Hiking Backbone Rock

The one question we are asked the most upon meeting new people, after they learn that we have just moved to Damascus and we are avid hikers, is, “Have you guys been to Backbone Rock yet?” We knew nothing about this place, but if this many people are asking us about it with such enthusiasm, it must be good.

On our next sunny weekend day, we loaded up the car with our bags and furry hiking companions and set our course for the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee. After looking over the huge map hanging at the trail head, we decided to hike the half mile up and over the tunnel, then tackle the 2.3 miles of the Backbone Rock Trail to the intersection of the A.T.

The one question we are asked the most upon meeting new people, after they learn that we have just moved to Damascus and we are avid hikers, is, “Have you guys been to Backbone Rock yet?” We knew nothing about this place, but if this many people are asking us about it with such enthusiasm, it must be good.

On our next sunny weekend day, we loaded up the car with our bags and furry hiking companions and set our course for the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee. After looking over the huge map hanging at the trail head, we decided to hike the half mile up and over the tunnel, then tackle the 2.3 miles of the Backbone Rock Trail to the intersection of the A.T.

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The Backbone Rock Trail to the A.T. is a brutal 2.3 mile incline with about only .03 of the trail not being straight up hill. When we finally reached the A.T., which I still argue was more than 2.3 miles, we stopped for lunch, found an awesome light weight tarp a hiker left behind, and Charlotte tinkled on the A.T.

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The hike controlled fall down went very quickly, so we strolled over to get a close up view of the huge tunnel then crossed the road to take a drink from the Beaverdam Creek. Well, Perry anyway. (History lesson alert: This tunnel, deemed the shorted tunnel in the world, was man-made and the original purpose was as a railroad tunnel to haul timber out of the forest. More historical information can be found here.)

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We decided to finish up our day at Backbone Rock by visiting the Backbone Falls. It is only another .2 mile loop, so why miss the opportunity to see a waterfall?

To be continued . . . . .

(This post was originally published on our sticks or stones blog, which is no longer in publication.)

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