The Place: David Crockett Birthplace State Park
The Hike: Crockett Shoals Overlook Trail
For a park with a small footprint and less than 5-miles of trails, David Crockett Birthplace State Park packs a punch.
I headed out to Greene County on what turned out to be a warmer-than-I-previously-thought morning. After a quick bathroom stop at the visitor center, I set about the next portion of this adventure: figuring out where the trail head for Crockett Shoal Overlook is.
Fun fact: it’s off the main road, past the campground.
It was a rather eclectic group for this ranger-led hike. There was myself, a pair of friends and their doggos, plus two couples and their kids. They were staying in the campground, which, fun fact, is connected to the Crockett Shoals Trail by a different trail and bridge.
When wet, I’d suggest starting to the left, or the lower part of the loop. This part of the trail goes downhill for the most part. It is also narrower than the higher part. Wet leaves could make going up this portion more difficult that necessary.
It’s from this lower portion of the trail you have views of Crockett Shoals. If you’re able to see upstream far enough, you can also see the confluence of the Nolichucky and Big Limestone Creek. This is also one of the few places in the park that you get views of the mountains on the Tennessee/North Carolina border.
According to Ranger Sean, who led the hike, it is at the Crockett Shoals that David Crockett’s brothers may have almost drowned. Crockett told the story that when he was young, his brothers were trying to paddle the shoals, and their canoe overturned. Ranger Sean said Crockett’s brothers were saved thanks to some farmers who saw what happened and were able to drag the brothers to safety.
The upper part of the Crockett Shoal Overlook Trail trends to be wider and flatter. The most difficult portion of it (on my hike, at least) was the portion connecting the lower and upper trails. This is where I would be twisting my ankle if I wasn’t careful. Ranger Sean had to help a couple people up the incline due to a small boulder in the trail, the steepness and wet leaves.
From there, the trail broadens a bit and heads toward a second shelter. This second shelter is perfect to take a breath if you need to or just relax and enjoy the fall colors of the forest this time of year.
10-out-10 would hike again. Highly recommended for those who aren’t that experienced or just want a leisurely stroll through.