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House Mountain >>
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House Mountain is a 500-acre natural area located in Knox County approximately eight miles from Knoxville. The 2,100-foot crest of House Mountain provides significant vistas where visitors may view the parallel ranges of the Unakas and Cumberlands 30 miles away or look northeast at the adjacent Clinch Mountain and across the valley where the Trail of the Lonesome Pine may some day lead north into Virginia.
There are 3 hiking trails on House Mountain and 2 short loops.
The steep slopes of House Mountain are heavily wooded and possess a unique combination of scenic views, rock outcrops, and a variety of bird and plant life. This is a rare combination of scenic and ecological values near a metropolitan area. Great sandstone boulders, encrusted with lichens, crown the western rim where rock outcropping support chestnut oak and Virginia, pitch, and table mountain pine. Mountain laurel, huckleberry, partridgeberry, trailing arbutus, and other flowering plants adapted to dry sandstone outcropping are found along the crest. A chestnut oak forest extends down slope where at lower elevations soil conditions associated with limestone, moister deeper soils, and north-facing slopes support a forest of sugar maple, tulip poplar, ash, buckeye, and other mesophytic species. This moister habitat favors the greatest density and diversity of spring wildflowers.
House Mountain is a favorite place for birdwatchers. Migrating hawks and warblers can be observed from the mountain. Ruffed grouse, pileated woodpeckers, scarlet tanagers, wild turkeys, and more than one hundred additional species of birds have been observed on the mountain.
DIRECTIONS: From Knoxville, Tennessee, take I-40 East. Exit on U.S. Highway 11W (Rutledge Pike) and go north and east on Rutledge Pike. After about 10 miles, look for the “House Mountain State Park” sign on the right side of the highway and then turn left on Idumea Road. Turn left on Hogskin Road. The parking area is less than a mile on the right.
Source: Knox County Parks & Recreation
The Arboretum is a project of the University of Tennessee Forest Resources Research and Education Center. It has more than 30,000 visitors annually. This 250 acre research and education facility has over 2,500 native and exotic woody plant specimens that represent 800 species, varieties, and cultivars.
Norris Dam Hiking Trails
Many miles of woodland trails meander throughout the park and adjacent lands, providing spectacular views of Norris Lake and its surrounding hills and valleys. Hiking trails are open year round.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park:
• Abrams Falls Trail is an easy, 5 mile relatively flat trail leading to the 20-foot high Abrams Falls which spills into a scenic pool. The trail begins at the Abrams Falls parking lot at the west end of Cades Cove Loop Road. Elevation gain is 340 feet. More Information
Ace Gap, located in Cades Cove, is a 5-mile trail and is one of the most peaceful trails in the National Park.
• Alum Cave Bluffs Trail (11 miles) starts off easy but become difficult. The first 1.5 miles takes you through Arch Rock's erosion-created tunnel. The next 0.8 mile is steeper and leads to Alum Cave Bluffs which is a 100-foot high cliff. This last half of the trail is steep and, at times, hikers must grip trailside cables to traverse cliffs. The trail begins at the Alum Cave Bluffs parking area at Newfound Gap Road between Newfound Gap and Chimney Tops
• Anthony Creek Trail starts at the beginning of the Cades Cove in the picnic area and goes three and a half miles up Bote Mountain for a 3000 altitude gain. Hikers should anticipate the need for water as this can be a strenuous hike. Despite the difficulty of the hike, Smokies visitors using the Anthony Creek trail enjoy beautiful scenery as well as wonderful views from Spence Field and Rocky Top, both locations being important in Cades Cove history.
• Beard Cane Trail is one of a few relatively flat trails in Cades Cove and for that reason it is wonderfully suitable for an walk in the woods.
• Boulevard Trail (16 miles) is the easiest of the five trails to Mount LeConte's summit. However, many people still consider it strenuous. Take the Appalachian Trail from Newfound Gap to Boulevard Trail. Elevation gain is 1,545 feet.
• Cane Creek Trail is one of the easiest Cades Cove trails to get to but involves hiking part way up the Cooper Road Trail to get there. The Cane Creek hike is only two miles long and goes through the Cane Creek bottoms (lowlands).
• Chimney Tops Trail (4 miles) is a somewhat strenuous trail that winds through virgin forest to the Chimney tops pinnacles. It starts at the Chimney tops trailhead, located on Newfound Gap Road. Elevation gain is 1,335 feet.
• Crib Gap trail is a horse track that may also be used by people who want a short hike in Cades Cove. The trail begins on the left side of the Cades Cove Picnic ground and ends as it crosses the Turkeypen Ridge Trail, approximately one and a half miles away. The beginning of Crib Gap trail follows Anthony Creek.
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