The Piney Point Trail is one of my favorite short hikes. At only 2 miles round trip it packs some great scenery in a short trail. Piney Point is located on top of Monteagle Mountain in Tennessee. If you are a Midwesterner driving south through Nashville towards Atlanta (probably on the way to Florida) you are familiar with Monteagle. At the summit of Monteagle take exit 134 on I-24 and head west towards Sewanee: The University of the South. After a mile or so you will see the sign welcoming you to the University campus and immediately after the sign is a gravel parking lot on the right. The trailhead offers several trails including one that is an 18 mile loop.
Upon leaving the trailhead you take the right fork and follow the signs. Shortly down the trail it splits again (take the right fork again). The left fork has a rock face that seeps water and the creek you pass over taking the right fork has a pretty waterfall in the springtime that you can only see by venturing down the left fork for about 20 feet. In the spring and early summer, it is worth a quick peek to see the small waterfall. In autumn, the creek is often dried up.
The Piney Point trail will shortly come into a field, walk left and the trail picks up again with a boardwalk over a wet area. This spot can be confusing the first time you hike it. After you continue to pass through hardwood forest you will eventually come to a big overlook where you can see the valley below. The overlook is actually a large rock protrusion out of the mountain with a several hundred foot drop straight down if you take one step too far. This is a great place to sit and soak in the view. There is a second rock about 200 feet to the left with a similar view of the valley as well.
It is a quick walk back to your vehicle from overlook and you can be back on your way. I hope the next time through central Tennessee you are able to try the Piney Point trail.