Mountain River Trail provides ample views of local views, history

Published 12:58 am Tuesday, April 26, 2022

* Editor’s Note: Gracie Fields is an avid hiker and today continues a series looking at the many trail opportunities available to outdoor enthusiast here in Carter County. She will be providing photos of her hikes with each article.
The Mountain River Trail, located in Sycamore Shoals Historic State Park, is one of the most popular and accessible trails in Elizabethton. The gravel path allows for well-marked and easy hiking.
The trail begins at the welcome center and follows the Watauga River. There are many shaded areas, along with benches to provide resting areas.
During the spring and summer seasons, the trail is heavily traveled by many. In total, the trail is 0.90 miles long and takes on average twenty minutes to complete.
There is a minimal elevation gain of 13 feet, which might make the trail difficult for those in wheelchairs or other assistants.
“It’s such an easy hike for me and my children. I recommend it to anyone at all,” said Roan Watson. Regardless, the trail is relatively flat and easy for all ages and skill levels.
As the trail expands throughout the park, it provides exciting views of the local features and history. It extends next to the historical Sycamore Shoals Homestead and the local Watauga River.
There are multiple benches and shaded areas for breaks. However, there is also an extremely open area that is suitable for picnics, gatherings, and even dogs.
“I love bringing my dog here, she always has so much fun. It’s a perfect area and no one ever seems to mind,” said Watson.
The trail has many different paths that one can take, making for the frequent change in scenery. One notable feature is the small areas that utilize workout equipment.
These areas allow the visitors to have fun while learning to stay healthy.
“I really enjoy the equipment. It’s something my kids love to climb on and just play around with,” said Ben Castle.
In the end, the trail is one of the most popular and most traveled trails by local hikers, regardless of age and skill level.

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