Dad and I met up at the Nickajack Lake in Tennessee one Friday. I had the day off and he was driving down from Nashville so we met in the middle to kayak! After kayaking to an island in the lake and looking around it we decided to kayak back and hike a little before heading home. I had seen the Little Cedar Mountain trail on my map earlier in the day so we decided to do that.
The hike is right off of I-24 making it a great place to get out and stretch your legs on a long drive. The trailhead begins from the parking lot paved and crosses a bride before turning to a dirt trail. The trail takes you in a three mile loop around Little Cedar Mountain (its more of a hill than a mountain).
We came to a split in the trail not too far in and took the left fork towards the water.
The trail climbs a little up and over the rocky hill and once we came down the other side we spotted a small stone wall running along the trail. We figured this used to farmland of some sort just like all the surrounding areas and kept on hiking.
The trail took us around some classic Tennessee granite boulders and along the lakeshore. About halfway through the lakeshore section of the hike, the trail ascends steeply and levels out with views of the lake through the trees. We enjoyed looking out at the island we had kayaked to earlier in the day from the best view point we could get through the trees.
After this the trail heads inland and splits. To continue on the loop go left. The right fork takes you back to the trailhead as well over the top of the hill. The left fork goes around the edge before coming back down to the bottom of Little Cedar Mountain.
It goes through the woods where many birds hang out and there are some wooden fences and even a little treehouse or hunting stand in the trees. The trail meets back up with the other end of the loop and takes you out into the parking lot.
This hike is a great option if you are traveling through the area and is mostly flat. The area is typical Tennessee woods and very pretty but if you are looking for great views and something very unique you won’t find it here. If you are looking for something quick and convenient but still very enjoyable then this hike is perfect for you!
Thanks! – Josh