Doe River Gorge
Easy 5 mile round trip hike following an old railroad through two tunnels. Views of towering cliffs, stream, and forest.
How to get there
From Kingsport, TN:
- Head south on I-26 to Exit 24 (Elizabethton).
- Proceed on US321 for eight miles into town.
- Turn right at traffic light to stay on US321 heading south.
- After six miles, enter driveway for Doe River Ministries. (Note: very small direction sign in highway median.)
- Park by the red caboose.
Trailhead is behind and between the sleeping cabooses and swimming area.
The route is very simple - follow the railroad bed up to the former deck bridge and back.
|Distance||Doe River Gorge Trail|
|0.0 mi||Trailhead by rail switch.|
|0.9||Dirt spur trail heads left and downhill to lower zipline platform by river. Do not take per visitors' agreement.|
|2.0||Orange sign for end of trail travel.|
|2.5||End of hiking trail at former deck bridge - DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CROSS!|
Wide and settled gravel railroad bed with small changes in grade, thus easy path. The one side is a steep drop down to Doe River, thus small children will need to be watched.
Fees, Permits, etc.
Permission to hike the trail must be obtained prior to the trip from Doe River Gorge Ministries Tel: (423) 725-4010
Each person (or family) will need to fill out and sign a visitor release form, which is then dropped off in the train mail box at the front of the offices.
This hiking trail is unavailable during the summer (no permissions will be given) because Doe River Gorge Ministries conducts summer camps there. For 2017, this means no public hiking permissions will be granted from mid-May to mid-August 2017.
After the Hike
Elizabethton has several places to enjoy for dinner.
Per their visitation policy:
NO MINORS ALONE
HIKING ON RAILROAD BED ONLY
NO THROWING ROCKS AT ANY TIME - which may be a challenge given the river runs right along the gravel railroad bed
Wildflower Gallery - Peak time to visit might be early to middle May.