Eagle Point Overnight Trail - Mousetail Landing State Park

View of the Tennessee River from Shelter 2

The Adventure Guide to Eagle Point Overnight Trail at Mousetail Landing State Park includes a trail description of the Overnight Trail, photographs of the Overnight Trail, comments from our hike, mileage data for the Overnight Trail, the custom Park topo map, and Overnight Trail GPS tracklogs. The guide will familiarize you with the Park and help you on your hike.

Date Hiked: 03/28/13

Park: Mousetail Landing State Park

Address: Rt. 3 Box 280B, Linden, TN 37096 (or 3 Campground Rd)

Trailhead Latitude: 35.65595, Longitude: -88.00536

Trail Rating: Moderate

Round-Trip Mileage: 8.4 miles

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

Pre-Hike Comments

An online friend suggested that we hike the trail and sent his GPS tracks. We had followed his suggestions before, he does make great suggested hikes. The trail is an overnight destination, but we were going to hike it as a day hike.

The Hike

Directions: From Interstate 40 (TN) take exit 143 to Hwy 13. Go south 20 miles to Linden. In Linden turn right (west) onto Hwy 100 (also known as Hwy 412 and Hwy 20). Go west about 11.5 miles to Hwy 438, turn right (north). Note - the turn is before the river. The Park is 2.75 miles to the north at a signed turn. The trailhead is on the right near a playground. The Park Office is in the cabin just beyond the trailhead.

Eagle Point Trailhead sign

Parking is located near the trailhead. If planning for an overnight, hikers must register at the Park Office. Registration forms are available in front of the Office at a kiosk.

crossing the fields

From the trailhead, the trail follows the creek a short distance before it crosses (on a bridge). Blue blazes are used to mark the Overnight Trail. The trail goes up a short climb before descending to the edge of a field. Cross the field (may be soggy) and look sharp for a blaze on the other side.

Trail joins an unimproved road

Cross Kelly Creek on a small bridge and climb to join an unimproved road. Kelly Creek crossing is .40 mile from the trailhead.

Trail leaving the road

The trail follows the road for a short distance before it exits to the left, the beginning of the climb to Sparks Ridge.

Trail going deep in hollow to bridge

After a steady climb the trail contours deep into one of the ravines. The mossy trail crosses on a bridge at the apex and then continues to climb to the ridge.

Pm Sparks Ridge

Once at the top of Sparks Ridge the trail levels before descending toward Parrish Creek. Sparks Ridge is 1.10 miles from the trailhead and .70 mile from the bridge at Kelly Creek.

bridge crossing Parrish Creek

After a long descent (remember to save a little for the return climb) cross Parrish Branch. The bridge is .65 mile from Sparks Ridge and 1.75 miles for the trailhead.

Cedar Glade

Cross another field. A steady climb leads to a cedar glade, a cedar forest growing on limestone outcroppings.

Bridge made as a Scout Project

A Boy Scout bridge (built as a Scout Project) crosses a small branch.

Trial Junction to the right is Shelter 1 and to the left is Shelter 2

A junction is reached at 1.95 miles from the trailhead, .25 mile from the bridge over Parrish Branch. Shelter 1 is 1.10 miles to the right and Shelter 2 is .70 mile to the left. The trail is a loop. The description follows the trail to Shelter 2 or clockwise.

sign to Parrish Cemetery

In .10 mile a side trail leads to Parrish Cemetery.

at times the trail shares the mountain bike trail for a short distance, the hiking trail is leaving the yellow mountain bike trail

As the Overnight Trail travels west toward the Tennessee River it crosses, joins, and leaves two mountain bike trails several times. The Overnight Trail is well blazed and signed.

sign for Shelter 2

.60 mile from the Cemetery side trail Shelter 2 is reached. The side trail is 2.65 miles from the trailhead.

Shelter 2

Shelter 2 overlooks the Tennessee River. If not overnighting, it is still a good place for a break. It is the best view of the river on the trail.

A view through the cedar trees a short distance beyond the shelter on the trail

Returning to the trail, about .15 mile from the shelter is an outcropping of limestone. The mini bluff looks out toward the river, but the cedars are too thick for a good view.

Trail near an inlet

The trail nears the shore of the Lick Creek embayment. All water should be filtered and/or purified before drinking.

Small bridge in the back of a hollow

Following along the south shore of Lick Creek embayment, the trail tries to follow the contour of the land. A small bridge is reached at the back of one of the hollows. The is .75 mile from Shelter 2 - 3.40 miles from the trailhead.

view of Lick Creek inlet

One of the great views of Lick Creek, about .30 mile from the small bridge.

orange tape and the beginning of the climb

The trail continues east as the mountain bike trails cross the hiking trail several more times. Continue to follow the signs and the blue blazes.

Shelter 1 from below

After traversing the slopes (but not without a few ups and downs) above Lick Creek for 1.35 miles the trail turns south and begins to climb. A few switchbacks eases the slope as it rises 250 feet in .60 mile. Shelter 1 is visible before the side trail is reached.

Shelter 1 sign

At the side trail, it is a worthy stop to visit the shelter. Shelter 1 is 5.35 miles from the trailhead and 2.70 miles from Shelter 2.

ridge line

Leaving Shelter 1 the trail rolls along a gentle ridge for .75 mile before it descends to end the Loop back at the junction.

From Loop Junction it is 1.95 miles to return to the trailhead.

Total distance for a round trip is 8.40 miles.