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Hello from middle Tennessee


Robert89th

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Hi my name is Robert and my newly wed wife and I are both Florida natives planted in the nashville area. My wife and I are looking for some pretty easy trails to start doing some overnight trips on the trail, don’t need to be out in the back country with a compass or anything just want to get away and exercise. We can both do about 5 miles on a day hike fairly easily however I’m struggling to find any trails that are a loop or out and back that are less than 10miles between sites. 
 

does anyone know of a good one or two night trail in the mid TN area?

any input is appreciated and I’m excited to see forum suggestions thanks again from Autumn and Robert 

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Welcome to the forum, Robert! I used to live in Kentucky and did several backpacking trips in Tennessee. A few areas off the top of my head are the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and the Virgin Falls area of Fall Creek Falls State Park. You might want to start with car camping and dayhiking before jumping into backpacking, as some of the trails can be deceptively difficult just based on mileage because of steep elevation changes.

At Fall Creek Falls State Park you need to reserve backcountry sites in advance via their website. There are several that would allow you to do an out-and-back hike well within your parameters for mileage. Virgin Falls is really incredible and is a "must see", especially at high water. I would probably start there for your first trip.

You need a permit at Big South Fork as well, but the campsites aren't assigned . . . you just set up wherever looks good along the trail (practicing Leave No Trace principles and abiding by park regulations, of course). This is nice in many ways, and is my preferred way of backpacking, but can lead to uncertainty as there are long stretches of trail without decent campsites. Twin Arches is an incredible hike there, but not much good backpacking in the immediate area. You could go all out and book a room at Charit Creek Lodge (you have to hike in, but it has meals, beds, etc. but no electricity) for a nice, casual, relaxing, romantic trip.

There are also some backcountry sites in South Cumberland State Park: https://tnstateparks.com/parks/south-cumberland

I never camped there, but wanted to. Tennessee State Parks is doing a really good job at managing backcountry use via reservations and online resources. You should be able to look around on that site and find a trip that might meet your criteria.

Happy hiking! You're headed into a great time of year for backpacking in the Southeast. October and early November were some of my favorite times to hit the trails. 

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Thank you for the reply Mark, I think I’ve done virtually every trail in falls creek except the over night stuff, would be a logical place to start. Not familiar with the other parks though, thank you for the insight!

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  • 9 months later...
Charlie Vee 1961

Hey Robert. I live in Nashville as well. Have a look online; I think there's an easy overnight in the Mt Juliet area. The trail name escapes me at present. It should be pretty easy to find online.  Regards. 

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