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Cumberland Trail - Grassy Cove Section
Jewett Rd. to Black Mountain

Black Mountain Trailhead
Latitude: 35 51.936'N
Longitude: 84 53.694'W

The Grassy Cove section of the Cumberland Trail is a 12.6 mile section between Black Mountain and the Jewett Road Trailhead.

This description of the Grassy Cove section is divided into three parts; Black Mountain trailhead to Cox Valley Rd. trailhead (3.8 miles), Cox Valley trailhead to Brady Mountain trailhead (.7 mile), and Brady Mountain trailhead to Jewett Road trailhead (7.8 miles).

Take exit #329 off of I-40 Crab Orchard 10 miles east of Crossville Tennessee. Go south for 1.6 miles to Owl Roost Road, turn left. Continue up the mountain 2.5 miles to a parking area on the right at the base of large tower. 

Camping is permitted only in the established campsite about .7 of a mile from the Black Mountain Trailhead. Camping is free but registration is required for camping at the Black Mountain campsite. You can register to camp on-line.

Black Mountain - Cumberland TrailBlack Mountain Trailhead -  This first section of trail is from Black Mtn Trailhead 3.8 miles to Cox Valley Rd trailhead.

The trail is located 50 yards south of the parking area near the covered spring house, a small rock building with a natural feed water supply. Walk through the parking lot past the orange barriers. Cross the road following the narrow, paved, cross road for about another 30 yards, you will see a sign.

The water at the springhouse is has always seemed to be a good water supply. I have been going here for 25+ years and I don't remember it ever being dry, Of course it should to be treated, filtered or boiled.

Black Mountain Spring HouseFrom the spring house go up the steps near the door to the Cumberland Trail (CT).

For the next .2 the trail gently climbs to the top of Black Mountain where you will notice a side trail to the left that takes you out to a great view of Grassy Cove Karst National Landmark.

After viewing Grassy Cove return to the Cumberland Trail and turn left of course. Follow the trail for another.2 of a mile to where the trail heads down hill through a natural stone hallway (pictures below).

Make your way through a garden of giant stones walking at the feet of giant  boulders. If your day hiking this section plan to spend a little time wandering around and on the boulders, they are incredible.

From the boulders follow the CT downhill for another .4 of a mile to the Black Mountain Campsite (35 51.864 N - 84 53.897 W).

From the campsite continue to follow the Cumberland Trail down Black Mtn. after about 1 mile the CT merges with an ATV trail and continues downhill for about .3 mile to Windless Cave (35 52.106N - 84 54.534W).

Unfortunately Windless Cave is where the Black Mtn to Cox Valley section currently "officially" ends.

A verbal agreement had been reached with the landowner to cross his property to Cox Valley via and existing logging rd/ATV trail. However, the property changed hands before a written agreement was signed. Some hikers and ATV users continue to use the trail between Windless Cave and Cox Valley Trailhead (35 52.754N - 84 55.742W). 


Cox Valley Trailhead
Latitude: 35 52.754N
Longitude: 84 55.742W

The .7 mile section between Cox Valley Trailhead and Brady Mountain Trailhead is walked on and beside the road. From the Cumberland Trail turn left (south) onto Cox Valley Rd. Walk approximately .3 mile to Hwy 68, turn left and walk .4 mile to the Brady Mountain trailhead on the west side of the road.

Brady Mountain Trailhead   
Latitude: 35 52.179'N
Longitude: 84 55.752'W

The section from Brady Mountain trailhead to Jewett Rd. trailhead is 7.8 miles and is complete.

The trail starts off climbing up and away from the highway following an old washed out logging road. After about 1.5 miles the trail turns to the left away from the primary ATV trail then up a fairly steep ridge. Once you are near the top, the trail isn't exactly easy to follow due to ATV trails that weave their way across the ridge line, but generally the trail is just following the top of the ridge. 

If you are paying attention after you reach the top of this steep section you might notice a Seismic Station for University of Memphis. Please do not disturb it.

Brady Bluff Overlook
Latitude: 35 50.717'N
Longitude: 84 56.665W

Grassy Cove From the Cumberland TrailBrady Bluff offers a fantastic view of the Grassy Cove Karst National Natural Landmark (right). Hwy 68 can be seen running along the valley floor and disappearing to the south.

Black Mountain can been seen to the north across the valley.

After returning to the Cumberland Trail and turning south, you will soon see the Brady Mountain Arch ().

Lost Overlook
Latitude: 35 50.003'N
Longitude: 84 58.007W

Donnelly Overlook
Latitude: 35 48.601N
Longitude: 84 58.805W

Cumberland Trail - Jewett Rd. TrailheadJewett Rd. Trailhead
Latitude: 35 47.550N
Longitude: 84 58.587W

The Jewett Rd. Trailhead is 6.6 miles west of Hwy 68 on Jewett Rd.

Warning! Jewett Rd. changes from a tar chip to a gravel road about 4 miles from Hwy 68. The gravel section (last time I was there 2/09) has some deep pot holes and washboarding but is passable. West of the trailhead Jewett road only gets worse and is a further distance on gravel than returning to Hwy 68. However, it is passable if you are looking for a little adventure driving.

Parking here is limited to a small pull-off on the side of the road. Please don't leave any valuables visible in your car. The area is isolated and frequented by ATV and OHV riders.

Related Links & Sources:
Cumberland County Tennessee
Cumberland Trail Conference
Cumberland Trail Map
Black Mountain Article
Birds & Butterflies along the Cumberland Trail
Obed River section trip report
Stinging Fork Falls State Natural Area


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