The Place: Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park, Elizabethton
The “Hike”: Patriot Path Trail
- “Hike” is in quotes because this trail turned out to much more of a walking trail than a hiking trail.
- The last time I saw this many dogs on a path was Labor Day weekend at Carver’s Gap.
With promises of soggy and potentially snowy weather on the horizon, I decided Sunday I needed to hit a trail. However, I was on call, so I couldn’t go far and had to have cell service. So I decided to go out to Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park for a jaunt.
Sycamore Shoals has three trails: the Longhunter Loop, the Patriot Path and the “SS” Trail. The Patriot Path is the longest, so I headed out that way. (FYI, if you’re trying to find this on AllTrails, it’s called the Mountain River Trail.)
This path has a layer of fine gravel laid down on it and is very well kept, meaning there’s very few opportunities to turn or ankle or get seriously injured. There are areas where it is an option to cross through water rather than over the bridge, but Sunday was too cool and blustery for that.
Despite the bluster, runners and dog walkers were out en force to enjoy the day. I found myself taking my time and enjoying it. I stopped once at a lovely wooden swing to take some video of the river and a second time at a picnic table for snack time.
This trail is also has markers about the Overmountain Men and Fort Watauga. If history isn’t your thing, there’s a pollinator garden and a large field that looks perfect for picnicking or spreading a blanket out and reading in the sun.
Overall, this roughly 1-mile trail is a piece of cake. If you’re looking for a relaxing walk/light hike, this is definitely a trail to check out.