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Cherokee National Forest - Holston Mountain Vic.

Watauga Ranger Dist. - Reuben Potter - Trail Tech.


4400 Unicoi Drive
Unicoi, TN   37692

Region: East - Unicoi County

Additional Information: The backbone of Holston Mountain provides a scenic backdrop for TVA's South Holston Lake and views into the adjacent Iron Mountain range. Horseback opportunities abound on Holston Mountain with a 36-mile system of trails and forest roads accessed by trailheads on the south side of the mountain off TN 91 and the north side along Flatwoods Road #87. Off TN 91 near the community of Stony Creek, the Hinkle Branch trailhead (approximately 7 miles out of Elizabethton, TN) accommodates 9 vehicles plus trailers. The Furnace Branch trailhead (approximately 5 miles from Elizabethton, TN) accommodates 4 vehicles plus trailers. The Holston Mountain trail system can be accessed from these two trailheads. Flatwoods Road #87 is located on the north side of Holston Mountain near South Holston Lake. It is accessible off Highway 44 north from Bluff City, TN or south from Bristol, TN at Hickory Tree. Several trail access points are located along the road. At Hickory Tree, turn east onto Flatwoods Road and follow until it turns to gravel. Then, go another mile to a 4-way gravel intersection and park along the road. From here, you can access Morrell Trail #47 and Flatwoods Trail #46. Morrell Trail #47 is a single-track trail leading 2.2 miles to the crest of Holston Mountain with a steady climb and narrow switchbacks toward the top. This trail is rated "difficult," so horse and rider should be experienced and conditioned. Power line openings give extensive views of South Holston Lake and mountains. The trail ends at Forest Road 202, which runs for several miles along the crest, and allows access to horse trails on the southeastern side of Holston Mountain. Flatwoods Trail #46 intersects Morrell Trail in approximately one-half mile. This trail follows the contour along the base of Holston Mountain. The terrain is moderate, rocky in places, some steep hills but no major elevation change and is primarily single track. It is blazed in yellow. The length is 5.4 miles. At the eastern end, the trail intersects with and continues along gravel Forest Roads 87A and 87B. Loops can be made using other forest roads in the area such as FR 87 and 87D. The trail can be accessed from the western and eastern ends where it intersects FR 87A. Reference the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map # 783, South Holston and Watauga Lakes. Backcountry Horsemen of Tennessee is another source of horse trail information. No developed horse camping facilities are available on National Forest lands in the Holston Mountain vicinity.

Map: Cherokee National Forest - Holston Mountain Vic.