Last Saturday, Jim and I decided to do a little exploring in the car. It’s always helpful to have a destination and we saw a state natural area called House Mountain on the map. It was only 30 miles from Sharps Chapel. It was a beautiful day and we headed out.
To us, the drive to anywhere from Sharps Chapel is scenic. We just love the mountains and the country roads. We were particularly enjoying watching all the farmers who were hurrying to rake, bail, and transport their hay to shelter before the rain that was due the next day. It was as if they put out an all-points-bulletin to synchronize this over the last five days which were hot and sunny and perfect for this.
House Mountain, it turns out, is only 10 miles from Knoxville and is the highest elevation in Knox County.
When we got there, we saw several families and what appeared to be high school or college students hiking the trail. The trail map showed a couple of options (short or long hikes) and we chose a loop that would take us to the ridge for a nice view. We went up Mountain Trail, across Crest Trail, then down West Overlook Trail. It took us about 2 hours.
It was a strenuous hike, due to the elevation and the condition of the trails. There were lots of rocks on the path, so do not try to hike this in sandals. The trail boasted huge rocks and cliffs that were very picturesque, all along the way. Poison Ivy was plentiful. I can just see it covering the trail in some spots as the summer progresses.
At the top, we were expecting to see a formal outlook, similar to what they have at Cumberland Gap, but it was all rustic. You had to scramble off the trail a bit to get the good views, but well worth the hike.
We came across a young family from Knoxville with their newest addition only 2 months old! The older children were in good spirits, although ready for a break at the top, and I made sure I complimented them on their accomplishment thus far.
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Enjoy the photos and I hope you get a chance to visit this very nice trail sometime soon.
Life is an Adventure!