We went to hike on the Black Mountain trail near Crab Orchard, TN.
Despite going out and spending several hours in the woods Saturday, the 16th, at Haw Ridge Park, we decided to venture out farther from home to explore more trails today, the 17th of April. The drive took maybe about an hour and a half, even with the 20 extra minutes or so we had to sit in stop-and-go traffic due to construction near Kingston.
Once we pulled off the highway, it was a fun, windy road to get to the parking lot where the trailhead was located. I felt like I could have been in a go-kart with the way that the turns were, even though we were only going like 20 to 25 miles per hour. So fun!
We made it to the parking lot, gathered our gear and off we went to the trailhead. Since the trees were barely starting to bloom, there wasn’t much color. Lots of brown with the occasional pink, purple, or red from flower buds. Even still, it was gorgeous!
Maybe half a mile into the hike, we made it to the overlook. I was expecting it to be much further in… maybe there’s another trailhead way, way down towards the bottom of Black Mountain that would allow us to climb all the way up to it. That’d be fun! Regardless of the short hike to the overlook, it was fantastic! You could see out for a long, long ways! See the picture below.
The rock formations were incredible. After spending a few minutes there on the rocks checking out the overlook at Black Mountain, we continued on the trail and wandered down the “Main Trail” which put us on the Cumberland Trail system. That was pretty neat to be hiking on such a large project where they’re working on making trails connect from Kentucky to near Chattanooga. So cool!
We only hiked a few miles there, because the initial hike down was nearly all downhill trail, we didn’t want to go too far and have the wife suffer on the uphill. Once we did turn around, the next mile and a half were nearly all uphill on winding switchbacks. I think a mountain bike would have been an awesome time on the trails there. It was fun to hike, but I think a mountain bike would be even more fun!
Once we finished hiking there, we ate some food and headed on to Ozone Falls which was only a few miles away. The Ozone Falls area is actually a proposed connection for the Cumberland Trail system to connect to Black Mountain.
Ozone Falls was incredible. It was literally like 500 feet off the highway and it was gorgeous. Lots of people in the water playing, both at the top of the waterfall and at the bottom. We spent a little while up at the top of the waterfall and we put our feet in the water. The water was chilly, but not bad. I definitely want to go swim next time! After a few minutes at the top, we climbed down to the bottom where people were swimming, where people were basically dancing underneath the mist from the waterfall. It was gorgeous. I could have spent all day there… and who knows, maybe soon we’ll go back and spend all day there. Relaxing by the waterfall. There wasn’t much notice of noise from the highway either, just the roar of the waterfall and the people laughing and having a good time. That’s what it’s all about.
We had an awesome day hiking around at Black Mountain and at Ozone Falls. There were even little caves at Ozone Falls as you climbed down towards the bottom of the falls. Naturally, I climbed in one and asked for my picture to be taken. In this picture, I’m trying to hold the rock up. Because I can! Such a fun day!