The Place: David Crockett Birthplace State Park; Greene County, Tenn.
The Hike: John Crockett Loop Trail and part of the Rebecca Hawkins Trail
If you thought that I was going to wait to hit the trails at a Tennessee State Park for a few weeks, you’d be wrong.
Being outside is as vital to me as breathing, so I figured an early-ish morning on the trails at David Crockett Birthplace State Park in Greene County would punch the ticket.
I decided to knock the longest trail in the park off my list, with a side-trip up another trail to an overlook I only recently found out about.
There’s a few options to get to the John Crockett Loop. Normally, I would have hopped on the Limestone Creek Trail to the Rebecca Hawkins Trail and head up the hill to the JCT. I could have parked at the Crockett Memorial, walked through the farmstead and accessed it near the restroom.
I, of course, decided to park in the lot by the playground. At this point, there’s a triple trailhead: the JCT, Rebecca Hawkins Trail, and Storybook Trail all follow the same 0.10 mile path to start.
At the beginning, it went wrong. Not long onto the trail (like one minute onto the trail) it makes a corner to the left. I completely missed the blazes for the JCT and decided the bend to the left was where the Storybook Trail broke off to complete its little loop.
I was wrong. I ended up on either a well-traveled deer path or human path that wasn’t supposed to be there. It wasn’t bad, but did go up over the edge of one of the highest points in the park. At least I ended up back on the JCT and if I hadn’t, it wouldn’t have taken me much to get “unlost.”
After hanging a left back onto the JCT, I passed where the Rebecca Hawkins Trail crosses. A small incline and I was onto a piece of trail which runs practically parallel to the road. A small multitude of yellow wildflowers dotted the trail. Some red trumpet-like flowers from a vine, which had been blown down in the overnight showers, were also carpeting the ground.
It was on this portion of the hike that I happened across some evergreens with cedar apple rust hanging from their branches.
According to a post on the U.S. Forest Service website, cedar apple rust is found across eastern North America. It’s a really interesting fungus. You can read more about it here.
Shortly around another right turn, you meet again the Rebecca Hawkins Trail. This time, I headed down it to an overlook complete with a few shade trees and a bench.
There are a couple things of note with the JCT as you loop back around to the Storybook Trail and parking. First, at times, parts of the trail could be closed because there’s a black powder musket range just off it. Second, there’s a decent incline right at that same area. You may want to check their David Crockett Birthplace Facebook page or with rangers at the park before you head onto a trail… to know if you’ll run into any closures.
The quick notes: The John Crockett Trail is 1.35 miles, relatively flat and clearly marked. It was also maintained; it almost looked as though a lawn mower had been brought through. A great quick saunter for spying wildflowers and listening to birds. Take the .10 mile side-trip to the overlook on the Rebecca Hawkins Trail for snack time on a bench in the shade.