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City Side Scenic Loop

Difficult
 3.7 (3) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Be prepared to climb but the Observation Overlook is worth it.


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Map Key

5.9

Miles

9.5

KM

90%

Singletrack

1,360' 414 m

High

1,029' 314 m

Low

805' 245 m

Up

811' 247 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

22%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed

Features Views

Overview

This is the City Side of Norris Watershed. It's a true MTB gem in East TN with tough climbs and beautiful views.

Description

As you climb up the gravel on Lower Clear Creek Road, the road takes a hard left-hand turn and Reservoir Hill Trail begins just around the turn on your right. It starts out with an immediate climb taking you through a section of roots and rocks before coming to a split. The trail continues up the hill to the intersection of Reservoir Hill Circle Trail. Continue straight up the hill on Reservoir Hill Trail. The trail steepens and has good bit of roots and some rocky sections.

Towards the top, you'll cross a powerline cut, and a picnic shelter will be on your left. At the very top of the climb, you'll see beautiful stonework on your left for the Reservoir Hill Overlook with a pretty view of Norris Dam and the Clinch River. The trail continues over the hill. This is a very fast descent with a good bit of roots especially towards the bottom of the hill. The trail briefly flattens out and you'll see Reservoir Hill Circle Trail on your right just before coming into an opening with a roadbed. Reservoir Hill Trail meets Deer Ridge Trail just over the hill on your left and turns into Observation Point Trail.

Continue on Observation Point Trail, and you'll go across a powerline cut and re-enter the woods. You'll see a house on your left and the roadbed forks with Grist Mill Trail going to the right and Observation Point Trail going to the left. Continue on Observation Point Trail and almost immediately the trail passes the start of Eagle Trail on your left. Just beyond Eagle Trail, Observation forks to make a loop. Take the right-hand trail going counterclockwise around the loop. At the top, there is a picnic shelter, benches, and an excellent view of the Clinch River and Norris Dam.

Continue around the other side of the loop and back to Eagle Trail. Turn right onto Eagle Trail. It is a fun and fast singletrack trail that goes down into the holler near US Hwy 441 before climbing back up the hill on the other side to a Hickory Trail Subdivision, local neighborhood in the City of Norris. The trail has two shallow creek crossings. Just before the first crossing you'll see Cliff Trail split off to the right. Stay straight on Eagle and cross the creek. When you get to the bottom of the hill, you'll see an intersection with the spur trail that takes you to US Hwy 441.

Stay straight on Eagle Trail and continue to the back of the holler where you'll cross the second creek crossing and begin your climb up the other side. The climb is fairly steep at times and has three switchbacks and a couple of bridges. The trail will end when you hit pavement in a subdivision next to a yellow fire hydrant. Turn left onto Hickory Trail Road then turn right onto Butternut Drive and turn left onto Deer Ridge Road and follow it until you see Deer Ridge Trail on the left. You'll see a gate at the entrance to the trail.

As Deer Ridge Trail begins, you'll climb a short but steep hill and drop over the backside of the hill to quick right-hand turn. Shortly after the turn, you'll cross a shallow branch and then head across a powerline cut. On the other side of the cut, you'll enter the woods again with a fairly steep climb to the top of the powerline cut where Observation Point Trail, Reservoir Trail and Deer Ridge Trail all meet. Turn right onto Reservoir Trail and you'll almost immediately turn left onto Reservoir Hill Circle Trail. The trail is a mixture of single and doubletrack trail. It begins as a singletrack trail and heads over the hill to a switchback and quickly turns into a doubletrack.

This section of the trail can be very fast, but control your speed, after about 100-120 feet, the trail turns off to the right onto singletrack and the doubletrack continues over the hill. You'll quickly come to a switchback that sends you straight back across the doubletrack and quickly down into the bottom of the holler.

Contacts

Shared By:

Bo Gerhardt

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 3 votes

#2958

Overall
  3.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
33%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#53

in Tennessee

#2,958

Overall
19 Views Last Month
636 Since Jan 9, 2020
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Photos

Bottom of Reservoir Hill Loop - Walking path only to the left.
Jan 28, 2020 near Norris, TN
Water Crossing on Eagle Trail
Jan 28, 2020 near Norris, TN
Bridge on Eagle Trail
Jan 28, 2020 near Norris, TN
Observation Overlook - Norris Dam
Jan 13, 2020 near Norris, TN
Top of Eagle Trail
Jan 28, 2020 near Norris, TN

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May 30, 2020
Clay Deppen
Very tough ascent if not trained for it, down hill is very fun but slippery if wet. Would definitely recommend for a 1x drivetrain for quick shifting