Beautiful views of the scenic Smoky Mountains are available at this 500-acre park that climbs 1,000 feet in elevation to Knox ... More
Beautiful views of the scenic Smoky Mountains are available at this 500-acre park that climbs 1,000 feet in elevation to Knox County's highest point and reaches 2,100 feet above the sea level. There are three miles of hiking trails on site that normally take two to four hours to hike.
Good hike if you don't feel like driving far from Knoxville (in fact, it's close proximity to Knoxville is probably why it is popular for hiking). If you have time, it would be better spent at the Smokies or Big South Fork. The trails at House Mountain are covered with poison ivy, and parking can be a real problem.
House Mountain has the most wonderful breathtaking view around town. I went today and the sky was perfect. You could see for miles of the smokies. It's not a mountain to be taken lightly. It does have an elevation of @ 2070 feet. The trails are very well maintained but I wished there were more trail markings. At a couple places it was kindly questionable onto which direction to take. Several people I encountered with on the trail had gotten turned around and had to back track the trail. I took the blue trail which was a mile and made it to the top in about 1 1/2 hours. That's with several stops and picture taking. It's longer than the white blaze but not as steep and especially with hiking alone I certainly didn't want to have any mishaps. With about a fifth of the way left to the summitt the trail appears to splits to the right or to the left. This made have been caused by erosion of hikers not adhering to the trail or perhaps due to being turn around for one thing. Luckily I ran into someone and he directed me to the correct trail after finding his way back from the other. I notice on the tree it had a blue blaze on it with a very teeny tiny white arrow on it directing everyone to the correct trail which is left. Easy to miss. Once up to the crest which is the red blaze, the view is spectacular. It's a panoromic 180 view of the Smokies and the beautiful green countryside. I continued onto west end of the red blaze to the West Overlook. It was nice but couldn't see as much between the trees. You can continue back to the parking lot on the white blaze which is shorter than the other way back. There are a few interesting sights of the mountain. The path is very narrow, rooty and steep. There's quite a bit of orange plastic swiss cheese borders to keep everyone on the trail. However, I didn't feel as comfortable on the white blaze due to the lack of marking on the trees and had some questionale decisions to make, There were a lot of trees down so that may be one of the reasons for this. For me, in order to see the whole thing I rather gradually go up on the blue blaze and loop back down on the West Overlook. Taking a walking stick on the way down definitely helps. Of course if you don't want to do it all in a day take the blue blaze up to the East end of the red blaze and come back down the same way. Hope this bit of updated infomation helps. Well worth the time and effort. Definitely will go back with family and friends. And yes, this is quite a popular place, the parking lot was packed. There is a posted sign announcing a surveillence camera there to keep the vandies away.
I have lived in Knoxville for almost a year and I've seen House Mountain from afar but this past weekend decided to go for a hike! We took the trail to the left up the mountain and rested once we arrived at the rock outcropping. There were many butterflies fluttering about and I am curious as to if they have mating grounds atop the mountain. There were many differenct species around the west outlook and the ridge trail to the east overlook. I was told by some passing hikers that the blue trail is easier and the white more strenuous; however since the white trail is .8 miles and a bit more difficult I would recommend hiking up on that side and then down the easier but longer blue trail on the way down. Be sure to pace yourself and take some water for the trip. It was lovely, fun, and a wonderful way to spend a Sunday!
We enjoyed the hike and the view. The parking lot was full and we parked to one side without difficulty.
We took the easier route to the top, the blue trail. About halfway up, we missed the trail without knowing it. As we neared the top we found ourselves scrambling across rock faces. Oddly, there was a blue ink drawing on a rock along the way, indicating that someone else had been lost in the same way we were. We eventually found the red trail, the road that leads from one lookout point to the other, and went to the west bluff without further incident. Total elapsed time for the trip from the parking lot, up the blue trail with detours, then the red trail to the west bluff and back down the white trail, was 2 hours 5 minutes.
If you just really have to go hiking and you can't make the drive to the Smokies or one of the better state parks, House Mountain fills a void. Really, it's nothing to write home about. Just an average or maybe slightly-above-average day hike. There are some nice views from the top that would be impressive to anyone who's never hiking up a small mountain before.
Beautiful, strenuous hike. Give yourself at least three hours before dark to attempt entire trip to top and back.
When returning to our car we found a window knocked out and things stolen out of our car. This is an ongoing problem at this location. Wish they could catch who's doing it.
The hike was incredibly hard, although well worth it in the end. My fiancee and I took the trail to the the left, finished it huffing and puffing but quickly had our breath taken away when we looked at the overlook. However, the overlook to the right from the trailhead (West I think) made the first overlook we stopped at seem like nothing. It was amazing, and we also experienced a group of 4 vultures (we turned a corner and were within about 10 feet of them; they quickly flew away but kept circling us for the rest of the time we spent on top of the mountain).
As far as the trail and mountain are concerned, the ONLY downside is the hike, which was rather hard.
It was after I got back to my car, however, is where I have the "mixed feelings." One of my windows was smashed in and several items were stolen out of my vehicle. I only mention this because the man who replaced my window, after asking where this happened, mentioned that there had been several recent customers reporting their mishap to happen in the same general area.
Just spectacular! Incredible surprise. Have lived in Knoxville all of my life and have never made the trip until today. The 65-degree weather in January must have prompted the trip.
Take the Mountain Trail to the crest then follow the ridgeline west to the West Overlook (Leave some time to take your time on the crest -- spectacular views North and South). Take the West Overlook trail down the mountain from that point. This forms an easier loop than heading up the West Overlook trail first. Takes 2-3 hours. Pack water and layered clothing. Windy and cool on top.
We really enjoyed house mountain and would definetly recommend it to anyone. It took about 1 hour to get to the top of the western overlook and another hour getting back down. The scenery was great and trails were well taken care of. Anyone can make the hike, but it does get steep in some places so go on a dry day and pace yourself.
My husband, 5 yo son and 2 yo son hiked this mountain this fall during peak leaf time and it was great. We had our 2 yo in a back pack sling (an asian baby carrier, they are by far the best way to carry a child!) and hiked the intermediate trail. At times we had to very closely watch and help our 5 yo cross some very narrow places, but it was breathtaking at the top and well worth the effort.
This place is a great kept secret!
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