Distance: 50+ miles
Rating: mostly strenuous
Elevation: Low 1050 ft., high 2900 ft.
Surface: dirt
Maps: Access: Gobey Road is just north of Wartburg off of US27. Most of this area is private land -- obey posted signs, NO ATVs. Drive 3 miles in along Gobey Rd and park across the bridge on Elizabeth Church (Greasy Creek) Rd at the base of Cane Branch (Scutcheon) road. In 2007, much of this land was acquired through a state conservation easement.

Description: Gobey/Macedonia Road (14.3 miles) follows the Emory River to its headwaters. The road is paved for the first 7 miles, the last 2.7 miles is a steep 4WD road that joins the Brimstone haul road (2860').

From the base of the Cane Branch (Scutcheon) road, a moderate 11 mile loop (cumulative climb 1070') starts at the jeep road just upstream from the bridge (1050'). The 4WD road climbs to 1400' and heads toward the foot of Little Pilot Mountain. At mile 2.1, a 4WD road descends 1.9 miles left to the Cane Branch road. At mile 2.8, go right to the east side of Little Pilot Mountain, continue left at mile 3.5 (1550') toward Big Lick Gap. (The road to the right at mile 3.5 turns back south and descends along Mill Branch 2.2 miles to Greasy Creek.) At mile 5.5 take the right fork and follow Jim Tom ridge (?) between Tom Branch and Jim Branch down to Greasy Creek. At mile 7.5 (1100') go up stream to ford Greasy Creek and then go right. At mile 8, join the paved road that takes you back to the Cane Branch parking area.

The loop can be extended to 14 miles (cumulative climb 1340') by taking the left fork at mile 5.5 and climbing and following a natural bench (1800') to Hangover Ridge (mile 8.3, 1740'). Descend the ridge to the right to Tom Branch (mile 9.8, 1140') and ford Greasy Creek at mile 10. At mile 10.7 join the paved road.

A challenging loop (38 miles, cumulative climb 4500') follows 21 miles of ridge lines along the northwestern edge of the watershed. From the bridge (1050') ride up the gravel of Cane Branch road. Cross Scutcheon road (mile 2.4, 1150'). At mile 3.5 (1320') continue northwest at a 4-way intersection. At mile 4.4 (1290') cross under a power line, though one could save 0.5 miles by going right and following the power line. At mile 5 (1400'), go right on the Pilot Mtn Tower road. At mile 7.2 (2100') a spur to the right climbs steeply 0.5 miles to the Pilot Mountain fire tower (2510'). Past the fire tower spur, the jeep road starts across the rolling ridge crests (200' to 400' "swells"). At mile 10 cross White Oak gap (2050'). At mile 10.5 (2140'), Hangover Ridge road descends to the right 3.3 miles to the pavement of Greasy Creek road (1180'). (It's another 3.2 miles to Cane Branch road, making for a 17 mile loop, cumulative climb of 2030'.) Continuing along the ridge line, at mile 11.6 cross Web gap (2270').

At mile 13.8, one encounters an old coal bench on the west face of Young Mountain. The trail climbs and switches back to the back side and descends to Service Flat (mile 14.8, 2300') where you take the right fork back up the north side of Young Mountain to Griffith Mountain. On the ridge crest (mile 16.4, 2580'), take a right and head south, continue left at junctions at mile 16.8. (As of August, '99 it is possible to follow the coal bench at mile 13.8 to the right across Bear Bench Ridge 2 miles where you take a right down to McCartt gap. There is a lightly-used ATV track that descends steeply down Bear Bench Ridge 4+ miles to the Greasy Creek pavement.) Just past McCartt gap (mile 18, 2400') a trail goes off to the right (the bench loop), but you continue to climb to the Landrom Mountain junction (mile 18.5, 2720').

One option is to take the Landrom Mountain jeep road southwest 4.6 miles to the pavement at Greasy Creek (1060'). It is another 1.5 miles back to the bridge at Cane Branch, making a 25 mile loop (cumulative climb 4300').

Continue east across Hamby Gap (mile 20, 2200') and climb to a grassy strip mined gap on the west fact of High Knob at mile 21.3 (2650'). From here descend south to an intersection at mile 22 (2600') where you turn sharply left (NE), climb, and slip behind Justice Mountain. (The road to the right at mile 22 descends Fork Mountain ridge 3.4 miles to Macedonia/Gobey Rd. at Oak Hill, 1200'.) Continue straight (SE) at the 4-way intersection at mile 23.2 (2870'). The next section follows old stripmine benches so there are more puddles, but there are some nice views of the valley. At mile 26.2 you intersect the gravel Brimstone haul road (2860'). The high-country Brimstone washer is to your left, go right and at mile 26.5 turn right and descend Gobey Road 11.3 miles back to your starting point. Below is the elevation profile for the loop. Whew!

If you continue southeast from the top of Gobey Road toward Guinea Gap, it is 10 miles to the Moores camp washer via the Fork Mountain haul road.

The Landrom Mountain bench loop circles Landrom Mountain on the 2500' contour for 9 miles. You can ride 2.6 miles up to the bench from the jeep road just east of Greasy Creek (1060'). There is a nice overlook on each half of the loop about 2 miles from the starting point of the loop. The northern sections of the loop are through old strip mine areas reforested with pines and somewhat muddy. You have to climb a couple hundred feet over Landrom Mountain on the ridge road to connect the northern ends of this loop.

Return to East Tennessee mountain bike rides.
Revised 3/28/99 by Tom Dunigan