CT’s environmentally conscious footprint on the land provides the hiker with numerous picturesque waterfalls, scenic overlooks, and a wilderness experience rare in the eastern US. Due to its location in more remote areas of the Appalachians, the Great Eastern Trail will provide hikers with a more primitive backcountry experience, an alternative to the relatively crowded Appalachian Trail.