Knoxville: Twin Arches Loop

This 4.8-mile loop ranks as one of the best dayhikes on the Cumberland Plateau, thanks to whitewater cascades, giant twin arches, and a rustic lodge.
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This 4.8-mile loop ranks as one of the best dayhikes on the Cumberland Plateau, thanks to whitewater cascades, giant twin arches, and a rustic lodge.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 6.9

Waypoints

Arch from below

Location: 36.5422782897949, -84.7359313964844

©Bill Jackson

Cabin at Charit Creek

Location: 36.5373229980469, -84.7276611328125

©Bill Jackson

Charit Creek Lodges

Location: 36.5371017456055, -84.7276840209961

©Bill Jackson

Lodge at Charit Creek

Location: 36.536937713623, -84.7275238037109

©Bill Jackson

North Arch #1

Location: 36.5417327880859, -84.7359924316406

©Bill Jackson

North Arch from the trail

Location: 36.5434875488281, -84.7359619140625

©Bill Jackson

Striking patterns on sandstone

Location: 36.5446929931641, -84.7382659912109

©Bill Jackson

Underneath South Arch

Location: 36.5415115356445, -84.7356567382812

©Bill Jackson

Steep stairs

Location: 36.5411567687988, -84.7351684570312

Practically a ladder, these steps take you to the top of the arches. ©Bill Jackson

The remains of Jake's Place

Location: 36.5365524291992, -84.7446441650391

©Bill Jackson

TAL001

Location: 36.5444602966309, -84.7415771484375

Descend slowly on log steps and wooden staircases

TAL002

Location: 36.5442390441894, -84.7383880615234

L @ Y; continue descent on winding trail lined with striking patterns of weathered sandstone

TAL003

Location: 36.5419006347656, -84.7357482910156

North Arch (93 ft. high): Drop gear and circle arch for photo ops on spur trails. Continue on Loop Trail heading SE

From WPT 3
Drop gear here, at the North Arch and look for picture ops. Turn left on trail to Charit Creek. Go past steps on right, around curve to see the South Arch. We'll climb the steps later.

TAL004

Location: 36.5418014526367, -84.7352523803711

South Arch (103 ft. high), tallest of two spans; take sharp L, head down switchbacks to Charit Creek

TAL005

Location: 36.5374603271484, -84.7279815673828

Optional overnight @ rustic Charit Creek Lodge (reservations required: 865-429-5704); to continue, head W through hemlocks and rhododendrons

TAL006

Location: 36.534538269043, -84.7316131591797

Head R following Middle Creek, passing suspension
bridge on L

TAL007

Location: 36.5365180969238, -84.7448883056641

R toward Jake’s Place; a lone stone chimney is the only sign of this mid-1800s homestead

TAL008

Location: 36.5389595031738, -84.7454986572266

Cross gentle flow of Andy’s Creek and begin 200-foot switchback ascent; in .2 mi., spot a 10-ft. cascade from overhung ridgeline

TAL009

Location: 36.5416297912598, -84.7436981201172

Cliffs dwarf trail, providing superb two-tent campsites (permit required); return to WPT 3 and turn L; retrace route to car