Obed Wild & Scenic River Segment: Nemo Bridge To Obed/Emory Confluence

Obed Wild & Scenic River Segment: Nemo Bridge To Obed/Emory Confluence

This section of the Cumberland Trail will eventually climb from Emory River Gorge within the National Park Service (NPS)-administered Obed Wild and Scenic River (WSR) to the edge of the Cumberland Mountains in the town of Wartburg. Emory River Gorge marks the place where the current version of the Cumberland Trail departs from the trail’s original route.

Although only 1.3 miles of the CT have been constructed in this section to date, entirely within the Obed WSR, the section contains several gems. The iron bridge over the Emory River is a piece of history saved only by the efforts of those with a long-term vision for the CT. The railroad tunnel overlook near the section’s north end is one of the most unique along the trail.

Trailheads: From the junction of TN 62 and US 27 at the southern end of Wartburg, drive north on the combined highways for 0.6 miles and turn left on Kingston Street at a sign for the Obed WSR. After one block, turn right on Eliza Street; then after another block, turn left onto Maiden Street. The Obed WSR Visitor Center is on the right in the first block at 0.7 miles (N36 06.424 W84 35.889).

From the visitor center, continue south on Maiden Street for two blocks, then turn right on Spring Street at 0.2 miles. On the west end of Wartburg, at 0.5 miles, Spring Street turns sharply left and becomes Catoosa Road. Follow this narrow, winding, paved road to the entrance to the Obed WSR Nemo Picnic Area at 5.8 miles, just before Nemo Bridge.

You can start your hike here at the Nemo Picnic Area but also from the Obed WSR Rock Creek Campground. To reach that access, cross the Emory River on the new concrete bridge. At 6.1 miles, turn right onto the gravel entry road for the Rock Creek Campground. Trailhead parking for the CT is located at the campground registration area at 6.2 miles. There are pit toilets in the campground. The CT Nemo Trailhead is 100 feet farther down the campground road.

The northern end of this section, when constructed, will be at the new Morgan County Visitor Center in Wartburg at the TN 62/US 27 junction. Approximately 5 miles of new trail will eventually head northeast from the current trail end and pass through Wartburg to the visitor center. Route yet to be determined.