GRASSY COVE SEGMENT
BRADY MOUNTAIN SECTION
SPECIAL NOTE: As Of 2017 this Section is Out and Back Only from RT 68.
The trail no longer connects with Jewett Road owing to lack of easements over private land. Plan your hike accordingly.
The following description is being edited to reflect this change. – Editor
Distance: 6.6 miles one way. Trail is described north to south.
Difficulty: Moderately strenuous
Elevation Change: 800 feet
Cautions: Some rocky steep sections; cumulative elevation change of 2000 feet.
Water Source: N35° 49′ 5.664″ W84° 58′ 36.948″
Topographic Map: Grassy Cove Quadrangle
Trailhead: Brady Mountain at Route 68. (El. 1,816′ N35 52.188 W84 55.753)
Connection to Black Mountain Section: at Brady Mountain Trailhead
End of Trail: N35° 48.158′ W84° 59.031′
Time Zone: Be aware this CT Section is in Central Time
The Brady Mountain Section includes a beautiful ridge-line hike with a panoramic lookout over Grassy Cove at Brady Bluff Overlook. Much of the trail follows old logging and Jeep roads. It also crosses several old roadbeds that are not to be followed.
Trailhead: This is now an out and back hike only.
Brady Mountain Trailhead: Take TN 68 for 4.6 miles from the Highway 68/127 junction just east of Crossville, Tennessee. The trailhead is a large paved pull-off on the right at the top of the rise above Grassy Cove. Brady Mountain Trailhead serves as the southern terminus for the Black Mountain Section and the northern terminus for the Brady Mountain Section.
North to South Description: (editing review in progress 12/2018)
Mile 0.0 Enter the trail from the south side of the road parking area. Brady Mountain Trailhead (N35 52.188 W84 55.753) Kiosk is at the left end of the parking area. Head right and uphill from the kiosk and after 0.6 miles bear left at an obvious junction. Here an an ATV road comes in from the right and joins the trail. Be sure on the return trip to bear right and avoid this road that will be on the left when returning. The trail continues to rise but the grade lessens now. Reach a high point at 0.9 miles and then descend 0.2 miles to Low Gap
Mile 1.1 Low Gap (N35 51.629 W84 56.419, elevation 2135 feet). Another ATV road crosses at Low Gap. The trail changes to single-track almost straight across the ATV road, but slightly to the left. Look up and notice the trail blazes on the trail that switchbacks up and to the left. The trail climbs steeply again on smooth footing. At mile 1.9 reach a steep climb to a large rock formation. Climb to the rock formation and the trail levels somewhat along the top of a ridge line.
Mile 2.3 Arrive at a sign labelled “Overlook” with a left – pointing arrow. This may be the most underrated trail sign in the history of signage. Take the spur trail left and down for 0.1 miles. Brady Bluff Overlook (N35 50.716 W84 56.668′, elevation 2624 feet) provides a 180 degree panoramic view of Grassy Cove about 1000 feet below. The overlook is atop a rock pillar approximately 250 tall and provides a semicircular “balcony” from which to view the cove and surrounding peaks. This surely ranks as one of the best, if not the best, overlooks on the Cumberland Trail. The panorama below doesn’t scratch the surface of the beauty of the view. Return 0.1 miles back up to the Overlook sign. Leave the Overlook sign and continue South (left) on the single path trail.
Grassy Cove From Brady Bluff (Stephens)
Mile 2.7 Come to Brady Mountain Arch (N35 50.569 W84 57.069) 2.7 miles and 2617 feet elevation. Note that this mileage does not include the 0.2 mile round trip to Brady Bluff Overlook.This is short, square, window shaped arch with large surrounding boulders. Leave the arch and the trail begins a slight ascent.
Mile 4.0 Spur trail on left (N35 50.019 W84 58.041) to Lost Overlook (N35 50.003 W84 58.007). The short spur leads to an obstructed view of Grassy Cove. Return to trail turn South (left) and begin ascending. The trail now changes to an overgrown double-track path.
Mile 4.6 Reach the peak of Brady Mountain (N35 49.604 W84 58.256, elevation 2923 feet). There is no sign or marker on the summit. Continue on the trail and begin descending.
Mile 5.9 Reach an unmarked spur trail on left (N35 48.625 W84 58.861). This spur trail is about 0.1 mile and leads to Donnelly’s Window (N35 48.601 W84 58.805 elevation 2796 feet). This also provides an obscured view of Grassy cove. Return to the main trail and continue descending South (left).
Mile 6.6 Reach a “TEE” junction with an ATV road. The tree straight ahead across the TEE has a triple blaze. The tree is at coordinates (N35° 48.158′ W84° 59.031′). The trail previously turned left here and descended steeply. This is the current End of Trail. Turn around here and retrace your steps back to the trail head.
There is no END OF TRAIL sign. Hikers should make return hike from Mile 6.6.
North to South rewrite ends here for now. Work in progress converting South to North description to North to South.
2018 Description courtesy of Gary Stephens