Big Hill Pond Trail In Tennessee

Here is everything you need to know about the Big Hill Pond Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Tennessee
  • Length: 8.3 miles.
  • Type: Hiking
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
  • Permit Required?: Yes.
  • Website: Info not available.

The Big Hill Pond Trail is a historic trail located in the southwestern part of Tennessee, United States. The trail is situated within the Big Hill Pond State Park, which covers an area of approximately 5,000 acres. The park and trail are named after the prominent geological feature in the area, the Big Hill Pond, which was formed during the last ice age.

The history of the Big Hill Pond Trail dates back to the early 19th century when the region was primarily inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Chickasaw and Choctaw. These tribes utilized the land for hunting, fishing, and gathering resources. The trail itself was likely used by these tribes as a means of transportation and trade between different settlements.

During the 19th century, European settlers began to move into the area, establishing farms and communities. The trail became an important route for settlers to access nearby towns and markets. It also served as a path for the transportation of goods, such as timber and agricultural products. Over time, the trail became more defined and was used by locals for various purposes, including hunting, fishing, and recreational activities.

In the mid-20th century, the state of Tennessee recognized the historical and natural significance of the area and established the Big Hill Pond State Park. The park was officially opened to the public in 1976, and the trail was developed to provide visitors with an opportunity to explore the park’s diverse landscapes, including forests, wetlands, and the picturesque Big Hill Pond. Today, the Big Hill Pond Trail continues to attract outdoor enthusiasts, offering a glimpse into the rich history and natural beauty of the region.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Big Hill Pond State Park Office: This is the starting point of the trail and serves as the main access point for hikers. It is located at 1435 John Howell Road, Pocahontas, Tennessee.

2. Big Hill Pond Campground: This campground is located within the state park and provides access to the trail. It is a popular starting point for overnight hikers and is located near the park office.

3. Woodland Shelter: This is a trailhead located along the trail, providing access to hikers. It is a designated camping area with a shelter and is located approximately 3 miles from the park office.

4. Lakeview Shelter: Another trailhead and camping area along the trail, Lakeview Shelter offers scenic views of the lake. It is located approximately 6 miles from the park office.

5. Dry Creek Shelter: This trailhead and camping area is located approximately 9 miles from the park office. It provides access to the trail and is a popular spot for overnight stays.

6. Chickasaw Bluff Shelter: Located approximately 12 miles from the park office, this trailhead and camping area offers beautiful views of the Chickasaw Bluffs. It is a popular spot for hikers to rest and enjoy the scenery.

7. Big Hill Pond Lake Dam: This is the endpoint of the trail, located approximately 15 miles from the park office. Hikers can enjoy the views of the lake and surrounding nature before completing their journey.

Please note that these access points and trailheads are approximate distances and may vary slightly depending on the specific route taken. It is always recommended to consult a trail map or park officials for the most accurate information before embarking on the Big Hill Pond Trail.

Transportation Available

1. Big Hill Pond State Park Shuttle – Shuttle service to and from Big Hill Pond State Park.
2. Tishomingo County Transportation – Local transportation service in Tishomingo County.
3. Memphis International Airport – Major airport located approximately 1.5 hours away from Big Hill Pond Trail.
4. Greyhound Bus Station – Bus station offering transportation services to various destinations.
5. Corinth Regional Airport – Regional airport located approximately 1 hour away from Big Hill Pond Trail.
6. Tishomingo County Taxi – Taxi service operating in Tishomingo County.
7. Corinth Transit – Local transit service in Corinth, Mississippi.
8. Uber – Ride-hailing service available in the area.
9. Lyft – Ride-hailing service available in the area.
10. Rental Car Companies – Various rental car companies available in nearby cities for independent transportation.


The amenities available at the Big Hill Pond Trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at the trailhead and at designated camping areas.

2. Parking: There is a parking lot available at the trailhead for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: The trail offers several designated camping sites along the trail where visitors can set up tents and spend the night. These sites may have amenities such as fire rings, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: There are picnic areas available at various points along the trail where visitors can stop and have a meal or enjoy a picnic.

5. Fishing: Big Hill Pond has fishing opportunities, and there are designated fishing areas along the trail.

6. Boating: Visitors can bring their own non-motorized boats, such as canoes or kayaks, to explore the pond.

7. Hiking Trails: The trail offers various hiking trails of different lengths and difficulty levels, allowing visitors to explore the natural beauty of the area.

8. Wildlife Viewing: The trail provides opportunities for wildlife viewing, with the chance to spot birds, deer, and other animals.

9. Interpretive Signage: There are interpretive signs along the trail that provide information about the flora, fauna, and history of the area.

10. Scenic Overlooks: The trail offers scenic overlooks where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

11. Dog-Friendly: The trail is dog-friendly, allowing visitors to bring their furry friends along for the hike.

12. Accessibility: Some sections of the trail are wheelchair accessible, providing opportunities for people with mobility challenges to enjoy the outdoors.

Please note that amenities may be subject to change, so it is always a good idea to check with the park authorities or official websites for the most up-to-date information before visiting.

Nearby Services

1. Big Hill Pond State Park Campground – Campground located within the park offering tent and RV sites.
2. Pappy’s Catfish Cabin – Local restaurant serving catfish and Southern cuisine.
3. Best Western Inn – Nearby hotel offering comfortable accommodations.
4. Dollar General – Convenient store for basic supplies and snacks.
5. Big Hill Pond State Park Office – Park office providing information and assistance.
6. Subway – Fast-food chain serving sandwiches and salads.
7. Walmart Supercenter – Retail store offering groceries, camping supplies, and more.
8. McNairy County General Hospital – Local hospital providing emergency medical services.
9. Pizza Hut – Chain restaurant serving pizza and other Italian dishes.
10. BP Gas Station – Gas station with convenience store for fuel and snacks.

Big Hill Pond Trail Difficulty Notes

The Big Hill Pond Trail offers a moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels. The trail spans approximately 15 miles and features diverse terrain, including rolling hills, dense forests, and picturesque lakes. While some sections may be challenging due to steep inclines and uneven surfaces, the trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, ensuring a safe and enjoyable hiking experience. With proper preparation and pacing, hikers can navigate the Big Hill Pond Trail and appreciate its natural beauty without feeling overwhelmed by its difficulty.

Features And Attractions

The Big Hill Pond Trail is located in Tennessee and offers a variety of scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks. Here are some notable attractions along the trail:

1. Big Hill Pond: The trail is named after this beautiful pond, which is a prominent feature along the route. It offers stunning views and opportunities for fishing and wildlife observation.

2. Cypress Creek: This creek runs through the trail and provides a serene and picturesque setting. It is a great spot for photography and relaxation.

3. Observation Tower: There is an observation tower along the trail that offers panoramic views of the surrounding forest and wetlands. It is a perfect spot to take in the beauty of the area.

4. Boardwalks: The trail features several boardwalks that allow hikers to traverse through wetland areas without disturbing the delicate ecosystem. These boardwalks offer unique views of the wetlands and their inhabitants.

5. Historic Sites: Along the trail, you may come across remnants of old homesteads and historic structures. These sites provide a glimpse into the area’s past and add an element of historical interest to the hike.

6. Wildlife: The Big Hill Pond Trail is known for its diverse wildlife. Keep an eye out for various bird species, deer, foxes, and other animals that call this area home. Birdwatchers will particularly enjoy the opportunity to spot different species.

7. Forests and Wildflowers: The trail winds through beautiful forests, showcasing a variety of tree species. During the spring and summer months, you can also enjoy the vibrant display of wildflowers that dot the landscape.

8. Lake Piers: The trail passes by several piers along the shores of lakes and ponds. These piers offer a peaceful place to rest, fish, or simply enjoy the scenic views of the water.

9. Bluff Overlooks: There are a few bluff overlooks along the trail that provide breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. These overlooks are perfect for taking a break and soaking in the natural beauty.

10. Campgrounds: The Big Hill Pond Trail offers several campgrounds along the route, allowing hikers to extend their stay and fully immerse themselves in the natural surroundings.

These are just a few of the many scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that you can experience along the Big Hill Pond Trail.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets are allowed on the Big Hill Pond Trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Camping is permitted only in designated camping areas along the trail.
3. Campfires are allowed only in designated fire rings or grills.
4. Hunting is allowed in designated areas during the appropriate hunting seasons. Hikers are advised to wear bright colors during hunting seasons.
5. Bicycles are allowed on certain sections of the trail, as indicated by signage.
6. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail, except for authorized maintenance vehicles.
7. Littering is strictly prohibited. Hikers are expected to carry out all trash and leave no trace.
8. Swimming is allowed in designated areas only.
9. Fishing is permitted in designated areas, following state fishing regulations.
10. Hikers are advised to stay on marked trails and not to venture off into restricted or private areas.
11. Hikers are encouraged to practice Leave No Trace principles, including packing out all trash, minimizing campfire impacts, and respecting wildlife and other visitors.
12. Hikers should be aware of and follow any seasonal restrictions or closures that may be in place, such as trail closures during wet or icy conditions.
13. Overnight camping requires a permit, which can be obtained from the park office or online.
14. Hikers should be prepared with appropriate gear, including sturdy footwear, water, and insect repellent.
15. Hikers should be aware of and follow any additional rules or guidelines posted at trailheads or along the trail.

Seasonal Information

The Big Hill Pond Trail, located in Tennessee, offers a beautiful and diverse hiking experience throughout the year. The best times to visit this trail depend on personal preferences and the type of experience you are seeking. Spring and fall are generally considered the most popular seasons to explore the trail due to the pleasant weather and vibrant foliage. During these times, temperatures are mild, ranging from the 50s to 70s Fahrenheit (10-25 degrees Celsius), making it ideal for hiking and camping.

In spring, the trail comes alive with blooming wildflowers, creating a picturesque landscape. The vibrant colors and pleasant temperatures make it a great time for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. Fall, on the other hand, offers stunning foliage as the leaves change into vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. The cooler temperatures make hiking more comfortable, and the trail becomes even more scenic.

It is important to note that the Big Hill Pond Trail has seasonal closures during certain times of the year. The trail is closed for hunting from mid-November to the end of January, as it is a popular hunting area. During this period, it is advisable to avoid visiting the trail to ensure your safety. Additionally, it is recommended to check for any other temporary closures or restrictions before planning your visit, as they may occur due to maintenance or other unforeseen circumstances.

Overall, the Big Hill Pond Trail offers a unique and enjoyable hiking experience throughout the year. Whether you prefer the vibrant colors of spring or the stunning foliage of fall, there is a season for everyone to explore this beautiful trail. Just make sure to plan your visit accordingly, considering any seasonal closures or restrictions to ensure a safe and memorable adventure.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to the trailhead for easy access.
2. Accessible Trailhead: A paved or firm surface leading to the trailhead, allowing wheelchair users to easily reach the trail.
3. Wide and Smooth Trails: Trails are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and have a smooth surface for easy navigation.
4. Accessible Restrooms: Restrooms equipped with accessible features such as grab bars and wider doorways.
5. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas with accessible tables and seating options for wheelchair users.
6. Accessible Campsites: Campsites with accessible features like level ground, wider paths, and accessible fire rings.
7. Accessible Fishing Areas: Designated fishing spots with accessible features like lowered platforms or piers.
8. Accessible Interpretive Signs: Signs along the trail with braille or large print for visually impaired visitors.
9. Accessible Information Center: An information center with accessible features like ramps and wider doorways.
10. Accessible Water Fountains: Water fountains with accessible height and reach for wheelchair users.
11. Accessible Viewing Areas: Scenic viewpoints or overlooks with accessible features like ramps or platforms.
12. Accessible Wildlife Viewing: Areas with accessible features like viewing platforms or blinds for observing wildlife.
13. Accessible Trail Maps: Trail maps available in accessible formats such as braille or large print.
14. Accessible Shuttle Service: Shuttle service available for wheelchair users to access different parts of the trail.
15. Accessible Lodging: Nearby lodging options with accessible rooms and facilities for wheelchair users.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Big Hill Pond Trail is a moderately difficult trail with some steep sections and uneven terrain, suitable for experienced hikers.
2. Weather Conditions: Be aware of changing weather conditions and check the forecast before heading out, as the trail can become muddy and slippery during rainy periods.
3. Trail Markings: The trail is well-marked with blazes and signs, but it is recommended to carry a map or GPS device to avoid getting lost.
4. Wildlife Encounters: Exercise caution and keep a safe distance from wildlife, including snakes, ticks, and potentially aggressive animals such as coyotes or wild boars.
5. Water Sources: Carry enough water for your hike, as there are limited water sources along the trail, and it is not recommended to drink from natural water sources without proper filtration.
6. Tick Prevention: Wear long pants, use insect repellent, and perform regular tick checks to prevent tick bites and reduce the risk of tick-borne illnesses.
7. Poisonous Plants: Familiarize yourself with common poisonous plants, such as poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac, and avoid contact with them.
8. Camping Safety: If camping overnight, choose a designated campsite, follow Leave No Trace principles, and store food properly to prevent attracting wildlife.
9. Emergency Preparedness: Carry a first aid kit, a whistle, and a fully charged cell phone, and inform someone of your hiking plans in case of emergencies.
10. Hiking in Groups: It is recommended to hike with a partner or in a group for safety, especially in remote areas of the trail.
11. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, minimizing campfire impact, and respecting the natural environment.
12. Trail Closure: Check for any trail closures or alerts before your hike, as the trail may occasionally be closed due to maintenance or safety concerns.

Conservation Notes

The Big Hill Pond Trail is a conservation area located in the southwestern part of Tennessee, United States. It is managed by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and is designated as a State Natural Area. The conservation status of the Big Hill Pond Trail is considered to be in good condition, with efforts in place to protect and preserve its natural resources.

The trail is situated within the Big Hill Pond State Park, which spans over 5,000 acres of diverse ecosystems, including hardwood forests, wetlands, and open fields. These habitats provide a home to a wide range of plant and animal species, some of which are considered rare or threatened. The conservation efforts for the Big Hill Pond Trail focus on maintaining the integrity of these habitats and protecting the biodiversity within them.

To ensure the conservation of the area, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has implemented various measures. These include regular monitoring of the trail and its surrounding ecosystems, as well as the enforcement of regulations to prevent any damage or disturbance to the natural environment. Additionally, educational programs and outreach initiatives are conducted to raise awareness about the importance of conservation and to promote responsible use of the trail.

Overall, the conservation status of the Big Hill Pond Trail is actively managed and protected to preserve its natural beauty and ecological significance. Through ongoing efforts, the trail continues to provide visitors with the opportunity to experience and appreciate the unique natural heritage of the area while ensuring its long-term sustainability.

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