Hike the Dismal Swamp Loop

Rate this Adventure Turkey Call Trailhead

Distance

3.8 Miles

Elevation Gain

400 Feet

Activities

Photography, Running, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Type

Loop

Added by

Sara Sheehy

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic

An adventurous hike through a dense cypress swamp. Climb up the observation tower for a birds eye view over the trees.

Civil War history buffs may find themselves near the tiny town of Shiloh, Tennessee. While in the area be sure to explore Big Hill Pond State Park, in nearby Pocahontas, and hike Dismal Swamp.

After a night at the park's campground I drove a couple of miles on well-graded gravel road to the trailhead. Be sure to stop at the Visitor Center to get a map as trail junctions in the park aren't well marked.

My chosen loop - Turkey Call Trail - took me over the Dismal Swamp's impressively long boardwalk and up a metal observation tower for 360 degree views above the trees.

Dismal Swamp is a dense cypress wetland. It's eerily quiet, lending credence to it's grandiose name. I didn't see any mythical creatures, but I did gingerly step over a fat gray rat-snake lounging on the boardwalk.

After the boardwalk the trail winds through the woods before climbing a small hill to the Observation Tower. Huff it up the Tower's long series of stairs for a panoramic, above-the-treetops view of the nearby hills and lakes.

The trail descends before a short jaunt over an earthen dam back to the trailhead.

Big Hill Pond's campground is excellent, featuring re-built campsites and clean bathrooms with showers. Bring your hammock and bug spray.

Tip: do not follow Google Map's directions to the park, as it takes you to an access road closed for 20 years. A nice Tennessian flagged me down and got me moving in the right direction. The entrance is on Route 57 (not Wolf Pen Road). 

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

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Distance

3.8 Miles

Elevation Gain

400 Feet

Activities

Photography, Running, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Type

Loop

Added by

Sara Sheehy

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