Summary: This five mile loop starts with the Lake Trail. After approximately 0.,5 miles, the trail crosses the Big Ridge Lake Dam. Once across the dam, bear left onto the Dark Hollow West trail. Once on the Dark Hollow West Trail, several downed trees will be encountered. There is also a small creek crossing. After about 1.7 miles, take the Big Valley trail for approximately 0.7 miles. At the next trail intersection, take the Lake Trail which will once again cross the dam. Keep an eye out for wildlife and you won't be disappointed!
Trailhead: Big Ridge State Park is located 12 miles East of I-75 (exit 122) on Hwy 61.
The trailhead is located a short distance from the road between Big Ridge Lake and the campgrounds. A sign on the right side of the road points to the trailhead> (Lat:36.24274 Lon:-83.9352)
Trail Guides for Big Ridge State Park Five Mile Loop:
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: TN Dept. of Environment and Conservation, 865-992-5523
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Dwight Clayton, who has posted 1 other hike on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Really mad on 1/28/2011
Packed my pack, grabbed the dog and headed out for a relaxing weekend. Just to be told at the office that there are no campfires permitted. Hey retard govt. workers, you think you may want to post such a bizarre "policy" such as this on your website, or is it beyond your pay grade?
Reviewed by Jason on 8/15/2010
I just spent the past weekend back-country camping in Big Ridge. Although, the park trails are not maintained as well as they could be, the trails are a perfect mixture for anyone from the beginner to the experienced hiker. I would recommend any trails for anyone, but I would definitely make sure to bring insect repellent and be prepared for some steep slopes. Trails are blazed, but can sometimes be a little confusing at the signs. Definitely get a map at the office, both a trail map and topo map.
Reviewed by JR on 12/8/2007
Poorly maintained trails with difficult to see blazes make this a difficult hike for anyone. Even if the trails were in great condition Big Valley and Indian Rock are not for the faint of heart - very steep, very rocky, very strenuous trails.
Reviewed by HLK on 8/27/2005
Several old cemeteries. Trails can be overgrown in areas. As of August 2005, foot bridge is gone on dark hollow west and you'll need to pass through tall weeds and slope to get back on path. Litter and debris spoil some areas. Damaged trail signs.
Reviewed by Gary on 8/20/2005
The Indian Rock trail is not recommended. As of 8-05 this trail has high briars, poison ivy, fallen trees, steep climbs (needs steps). Some signs need replacement. Stay on the Dark Hollow West and Big Valley Trails. The old cemetary is very crude, probably poor families--some graves only marked with a natural stone. Even these are less maintained than other State parks. Big Ridge State Park emphasizes camping. Water is clean and quiet for swimming. Take a compass and pick up a map at the office.
Reviewed by BR Park Ranger on 5/8/2005
There is an omission in the summary. You should turn RIGHT on Big Valley from Dark Hollow, go .7 miles to the GHOST HOUSE TRAIL. It is a loop, take either fork for .6 miles to the Lake trail, then turn RIGHT on the Lake trail. FREE trail maps are available on the porch of the Park Office at all times, please take one!
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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