Hike the Rocky Branch and Limestone Cove Trail
Tennessee › Rocky Branch Trailhead
Added by The Outbound Collective
Rocky Branch is a small stream in the Limestone Cove area of Unicoi County, TN. This scenic hike is dog-friendly.
The trail starts from just beyond the old Limestone Cove campground and runs 3.9 miles to Stamping Ground Ridge high atop Unaka Mountain. The first mile or so is fairly easy but from then on it can be very challenging. Eventually you'll intersect with the trail coming down from Stamping Ground Ridge, turn right onto this trail and you'll soon arrive at your destination.
The Limestone Cove Trail (FS Trail #30) climbs 2200’ in 3.8 miles from the recreation area to Stamping Ground Ridge. From the new trailhead at a locked gate, follow an old Forest Service Road 4343 for 0.3 miles to a sharp right onto a wide, grassy trail. Cross Rocky Branch stream at 1.2 miles, then climb steadily with some steep sections up old logging roads through regrowth hardwoods and rhododendron. In a pretty gap covered with red spruce, reach a junction with the Stamping Ground Ridge Trail at 3.8 miles. A right turn leads 0.4 miles to the Stamping Ground Ridge overlook and parking area on Forest Road 230 (Unaka Mountain Road). This last leg has the views of the nearby mountains and valleys.
From I-26 take the Unicoi exit (#32). At the end of exit ramp turn east towards town. At the stop sign, turn right onto Unicoi Road (which is also known locally as the Erwin Highway) and proceed for 0.7 miles. Follow the signs pointing to the Cherokee National Forest by turning left onto Rt. 107 (Limestone Cove Road). Drive for approximately 3.5 miles, you'll see the Limestone Cove picnic area on your left, Rocky Branch Road is on the right. Turn right here and follow Rocky Branch Road for approximately 1/3 mile till you reach a gate and a gravel parking area on your left. Park your vehicle and then continue following the forest service road on foot for approx. 1/2 mile, just before the road makes a sharp turn to the left and crosses Rocky Branch, look for a trailhead marker on your right.
- Hiking gear
- Hiking shoes
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Chillin, Hiking, Photography
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
More Adventures Nearby
Hike to Rocky Top
Tennessee / Cade's Cove Visitor Center
Rocky Top is known to be the spot that inspired the famous fight song of the University of Tennessee, which is also an official song for the state of Tennessee.
Hike to Carmac Falls
Tennessee / Evins Mill, TN
Complete a short hike to the 90-foot Carmac Falls! Firstly, it is important to note that Carmac Falls is located on the grounds of Evins Mill resort and is therefore private property.