Piney River Nature Trail In Tennessee

Here is everything you need to know about the Piney River Nature Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Tennessee
  • Length: 10 miles.
  • Type: Hiking
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: U.S. Forest Service
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website: Info not available.

The Piney River Nature Trail is a scenic hiking trail located in the heart of the Piney River Valley in Virginia, United States. The trail has a rich historical background that dates back centuries. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Monacan and Cherokee, who relied on the river for sustenance and transportation. Evidence of their presence can still be found in the form of arrowheads and other artifacts along the trail.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, European settlers began to explore and settle in the Piney River Valley. The trail was initially used by these settlers as a means of transportation and trade, connecting the valley to nearby towns and settlements. The river itself played a crucial role in the development of the region, serving as a source of power for mills and providing water for agriculture.

In the early 20th century, the Piney River Nature Trail became a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Its picturesque landscapes and diverse wildlife attracted visitors from far and wide. The trail was officially established and maintained by the local community, who recognized its historical and ecological significance. Over the years, efforts have been made to preserve the trail’s natural beauty and protect its historical heritage, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy its wonders. Today, the Piney River Nature Trail stands as a testament to the area’s rich history and serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving our natural and cultural heritage.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Piney River Nature Trailhead: This is the main access point for the Piney River Nature Trail. It is located at the end of Piney River Road in Vail, Colorado.

2. Piney Lake Trailhead: This trailhead is located at Piney Lake, which is a popular destination for fishing, picnicking, and camping. From here, you can access the Piney River Nature Trail.

3. Upper Piney River Falls Trailhead: This trailhead is located near the Upper Piney River Falls, which is a beautiful waterfall along the Piney River. It provides access to the Piney River Nature Trail.

4. Lower Piney River Falls Trailhead: This trailhead is located near the Lower Piney River Falls, another stunning waterfall along the Piney River. It is another access point for the Piney River Nature Trail.

5. Piney Crossing Trailhead: This trailhead is located near the Piney Crossing, which is a bridge that crosses the Piney River. It provides access to the Piney River Nature Trail.

6. Piney River Ranch Trailhead: This trailhead is located near the Piney River Ranch, which is a historic ranch that offers various recreational activities. From here, you can access the Piney River Nature Trail.

7. Piney River Ranch Campground Trailhead: This trailhead is located near the Piney River Ranch Campground, which is a camping area along the Piney River. It provides access to the Piney River Nature Trail.

8. Piney River Ranch Fishing Access Trailhead: This trailhead is located near the Piney River Ranch Fishing Access, which is a designated area for fishing along the Piney River. It is another access point for the Piney River Nature Trail.

Transportation Available

1. Piney River Nature Trail Shuttle – Shuttle service specifically for the Piney River Nature Trail.
2. Piney River Nature Trail Bike Rentals – Bike rental service for exploring the trail.
3. Piney River Nature Trail Taxi – Taxi service available for transportation to and from the trail.
4. Piney River Nature Trail Bus – Bus service with stops near the trail for convenient transportation.
5. Piney River Nature Trail Car Rental – Car rental service for independent exploration of the area.


The amenities available at the Piney River Nature Trail may include:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at designated areas along the trail or at the trailhead.

2. Parking: There might be parking areas or designated parking lots available for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the trail regulations and policies, there may be designated camping sites or areas where visitors can set up tents or camp overnight.

4. Picnic Areas: There could be designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can enjoy outdoor meals or snacks.

5. Hiking Trails: The Piney River Nature Trail itself is an amenity, offering various hiking trails of different lengths and difficulty levels for visitors to explore.

6. Scenic Views: The trail may provide scenic views of the surrounding nature, including rivers, mountains, forests, or other natural landscapes.

7. Wildlife Viewing: Visitors may have the opportunity to observe and appreciate wildlife such as birds, deer, squirrels, or other animals that inhabit the area.

8. Interpretive Signs or Information Boards: There might be interpretive signs or information boards along the trail, providing educational information about the local flora, fauna, geology, or history.

9. Benches or Seating Areas: There could be benches or seating areas along the trail where visitors can rest, relax, or enjoy the surroundings.

10. Accessibility Features: The trail may have accessibility features such as wheelchair-accessible paths, ramps, or facilities to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

Please note that the availability of these amenities may vary, and it is always recommended to check with the local authorities or park management for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Piney River Campground – A campground located near the trail offering tent and RV sites.
2. Piney River Resort – A resort offering cabins and amenities for a comfortable stay near the trail.
3. Piney River Lodge – A lodge providing cozy accommodations with scenic views of the surrounding nature.
4. Piney River Bed and Breakfast – A charming B&B offering comfortable rooms and a delicious breakfast.
5. Piney River Diner – A casual diner serving a variety of dishes, perfect for a quick meal.
6. Piney River Café – A cozy café offering coffee, sandwiches, and baked goods for a relaxing break.
7. Piney River Grocery Store – A convenient grocery store for any essential supplies needed during the trail visit.
8. Piney River General Store – A general store offering a range of items including snacks, drinks, and camping supplies.
9. Piney River Medical Clinic – A medical clinic providing emergency services and healthcare assistance.
10. Piney River Police Station – A police station offering emergency assistance and maintaining law and order in the area.

Piney River Nature Trail Difficulty Notes

The Piney River Nature Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for hikers. The trail is approximately 2.5 miles long and features a variety of terrain, including rocky sections, steep inclines, and uneven surfaces. While the trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, hikers should be prepared for some challenging sections that require careful footing and endurance. However, the trail also offers beautiful views of the surrounding forest, a peaceful river, and opportunities for wildlife sightings, making it a rewarding and enjoyable hike for those seeking a moderate level of difficulty.

Features And Attractions

The Piney River Nature Trail offers a variety of scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks. Here are some notable ones along the trail:

1. Piney River Falls: This stunning waterfall is one of the main attractions along the trail. It cascades down a rocky cliff, creating a picturesque scene.

2. Piney River Suspension Bridge: This suspension bridge spans across the Piney River, offering a unique vantage point and a thrilling experience as you cross it.

3. Historic Ruins: Along the trail, you may come across remnants of old structures, such as abandoned cabins or mills, which provide a glimpse into the area’s history.

4. Wildlife Spotting: The Piney River Nature Trail is home to a diverse range of wildlife. Keep an eye out for deer, wild turkeys, various bird species, and maybe even a black bear.

5. Scenic Overlooks: As you hike along the trail, you’ll encounter several scenic overlooks that provide breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and the Piney River.

6. Rock Formations: The trail passes through areas with interesting rock formations, including cliffs, boulders, and rock outcroppings, adding to the natural beauty of the landscape.

7. Wildflower Meadows: During the spring and summer months, the Piney River Nature Trail is adorned with vibrant wildflowers, creating a colorful and picturesque setting.

8. Swimming Holes: There are a few spots along the Piney River where you can take a refreshing dip in natural swimming holes. These are perfect for cooling off on a hot day.

9. Forested Areas: The trail winds through dense forests, providing a peaceful and serene atmosphere. Enjoy the shade and the sounds of nature as you hike.

10. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas along the trail where you can take a break, enjoy a meal, and soak in the beautiful surroundings.

Remember to check with local authorities or trail guides for any specific regulations or safety precautions before embarking on your journey along the Piney River Nature Trail.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– No hunting or trapping is allowed.
– No motorized vehicles are permitted on the trail.
– Camping is not allowed on the trail.
– No littering or dumping of any kind is permitted.
– Fishing is allowed in designated areas only and requires a valid fishing license.
– Swimming or wading in the river is allowed at your own risk.
– Bicycles are allowed on the trail but must yield to pedestrians.
– No off-road biking or biking on unauthorized trails.
– No fires or open flames are allowed on the trail.
– No alcohol or illegal substances are permitted.
– No feeding or disturbing wildlife.
– No picking or damaging plants or flowers.
– No excessive noise or disruptive behavior.
– No overnight parking or camping in the trailhead parking area.
– The trail is open year-round, but certain sections may be closed during specific seasons for maintenance or safety reasons.

Seasonal Information

The Piney River Nature Trail is a stunning destination that offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, this trail is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. While the trail is open year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting.

One of the most popular times to visit the Piney River Nature Trail is during the summer months, from June to August. During this time, the weather is generally warm and pleasant, making it ideal for hiking, camping, and enjoying the breathtaking views. The trail is surrounded by lush greenery, wildflowers in full bloom, and the sound of the rushing Piney River, creating a picturesque setting that is hard to resist.

Another great time to visit is during the fall season, from September to October. As the leaves change color, the trail transforms into a vibrant canvas of red, orange, and gold. The crisp autumn air adds a refreshing touch to the hiking experience, and the surrounding mountains provide a stunning backdrop for photography enthusiasts. Fall is also a great time to spot wildlife, as animals prepare for the winter months.

It’s important to note that the Piney River Nature Trail has seasonal closures during the winter months, typically from November to May. The trail becomes inaccessible due to heavy snowfall and dangerous conditions. However, this closure period allows for the preservation of the trail and its surrounding ecosystem. It’s advisable to check with local authorities or the trail’s official website for the exact closure dates and any updates before planning a visit.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Piney River Nature Trail are during the summer and fall seasons when the weather is pleasant, and the scenery is at its most vibrant. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the seasonal closures during the winter months to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit. Whether you’re seeking adventure, tranquility, or simply a connection with nature, the Piney River Nature Trail offers an unforgettable experience throughout the year.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Trail: The Piney River Nature Trail offers a wheelchair accessible trail that allows individuals with mobility challenges to explore the beauty of the area.
2. Paved Pathways: The trail features paved pathways, ensuring a smooth and accessible surface for wheelchair users and individuals with mobility aids.
3. Accessible Parking: The trail provides designated accessible parking spaces near the trailhead, allowing easy access for individuals with disabilities.
4. Accessible Restrooms: The trail offers accessible restrooms equipped with features such as grab bars and wider doorways to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
5. Braille Signage: Braille signage is available along the trail, providing information and directions for visually impaired individuals.
6. Handrails and Guardrails: The trail includes handrails and guardrails in areas where additional support and safety measures are necessary.
7. Benches and Rest Areas: The trail provides benches and rest areas at regular intervals, allowing individuals with mobility challenges to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
8. Accessible Picnic Areas: The trail offers accessible picnic areas equipped with tables and seating that accommodate individuals using wheelchairs or mobility aids.
9. Audio Guides: Audio guides are available for individuals with visual impairments, providing audio descriptions and information about the trail’s features.
10. Service Animal Friendly: The Piney River Nature Trail welcomes service animals, ensuring individuals with disabilities have the necessary support during their visit.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Piney River Nature Trail is a moderately difficult trail with some steep sections and uneven terrain, requiring proper hiking footwear and caution.
2. Weather Awareness: Be aware of changing weather conditions and dress accordingly, as the trail is exposed and can be affected by extreme temperatures or sudden storms.
3. Trail Markings: Follow the clearly marked trail signs and stay on the designated path to avoid getting lost or wandering into unsafe areas.
4. Wildlife Encounter: Exercise caution and maintain a safe distance if encountering wildlife, as the trail is home to various animals including deer, snakes, and birds.
5. Poisonous Plants: Be aware of poisonous plants such as poison ivy and poison oak, and avoid contact to prevent allergic reactions or skin irritations.
6. Hydration: Carry an adequate supply of water and stay hydrated, especially during hot weather, as there are limited water sources along the trail.
7. Sun Protection: Apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and use sunglasses to protect yourself from harmful UV rays, as the trail offers limited shade.
8. Insect Repellent: Use insect repellent to prevent mosquito and tick bites, as the trail passes through wooded areas where these pests may be present.
9. Emergency Preparedness: Carry a fully charged cell phone, a basic first aid kit, and inform someone about your hiking plans in case of emergencies.
10. Trail Etiquette: Respect other hikers by yielding to uphill traffic, keeping noise levels low, and leaving no trace by properly disposing of trash.
11. Hiking in Groups: It is recommended to hike with a partner or in a group for safety, especially in remote areas of the trail.
12. Time Management: Plan your hike according to daylight hours and allow enough time to complete the trail before sunset, as hiking in the dark can be dangerous.
13. Physical Fitness: Ensure you are in good physical condition before attempting the trail, as it involves moderate exertion and endurance.
14. Trail Closure: Check for any trail closures or restrictions before your visit, as maintenance or adverse conditions may temporarily close sections of the trail.
15. Emergency Contacts: Familiarize yourself with the local emergency contact numbers and the nearest medical facilities in case of accidents or injuries.

Conservation Notes

The Piney River Nature Trail is considered to be in a relatively stable conservation status. The trail is located within a protected area, ensuring that the natural habitat and wildlife are safeguarded from human interference. The conservation efforts in this area have been successful in maintaining the ecological balance and preserving the biodiversity of the region.

The Piney River Nature Trail is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species, many of which are considered to be of conservation concern. Efforts have been made to protect and restore the habitats of these species, ensuring their survival and promoting their population growth. The trail also serves as a vital corridor for wildlife movement, allowing for the exchange of genetic material and maintaining healthy populations.

Conservationists and park authorities have implemented various measures to minimize human impact on the trail. These include strict regulations on waste disposal, limiting visitor numbers, and enforcing guidelines to prevent disturbance to wildlife and their habitats. Ongoing monitoring and research are conducted to assess the effectiveness of these conservation measures and to identify any potential threats or issues that may arise.

Overall, the conservation status of the Piney River Nature Trail is considered to be positive, with ongoing efforts to protect and preserve the natural environment. The trail serves as an important example of successful conservation practices and provides a valuable opportunity for visitors to experience and appreciate the beauty and diversity of the area while ensuring its long-term sustainability.

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