James E. Edmonds Backcountry Trail
A long loop up and down the lower slopes of Black Rock Mountain
The loop begins 0.7 mile down the trail, where signs direct hikers to travel counterclockwise to make the trip easier. Initially, the path is an old road, but about half a mile up the road the road turns right and the loop turns left onto a path, which crosses a paved road. The opposite side is clearly marked and eventually runs alongside Taylor Creek. From here the path crosses the creek, turns into a switchback up the hill, then runs along the ridge at the top. After following the ridge for a time, the route turns left onto an old level road for almost a quarter of a mile.
An important note is the sign that points hikers to the left, down another old road. Continuing on the level road adds an extra .7 mile onto the trip (and is included in the 7.2 distance of the loop) and leads to an excellent view off of Lookoff Mountain, over the Little Tennessee River Valley, as well as a campsite.
Back at the downhill turn, the path leads down Lookoff Mountain, back across the gravel road, and back across Taylor Creek. The steep climb back to the parking lot is the most difficult part of the hike.
Directions: Google Directions
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