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  1. #1
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    Default Cumberland Trail Info

    Hi! I am looking for good Cumberland Trail Maps as well as general info on the trail itself! (Thinking of a Thru-hike on the Cumberland in the next year or two!) THANKS, in advance!

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    I am also looking for the same info - no GUTHOOKS for this trail.
    Only info I can find is:

    https://www.cumberlandtrail.org/
    https://tnstateparks.com/parks/cumberland-trail
    https://rootsrated.com/stories/an-in...mberland-trail

    No really detailed maps or info about good camping, resupply eyc.

  3. #3
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    No really detailed maps or info about good camping, resupply eyc.


    yeah.....i dont think anyone has compiled that info on this trail....

    for some reason, i recall paper maps beiing sold at places in knoxville but i could be wrong on that...

  4. #4
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    interactive map with the info you seek including campsite signups.

    https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/v...3.7525,36.4734

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    Some additional links:

    http://www.friendsofthecumberlandtrail.org/
    http://www.cumberlandtrail.guide/

    The first link of Mogster's reply (https://www.cumberlandtrail.org/) has a nice breakdown by section - landmarks to the tenth of a mile, simplified/stylized maps that are easy to read, details on camping, water supply, trailhead parking, etc. One can definitely find more detailed maps (e.g., USGS topo maps, higher resolution, etc), and in some poorly marked/poorly maintained sections, that may be the only means to find your way. Most sections get (just) enough traffic and have just enough blazing that it's not an issue and the stylized maps suffice. But there are exceptions, such as (IMO) the 14.2 mile Obed Wild & Scenic River section.

    You mentioned thru-hiking. It bears noting that the Cumberland Trail is incomplete & discontinuous in spots, so some road walks will be required.

    The Cumberland Trail is part of a larger trail system known as the Great Eastern Trail. "Someday Jo" and "Hillbilly Bart" completed a Great Eastern Trail thruhike several years ago, and documented their travels - including the CT - on their website, which is still up:

    http://www.gethiking.net/

    You may find it particularly helpful.

    I believe there was a hiker here on WB who did a solo thruhike of it a few years back, I believe part of a GET effort as well. A forum search may help you find them if you wish to send a PM and request info. And one of the CT websites has a list of CT thru hikers on it. I believe you not only have to certify and document your hike dates and trail conditions, but put in 10 hrs of volunteer time to be so recognized with the online list.

    https://www.cumberlandtrail.org/get-...0-miler-award/

  6. #6

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    Not only is the CT incomplete, but maintenance is nonexistent and some parts are so overgrown as to be impossible to navigate and should be closed. It’s an extremely frustrating trail to hike. It passes through different land management areas with differing rules. You also have to work around hunting schedules...some parts are closed altogether during certain times and you have to research each section individually. Sorry to be Debbie Downer.

    edit to add...

    The CT website is not kept updated and I have found inconsistencies with the section information.

  7. #7
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    +1 on TJ's post. The State's glossy tourist info brochures leave a few things out.
    Sleep on the ground, rise with the sun and hike with the wind....

  8. #8

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    +2 on TJ's post. I've been incorrectly off trail more on the CT than anywhere else on thousands of miles of blazed trails. Some sections, I spent more time trying to find my way back to the marked trail than I spent actually on it. Allow a lot of extra time in addition to what you expect it to take.

    Whoever marked and maintains these trails has never hiked with leaves down or hiked at night. Beware, if you hike much of this system, you will end up hiking at night trying to find your way.

    John

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    TJ, Cleaner, and John - I hope you all have expressed to the CT offices your concerns about the trail. IDK if they monitor these forums to see the kind of lousy reputation they are getting, but somehow they need to know that their stated goals for the trail aren't being met. New trail is being built, efforts at acquiring easements and right of way are still going on ... newly-built trail is indeed nice, but old trail is neglected. That, when added to other shortcomings (trailhead access and parking, camping prohibitions, un-filterable water, traversing hunting areas) - make it unappealing for many. I suppose some wanting a great challenge will find it a true wilderness experience.

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    The CT just opened a new section from Peavine Road (near Fairfield Glade, TN) to Devil's Breakfast Table--at least according to the CT Conference August newsletter... no updates on the website otherwise. The section is also now included on the cumberlandtrail.guide map as well.

    We went out and did this new section yesterday--it clocks in at 7.5mi from Peavine Rd to the gravel road at Devil's Breakfast Table. It's clear, obvious, well-marked, and very beautiful. There is one marked overlook into the Daddy's Creek gorge, although it did appear that 2 spur trails (unmarked) also went to overlooks. The stone steps leading down to Devil's Breakfast Table must have been back-breaking work, but they are a definite highlight.

    There is a campsite at around 3.5mi right along the river's edge. It is well-cleared, with a nicely built fire ring and even a pile of wood waiting for the first visitors.

    With this section, the Daddy's Creek section to the south, and the Obed section to the north you now have around 26-27 continuous miles of CT trail right in this area. I know the Obed section has been notoriously lacking in maintenance--has anyone done it recently to verify?

    At the very least, this new section is well worth the visit and I hope it stays as nice as it is right now.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the report, fathergup! That sounds nice. The Soak Creek Trail part of the Stinging Fork Falls Section is also pretty new and well-done.

    I've done some of Obed this year - from Nemo Bridge Area - and IMO it's still unsuitable for hiking, they should close it.

    From Nemo Bridge to Alley Ford junction is fine and good. No problem. The sign just past Alley Ford - with distances - is mostly destroyed. The trail is overgrown almost immediately, but after a little while it opens up and you can do OK for a bit over a mile. It does get really rocky, but it's OK. However, before I got to Breakaway Bluff, the markings and trail disappeared. This is around MM 3.8-4.0 from Rock Creek Campground, if you follow the description on the cumberlandtrail.org website. I was solo, so an extra set of eyes may have helped. If you want more detail on exactly where I lost the trail, found a bit more, then lost it again, PM me.

    However, July 2018 I went in from the other end, Devil's Breakfast Table, with a friend. It was even worse there; due to blowdowns, overgrowth, and lack of markings, we could not make sufficient progress, and LNT camping is prohibited between DBT and Alley Ford (it's in a WMA). Until they clear and re-mark the trail I don't feel it's within my ability to follow it.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by fathergup View Post
    The CT just opened a new section from Peavine Road (near Fairfield Glade, TN) to Devil's Breakfast Table--at least according to the CT Conference August newsletter... no updates on the website otherwise. The section is also now included on the cumberlandtrail.guide map as well.

    We went out and did this new section yesterday--it clocks in at 7.5mi from Peavine Rd to the gravel road at Devil's Breakfast Table. It's clear, obvious, well-marked, and very beautiful. There is one marked overlook into the Daddy's Creek gorge, although it did appear that 2 spur trails (unmarked) also went to overlooks. The stone steps leading down to Devil's Breakfast Table must have been back-breaking work, but they are a definite highlight.

    There is a campsite at around 3.5mi right along the river's edge. It is well-cleared, with a nicely built fire ring and even a pile of wood waiting for the first visitors.

    With this section, the Daddy's Creek section to the south, and the Obed section to the north you now have around 26-27 continuous miles of CT trail right in this area. I know the Obed section has been notoriously lacking in maintenance--has anyone done it recently to verify?

    At the very least, this new section is well worth the visit and I hope it stays as nice as it is right now.
    Nice! I will definitely hike this section (even though I‘ve given up on the remaining sections of the CT that I haven’t hiked due to poor maintenance.)

    Did you park on Peavine Rd?

    (FYI, I helped build this section...kind of proud of that).

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Time Zone View Post
    TJ, Cleaner, and John - I hope you all have expressed to the CT offices your concerns about the trail. IDK if they monitor these forums to see the kind of lousy reputation they are getting, but somehow they need to know that their stated goals for the trail aren't being met. New trail is being built, efforts at acquiring easements and right of way are still going on ... newly-built trail is indeed nice, but old trail is neglected. That, when added to other shortcomings (trailhead access and parking, camping prohibitions, un-filterable water, traversing hunting areas) - make it unappealing for many. I suppose some wanting a great challenge will find it a true wilderness experience.
    Yes I provided multiple trail reports and they seemed very surprised each time. After submitting the first couple, they called to talk in person. I was left with the impression that they didn't believe me. I offered to help with some trail maintenance or to re-blaze a lot of the sections close to home. I was told they would be in touch, but I never heard back.

    Honestly, I gave up after reporting the first 6 or 7 sections.

    John

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    I am thinking of trying the ridgeline trail in Cumberland Gap NP next month. Is there a decent option to extend that hike on either end of the NP boundary?

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    I was told they would be in touch, but I never heard back.



    a couple of years ago----the CTC had a leadership change....

    i wonder if new leadership is the issue...


    not sure...

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    Quote Originally Posted by john844 View Post
    Yes I provided multiple trail reports and they seemed very surprised each time. After submitting the first couple, they called to talk in person. I was left with the impression that they didn't believe me. I offered to help with some trail maintenance or to re-blaze a lot of the sections close to home. I was told they would be in touch, but I never heard back.

    Honestly, I gave up after reporting the first 6 or 7 sections.

    John
    I think a number of people have had similar experiences. It's probably an issue of control, sometimes just called bureaucracy. They have a certain way of doing things, want to be sure it's done by their rules, to their standards, under their watch, with the right approvals, and on their timetable. For which they get credit. They don't want to deputize random hikers to fix inadequate blazing. Same reason, essentially, that we'd not be welcome to fix potholes ourselves on city streets. Granted, re-blazing should require a much lower level of expertise and equipment, but I think the principle at play is basically the same.

    Ironically I bet they'd be just fine if random hikers cleared blowdowns. That would probably be seen as a different matter.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bumpy View Post
    I am thinking of trying the ridgeline trail in Cumberland Gap NP next month. Is there a decent option to extend that hike on either end of the NP boundary?
    I visited the THs at Cumberland Gap, Signal Point and Prentice Cooper. But thats about it.

    As far as I know the Cumberland Trail (CG section) goes about 2 miles southwest of the park starting at Saddle of the Gap; goes up to 3.5 with connecting trails. Its in and out trail. From what I was told, the CT can be grownup in the summer and ends at PP.

    The Ridgeline is more the popular trail. I haven't been to the park since 2006.


    The Great Eastern Trail master plan was to connect the Cumberland Trail and Ridgeline Trail with the KY Pine Mountain Trail. Both the CT ant PMT are having same issues of sections being built or roughly made then let go.
    ''Tennessee Viking'
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    Thanks. Got it. I just assumed that the trail that runs through the national park was a section of the larger trail. I'll have to look at a map. I'm thinking of just going and wander around for 3-4 nights within the national park.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee Viking View Post
    I visited the THs at Cumberland Gap, Signal Point and Prentice Cooper. But thats about it.

    As far as I know the Cumberland Trail (CG section) goes about 2 miles southwest of the park starting at Saddle of the Gap; goes up to 3.5 with connecting trails. Its in and out trail. From what I was told, the CT can be grownup in the summer and ends at PP.

    The Ridgeline is more the popular trail. I haven't been to the park since 2006.


    The Great Eastern Trail master plan was to connect the Cumberland Trail and Ridgeline Trail with the KY Pine Mountain Trail. Both the CT ant PMT are having same issues of sections being built or roughly made then let go.

  19. #19
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    Default Hall Road to Barker Pounds?

    Hey,

    I was just checking out the August 2020 Newsletter on the cumberlandtrail.org website,

    https://www.cumberlandtrail.org/august-2020-newletter/
    (scroll down)

    and it mentions a new 10.6 mile segment between Hall Road on Signal Mountain and Barker Pounds. Details are sketchy and there's no detailed trail description otherwise on the site that I can find. But it seems that this section connects to the North Chickamauga Creek Gorge section, at or near the Barker Camp Road terminus. A terminus at Hall Road does not, however, connect to the Signal and Edwards Point section, but it's not terribly far. It leaves a gap, but that's not unusual.

    The newsletter goes on to say:

    This is the newest open section of the Cumberland Trail and it has many sights that make hiking this segment a must do, including: the original “Cumberland Trail Bridge System” designed by Gator Bridge, a wooden bridge built and donated by Chattanooga Dock Builders, several blue holes, views of the peak of the Hellican. ...
    Warning: Sections of this segment are still marked with orange flags rather than a white blaze. Total distance is approximately 10.6 miles. Difficulty is mildly strenuous; primitive hiking – 638 feet of ascending; 983 feet descending (west to east direction). Allow ~6 hours with breaks to hike from end to end.
    I hadn't heard of this section before - does anyone have any additional information on it?

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