Buffalo Mountain Fire Tower
ElevationAscent: 1,950' 594 m
Descent: -1,910' -582 m
High: 3,503' 1,068 m
Low: 1,999' 609 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 48% (25°)
Popular rides nearby
ETSU XC Trail Lap
5.8 mi 9.3 km • Loop • 675 ft Ascent 205.62 m Ascent
4.4 mi 7.0 km • Loop • 906 ft Ascent 276.21 m Ascent
Birchfield Lake Lollipop
12.7 mi 20.5 km • Loop • 2,358 ft Ascent 718.67 m Ascent
Horse Creek Loop
6.8 mi 11.0 km • Loop • 1,045 ft Ascent 318.62 m Ascent
Round Knob Loops
19.8 mi 31.8 km • Loop • 3,245 ft Ascent 989.13 m Ascent
Greene Mountain Loop
10.8 mi 17.4 km • Loop • 1,710 ft Ascent 521.31 m Ascent
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“Gravel climb up Briar Creek Road (FS 188) to the fire tower before a rowdy descent down Buffalo Mountain ATV Trail #29.”— Chad Wolfe
Electric Mountain Bikes Allowed
There is a $5 per vehicle parking fee in the feed tube at the trailhead, so bring some cash.
Downtown Johnson City is only a few miles away full of perfect post-ride breweries and a freakishly diverse list of options for grub.
Hop on Buffalo Mountain ATV Trail #29 for a rowdy descent back to Dry Creek Road filled with everything from smooth hardpack, crazy steep dips, berms, and ROCKS. The road, gravel, and trail all have views that make the effort completely worth it.
Riders can also shuttle up Forest Road #188. Most use the fire tower parking lot as the turn around point (easily identified with a yellow gate blocking off car traffic to the tower). With nearly 2,000 feet of climbing, it's no surprise that this trail is also popular with eMTBs.
You can easily add 5 mile road out and back along Dry Creek Road by parking (when not in use of course) at Cherokee Elementary or 7 miles from ETSU/Downtown Johnson City. There are also several parking options along Dry Creek Road typical with most national forests.
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed, History & Background
Local Club: SORBA - Tri-Cities
Jun 6, 2019: Tannery Knobs Opening at noon today!!!
Feb 23, 2019: Volunteer Incentives Update
Feb 13, 2019: Volunteer Incentives From The Bike Shop of JC
Land Manager: USFS Cherokee National Forest - Watauga Ranger District