Hazard Cave Trail

Date Hiked: 03/17/11

Park: Pickett State Park

Address: 4605 Pickett Park Hwy (154), Jamestown, Tn, 38556, 931-879-5821

Trailhead Latitude: 36.54831, Longitude: -84.80348

Trail Rating: Moderate

Round-Trip Mileage: 1.70 miles

For Map, Trail Mileage, GPS, and Trail Notes go to Page 2

Pre-Hike Comments

We hiked Honey Creek Trail in Big South Fork the day before and were just planning on exploring Pickett Park. I had been to the Park many years ago but did not remember much about the trails.

The Trail

Directions: Take Highway 127 north from I-40 to Jamestown. Turn right at Hwy 154. It is about 12 (curvy) miles to the Park entrance. Turn left into the Park and follow the road past the CCC Museum and toward the Recreation Hall. Continue on the Park Road through the picnic areas and past Shelter No 2. The road curves around (U-turn) the Shelter. The trailhead is on the right. Parking is a short distance away down the hill.

Beginning the hike at the trailhead

The Trailhead

As the trail leaves the trailhead it passes a trail sign for Recreation Lodge - to the left. The trail to the Recreation Lodge is not a short cut, it is just a more scenic walk.

First Junction

Trail sign at the first junction, go left for the Hazard Cave Trail

Continue straight and in .05 miles (about 250 feet) the trail reaches the first junction. To the left, the trail goes to Hazard Cave and the Natural Bridge Trail. To the right the trail also goes to Hazard Cave (the return path of the loop); but it also leads to the beginning of the Lakeview Trail and the Ridge Trail.

Turn left at the junction and climb the gentle hill.

sign to the recreation lodge

Side trail to the Recreation Lodge - .20 miles

In .15 miles the trail junctions with a path going to the Recreation Lodge.

second junction, side trail goes to the Natural Bridge

Side trail links with the Natural Bridge Trail - .35 miles

In another .15 miles the trail reaches another junction. The side trail leads to the Natural Bridge Trail.

unofficial user trail

Unofficial user trail, continue to the right

Continuing the trail stays on the crest of the ridge. Pass an unofficial (and unsigned) user trail.

steps leading to the alternate trailhead

Step from alternative trailhead - .70 miles

In .35 miles (.70 miles from the trailhead) a set of steps comes down from the left. The steps lead to Hwy 154 a short distance away. This is an alternative trailhead.

steps on the main trail

Steps to the trail - .75 miles

A few hundred feet beyond the side trail steps are another set of steep steps. Descend the steps and curve around to the beginning of the cliff which forms Hazard Cave.

baordwalk at start of the cave


A boardwalk leads along the cliff and under the overhang.

fence along the cave

Sandy trail

The boardwalk ends and the trail follows a sandy path by a fence.

bench at Hazard Cave

Hazard Cave - .90 miles

The bench beneath the large overhang is the official Hazard Cave area. It is located about .15 miles from the stairs on the trail.

looking back at the cave exit

Exiting the cave, looking back

Exit the cave at the far end, as the trail sneaks between the rock wall and a few trees.

slanted bridge

Slanted bridge - 1.20 miles

The trail then starts a gradual downhill in a drainage. After .30 miles cross the creek on a slanting bridge.

following ledge above creek bed

Narrow ledge along creek - 1.25 miles

After a short distance, .05 miles, cross the drainage on a bridge and into a small canyon. Continue along a narrow creek bed ledge.

Ridge Trail Junction

Trail junction with the Ridge Trail - 1.55 miles

Rise above the creek as the trail goes downhill for .30 miles to the junction with the Ridge Trail.

CCC bridge

CCC bridge and Lakeview Trail - 1.60

Continue going straight (or bear right) and in .05 miles come to an old CCC bridge over Thompson Creek. The Lakeview Trail and the other leg of the Ridge Trail crosses the bridge.

trail returning to the trailhead

Trail returning to the trailhead

To finish Hazard Cave Trail turn right, away from the bridge, and climb a short hill for .05 miles to a junction. This was the first junction the trail reached after leaving the road. From the junction it is an easy few hundred feet to return to the trailhead.

Total distance was 1.70 miles