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Coon Den Falls and Appalachian Trail Loop

Difficult
 4.4 (5) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A nice hike with a reward of a beautiful waterfall.


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Map Key

3.6

Miles

5.8

KM

Loop

3,487' 1,063 m

High

2,517' 767 m

Low

1,008' 307 m

Up

1,004' 306 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

41%

Max Grade (22°)

Dogs Unknown

Features River/Creek

Family Friendly Great for kids!

Overview

This hike starts at the Coon Den Falls Trailhead, follows the Appalachian Trail south, and loops back to Denis Cove Road via Coon Den Falls Trail. Be sure to stop by Coon Den Falls on the way down, as it is the main attraction of this hike.

Need to Know

The parking area is not very large but there is an adjacent private lot that only costs $1.

Snow during the winter months makes the rocky sections along this steep hike quite slippery.

Description

From the parking area, head west on Dennis Cove Road to begin with a segment of the AT. After 0.3 miles of flat road hiking, you'll see the AT duck into the woods on the left. This segment of the AT is a gradual climb to the top of the ridge through the forest. There are some switchbacks near the top and a few open vistas. The trail is well maintained and well marked.

After about 1.6 miles on the AT, you'll reach the junction for Coon Den Falls Trail which will head off to the left. The Coon Den Falls Trail may be a bit overgrown at the top and there are some trees across the trail as well. But the trail is still easy to follow with the blue blazes making the way. Descending this trail can be a bit challenging, but not too hard near the top where you initially descend.

You'll reach the Coon Den Falls Spur after a little less than a mile of hiking. The falls themselves are awesome. You get a good look at what are actually two sets of falls; you can get right to the base of the falls, and if you are adventurous, even under the water. The portion of the Coon Den Falls Trail below the falls is steep in some areas but not hard.

After Coon Den Falls Trail ends at Dennis Cove Road, turn left on the road and hike the 0.3 miles back to the parking lot. The road is a narrow two lane that has very little in the way of a shoulder. Thankfully, there is often very little traffic.

Flora & Fauna

Rhododendrons are in full bloom the first two weeks of June; look for the pink and white flowers. These trees dominate the trail. Ferns and mushrooms are abundant due to the perpetual dampness. At the end of the hike, the path runs through a meadow with a variety of wildflowers during the spring and summer months.

Contacts

Shared By:

Daniel Dotten with improvements by Jay Elle

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes

#1

in Hampton

#2551

Overall
  4.4 from 5 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Hampton

#50

in Tennessee

#2,551

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Photos

A view of the mountains seen along the trail.
Jul 10, 2016 near Hampton, TN
Taking a water break shortly after the steep Coon Den Falls Trail intersects the Appalachian Trail.
Jul 10, 2016 near Hampton, TN
Rhododendrons are in full bloom the first 2 weeks of June. They form a canopy on the Coon Den Falls Trail.
Jul 10, 2016 near Hampton, TN
Part of the trail goes through a sunny meadow filled with wildflowers in the warmer months.
Jul 10, 2016 near Hampton, TN
Coon Den Falls in Denis Cove, Carter County, Tennessee.
Jul 10, 2016 near Hampton, TN
The beginning of Coon Den Trail.
Jul 10, 2016 near Hampton, TN

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Check-Ins

Jul 22, 2018
Amy P
May 19, 2018
Rick Sullivan
Apr 7, 2018
Lindsey Spaulding
3.6mi
Feb 23, 2018
Duncan Hodge
Difficult ascent 3.6mi