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Piney River Trail: How to Camp Here

Author: Emily Elbert
by Emily Elbert
Posted: Jun 30, 2018

For Pleasure

Piney River Trail is a pleasant trail follows creeks punctuated with several cascades and climbs ridges,

past old mining operations and over several suspension bridges. It is a great place to travel for camping

or other recreation.

It has the largest an impressive 102 feet high, offering swimming opportunities and enjoyable vistas all

along the way. We will discuss about the area, scenarios, beauties and trailing in this area in our article.

Finding the Piney River Trailhead

Take Interstate 40 east from Nashville or west from Knoxville to U.S. Highway 27 and south to spring

City, then turn west onto Tennessee Highway 68, and then turn left onto Shut-In Gap Road at the

western end of town. Follow Shut-In Gap Road to the Newby Branch Forest Camp. (See page 147 for

area location.)

Piney River Trail Hike

This Piney River trail is located within the largest Bowater Recreation com. plex, Piney River Tree Farm,

which includes Piney River Picnic Area, Pine River Trail, Stinging Fork Falls Pocket Wilderness, Newby

Branch Forest camp and Twin Rocks Trail.

The trail is probably best hiked by starting at the Newby Branch Forest Camp and hiking down the

mountain, although it can be done either way. Starting at the Forest Camp, the trail begins on the right

side of the road that goes into the camping area. For the first 75 feet of the trail, it slopes down through

a canopy of mountain laurel to a 20-foot bridge crossing Newby Branch.

Following the First Few Miles - Newby Branch & Duskin Creek

The first mile follows Newby Branch for a level, pleasant hike. Part of the first mile also runs parallel to

the adjacent road, then goes down to Duskin Creek. At Duskin Creek the trail crosses a road and follows

Duskin Creek on your left.

At 1.3 miles, you will cross Duskin Creek over a 50-foot bridge and begin following Duskin Creek with the

creek on your right.

For the next mile the trail follows Duskin Creek, gently climbing away! From the creek on a couple

occasions but sloping back to it again. At 2.3 miles, you will start to climb up a ridge, where you will see

a sign for an old mining site to the left of the trail. Climbing here is little tricky if you are a new hiker, so

take proper camping guide or books. However, you can study about these trail and guide in sites like

There is not much left here to see but some old mine tailings and rubble in the Dusking Creek. For the

next half mile, to approximately 2.8 miles, the trail is 100 to 150 feet above Duskin Creek, running along

the side of the ridge. The trail here is lined with mountain stone, and the creek can be heard in the

distance. It then makes a switchback down to the creek, where you are hiking through pines with the

needles lining the trail.

Next Few Miles in Piney River Trail

Another 0.3 mile brings you to White Pines Cascades, a 15-foot water cascade with a large pool at the

bottom. This pool has turned many a summer hiker into a summer swimmer. From there the trail climbs

back up the ridge overlooking the creek.

A half mile more brings you to the top of Spider Den Bluffs, at 3.6 miles. A short spur trail marked with

blue markers leads to the bottom where you can get a view back up at the bluffs. The next 0.7 mile

follows the side of the ridge above the creek, with gorgeous views of the opposite ridges, then down

into Big Cove, where it joins with Duskin Creek again.

Here you cross a 50-foot bridge, overlooking deep pool cascades. Another 0.8 mile down the trail is the

spur trail for Hemlock Falls. This is a short side trail, marked with blue markers. Hemlock Falls is not

really a falls but a cascade, smaller than the two already passed.

Trailing Logging Camp Loop & Rock House Creek

The next 0.5 mile of trail climbs back up the ridge and joins with an old road bed. The next thing on the

trail is the Logging Camp Loop, a side trail going into a designated camping area. Here the main trail

leaves Duskin Creek, at approximately 5.8 miles.

In another 100 yards the trail forks; Piney River Trail is the left fork. The trail then comes to Rock House

Branch, a small side stream crossed by a 45-foot bridge. At 100 yards ahead on the left is the old Dinky

Line railroad crossing. Part of the old stone bridge that crossed Rock House Creek is still standing.

Favorite Camping Areas

The trail makes a left turn to follow the Piney River. The trail runs along! the left side of Piney for the

next mile, then crosses over a 102-foot suspension bridge at 7 miles. This is also a favorite camping area

and the last flat area before the trail climbs back to the side of the ridge. There are also several large

holes of water here for recreational fishing and swimming.

Climbing about 300 feet up the ridge, the trail then levels out. Another 1 mile ahead is a side creek,

McDonald Branch. There is no bridge here and it is normally dry, but if it has been raining, crossing can

be tricky.

The next 1.5 miles from the bridge at 7 miles, has more views of the surrounding mountains and of

Piney River below. This is also a good wildflower area in the spring. You then come to where there is a

four-way crossing in the trail.

The right trail goes to Twin Rocks, and the left is a spur trail leading to a scenic overlook that looks back

up the gorge at the river. The main trail goes straight ahead for 0.5 mile to the parking area at Piney

River Picnic Area.

About the Author

Emily is a lead blog writer, blogger & content marketer. She publishes and manages the contents of many blogs. She has been in the marketing industry for 5 years and with a very valuable experience in this industry. You can visit my website

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Author: Emily Elbert

Emily Elbert

Member since: Jun 24, 2018
Published articles: 3

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