Indian Bluff

Distance: 13.1 miles
Time: 3 hours
Rating: Moderate to strenuous
Elevation: 1940' to 3540'
Surface: dirt/gravel
Maps: USGS Quads: Lake City, Duncan Flats and Windrock ATV club map (pdf)
Access: Park at or near Indian Bluff Baptist Church on Braden Flats Road east off of 116, about 3 miles north of the junction of 330 and 116 west of Lake City. Most of these trails are on private land, access rights may have changed, obey posted signs. Much of this area is owned by Coal Creek Mining and requires an access fee, see the windrock page for more details. The area is laced with mining and logging roads. Avoid active mining or logging sites and be alert for hazards associated with mining.

Click here for map, also see 3-D map (35K).

Description: Starting at the end of the pavement of Braden Flats Road (B,1940'), the trail forks in less then 0.1 miles. Take the left fork and climb steeply under a power line until you reach a junction at a coal seam (C, mile 0.6 , 2340'). Turn right (east) and follow the coal seam to its intersection (mile 2.8, 2160') with the gravel road from Briceville (F). (As of 1998, the steep climb is becoming impassable, it is possible just to continue east (B to F on map, 2.5 miles) along a lower trail to the Briceville gravel road.) (Briceville (E, 900') is 3.1 miles down the road to the right. If you continue east from (F), you'll reach the gap on Vowell Mountain in about 2 miles.) Turn left and begin the 3.1 mile climb to Cross Mountain. At mile 3.6 (G,2700') note the road to the left -- you'll be turning there on the way back. (The road to the right intersects the gravel road from Caryville in 9.7 miles.) At mile 4.4 you arrive at Grassy Gap (H, 3000'), views of the Tennessee Valley to the East and the Cumberland Mountains to the West. A gravel road to the left descends to coal seams, but you continue North to a dirt road on the left at mile 4.7. Follow the dirt road to mile 5.7 and take the sharp right up to the radio towers (I,mile 5.9, 3540'). This is the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi and west of the Appalachians (see Tennessee peaks and county high points). Pavement and building structures remain from a 1950s radar station.

Return on the same route to mile 8 (G, 2700'), where you take a right along another coal seam. At mile 10.3 (M, 2800'), take the dirt road descending south. At mile 10.9 (2340') you intersect the lower coal seam, continue right (south west) to Graves Gap (N, mile 11.3, 2160') on highway 116. (The gravel road on the west side of the Gap leads 8.8 miles to the Windrock Road.) Turn left down 116 to the Braden Flats Rd. (A, mile 11.8).

As indicated on the map, there are other rides on Red Oak Mountain and in the Stony Fork watershed.

Windrock ATV club has trail markers on the land owned by Coal Creek Mining (indicated in red on map and summarized below.
G50 Graves Gap to Briceville gravel seam (N-M-G, 3.2 miles)
G51 The Flats gravel (1.0 miles), see Caryville trails
G52 Cross Mountain jeep road (4.7 miles)
G53 Briceville haul road (E-H), gravel (3.0 miles)
T50 Middle seam (N-F, 2.6 miles)
T51 Lower seam (B-F, 2.5 miles)
T52 Lower seam to Vowell Mtn (2.9 miles)
T53 Middle seam (G to Cold Gap, 3.2 miles)
T54 Cold Gap to Caryville gravel via the Flats (6.6 miles)
T55 White Gap loop (2.2 miles)
T56 Round Rock Creek trail (4.4 miles)
T57 Mountain Home seam (11.5 miles)
T58 Round Rock connector (1.5 miles)
T59 Low Gap connector (0.5 miles)
T60 East Red Oak Mtn (2.9 miles)

Return to East Tennessee mountain bike rides.
Revised 12/23/95 by Tom Dunigan