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blue Pinnacle Mountain Tower Trail

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4.9 mile 7.9 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 1,709' 521 m
Descent: -253' -77 m
High: 3,525' 1,074 m
Low: 2,068' 630 m


Avg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 36% (20°)


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Trail shared by Marc Upton

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A well-groomed climbing trail with spectacular 360 degree views at the top.

Marc Upton

E-Bikes Allowed

Features -none-

No Horses or Motorized Vehicles allowed.


The Pinnacle Mountain Tower Trail takes you to the highest point in Washington County, TN. The trailhead is right off exit 32 on I-26 at Jack Snider Park where you'll find newly built restrooms/changing area. The trail was completed in 2011 with a backhoe and has narrowed nicely to a trail that is wider than singletrack, but not quite as wide as doubletrack in most places.

The trail averages about a 7% grade with a good amount of grade reversals as the climb takes you through mostly covered forest until you approach the summit. Just beyond the 3 mile mark you'll cross a Forest Service Road and ATV Trail. This is the only trail intersection you'll come across during your ascent. Continue straight across this road to stay on the trail. Shortly after this crossing, the trail turns slightly downhill briefly before the climb to the top resumes.

Once at the summit, you'll have the opportunity to climb the observation tower and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding Unaka Mountains as well as the towns of Erwin and Unicoi. On a clear day, you can see into both North Carolina and Virginia.

The descent back down the trail is very fast with some nice banked turns and long straight sections. However, there are a few off camber switchbacks that can sneak up on you if you are flying. Also, this trail sees a lot of hiker/trail runner use on the weekends. To avoid the majority of the foot traffic, try to ride on the weekdays or early morning on the weekend. Assuming no stopping, advanced riders will want to allow a little over an hour to complete the trail out and back. Beginner and intermediate level riders should allow an hour and half to two hours to complete.


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Nov 7, 2018
Joey Atkins
Oct 25, 2018
Marc Upton
10mi — 1h 15m
Feb 21, 2018
Charlie Gruys
Sep 13, 2017
Richard Markland
Jun 9, 2017
John McGee
Apr 27, 2017
John McGee
Oct 19, 2016
Ben Becker
Sep 3, 2016
Tim Zierden

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Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 14 votes


in Erwin


  4.5 from 14 votes
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in Erwin


in Tennessee


81 Views Last Month
2,958 Since Jan 6, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

Andrew Shearin
Cary, NC
Andrew Shearin   Cary, NC
what is even more fun to do on this trail to get the descent back started earlier is take a left at the intersection and finish the climb to the top on the gravel forest service road, then take the singletrack back down after you check out the tower. Jan 26, 2016
Good for training the legs, but the ride down isn't really that enjoyable. It's pretty basic overall with little technical challenge and a fairly straightforward route. Oct 7, 2017

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