ATTENTION CLIMBERS: Be a voice for climbing in Tennesee, make sure you fill out this climbing pass so that the state of TN knows how many climbers utilize to their state parks. Why this is important: This helps us advocate for climbers with the state parks. Without this data, there isn’t a great way for us to show the state just how many climbers use the land.
Land Manager: Cumberland Trail State Park
Area Rep: Eastern Tennessee Climbers Coalition
Black Mountain lies west of Knoxville, Tennessee off of Interstate 40, near Crossville, TN. In 2001, Black Mountain was purchased by the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation www.tenngreen.org (TPGF) to preserve the area long term. Black Mountain is known for spectacular views and compact, short sandstone cliffs. The 528-acre conservation project is the biggest accomplishment in the TPGF’s history. The acquisition was critical to completing a 283-mile long linear state park. The SCC joined the TPGF along with the Access Fund in donating $5000 through an Access Fund grant to help keep the area open to climbers.
The State of Tennessee now has full ownership and Cumberland Trail State Park has management of this site. It is a unit of the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail.
Climbing/bouldering is restricted to designated areas in an agreement with the East Tennessee Climbers Coalition.
Black Mountain lies west of Knoxville, Tennessee off of Interstate 40, near Crossville, TN. From I-40, take the Crab Orchard exit (east of Crossville) go south approx. 2 miles to a 4 way intersection (you will NOT have a Stop sign). Turn left onto Owls Roost Rd. and follow it up to Black Mountain. There are two areas to park. The first is at the base of the first radio tower you will see on your right – walk back across the road to find the trail and rocks. The second parking area is all the way at the top of Black Mt. where the road ends – walk around the fence to find the trail that leads to the rocks. The Dixie Cragger has a fair topographic map.
What to Expect
The cliffs primarily hold all the top-rope routes; be sure to bring LOTS of webbing (50ft. or more) for anchors. There are also hundreds of boulders with established problems as well as a ton of potential. Some of the freestanding pillars have got to be holding some undiscovered routes, not to mention the boulders that are hiding farther out in the woods. The area has suffered abuse by people dumping trash in the past. Now that the Cumberland Trail runs right through the area, the trash situation has gotten better but please be sure not to leave any trash behind. There is a water source across the road from the first parking area, but it typically does not flow much, so bring all the water that you will need for the day. Black Mt. may not be as classic as Foster’s or the Obed, but if you are looking for a new spot to explore – Black Mt. is a worthwhile venture.
- Keep dogs on a leash
- Leave no trace- please clean up any trash you see
- be courteous of CT hikers and other visitors
There is a designated backcountry campsite located trail north of the Black Mt. rock features – no camping is allowed near the bluffs and boulders. Registration is required through the Friends of the Cumberland Trail website.
Dixie Cragger’s Atlas