Pinnacle Tower

Erwin, Tennessee

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This is not a trail for beginners. This 12.5-mile combination trail (9.5-mile loop with a 3-mile spur) is very challenging. The five-mile climb on gravel road to the tower is steep in sections and will test your aerobic fitness. The scenery at the tower rewards you effort on the climb with some outstanding views of the surrounding Unaka Mountains and Nolichucky River Valley. This trail has some pretty tough technical sections. The Blue Trail is sandy, rutted, and rocky during dry periods- muddy, slippery, and fast when wet. There is a very steep, technical descent on this trail. Not only will you have to focus on the trail, you'll also need to be aware of motorized vehicles sharing the trail with you. The Buffalo Mountain all-terrain vehicle trail is popular with four-wheelers and motorcycles; weekends can get crowded. There is a $5 per vehicle usage fee required by the Forest Service. If you ride here during the summer, bring plenty of water because most of the climb is in the direct sun.

Pinnacle Tower Professional Review and Guide

"This is not a trail for beginners. This 12.5-mile combination trail (9.5-mile loop with a 3-mile spur) is very challenging. The five-mile climb on gravel road to the tower is steep in sections and will test your aerobic fitness. The scenery at the tower rewards you effort on the climb with some outstanding views of the surrounding Unaka Mountains and Nolichucky River Valley. This trail has some pretty tough technical sections. The Blue Trail is sandy, rutted, and rocky during dry periods- muddy, slippery, and fast when wet. There is a very steep, technical descent on this trail.

Not only will you have to focus on the trail, you'll also need to be aware of motorized vehicles sharing the trail with you. The Buffalo Mountain all-terrain vehicle trail is popular with four-wheelers and motorcycles; weekends can get crowded. There is a $5 per vehicle usage fee required by the Forest Service. If you ride here during the summer, bring plenty of water because most of the climb is in the direct sun."

Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Erwin
Distance: 12.5
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Technical Difficulty: Difficult
Physical Difficulty: Difficult
Season: Year-round.
Local Contacts: Nolichucky - Unaka Ranger Districts, 423-638-4109.
Local Maps: USGS: Erwin.
Driving Directions: Directions to Pinnacle Tower

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May 2018