The Laurel-Snow Section contains an area of gorges deeply cut into Walden Ridge of the Cumberland Plateau by Morgan, Henderson, Laurel, and Richland Creeks. The site is named after two scenic waterfalls, Laurel Falls (80 feet) and Snow Falls (35 feet). The area features scenic creeks, steep gorges, geologic features, a small stand of virgin timber, and a wide variety of plants and animals.
In addition to a fascinating day hike, this section is great for setting up a base camp at Mile 1.8 and hiking to Laurel Falls one day and to Snow Falls the other. This trail system currently only includes a short portion of the main Cumberland Trail, which is the trail to the 150-foot bridge. When this segment is finished, the trails to Laurel Falls and Snow Falls will be spur trails off the CT, but well worth visiting.
This trail system is a legacy of the area’s earlier incarnations as the Richland Mine and Bowater property. The trail begins on the old railbed used for hauling coal out of the valley. Later, Bowater, a woodlands and paper company, set aside the area as a “pocket” wilderness and constructed the trails. When Bowater divested itself of most lands in Tennessee, the state acquired the land, a designated state natural area.