Pinnacle Natural Area Preserve
Easy day hike. Cross a swinging bridge, walk along trout-stocked Big Cedar Creek, splash in the “Big Falls”, and view the 600’ Pinnacle rock formation. Hike in spring for wildflowers and fall for leaf color.
How to get there
From Bristol, TN
- North on I-81.
- Take Exit 14 at Abingdon.
- Head north back under the interstate on CR647/Old Jonesboro Road for 0.5 mile.
- Turn right/east onto West Main Street for 0.9 mile.
- Turn left/north onto US-19 for 18 miles, which becomes a limited access highway.
- Take Exit 1 once at Lebanon, then left/north on the overpass.
- Continue on West Main Street into Lebanon for a mile.
- Turn left/NW onto VA-82/Cleveland Road for a mile.
- Turn right/east onto CR640 for just over four miles.
- Turn left at entrance sign onto CR721. If you see Shoemaker Cemetery, you’ve passed it.
- Continue to end of gravel road to parking lot with few picnic tables.
The gate to the back parking lot can be locked, so access is across the swinging bridge.
Multiple trails available. A possible loop hike could be to cross the swinging bridge. The one-mile Big Cedar Creek Trail follows a well-established path mostly along a gravel access road to the Big Falls. Proceeded onto the Clinch River Trail and the Pinnacle View Loop to see the 600’ rock formation. The river trail ends at the Clinch River, backtracked to Copper Ridge Trail and up a 350’ elevation climb to the overlook. (I would recommend the overlook when the leaves are down for better views of the Clinch.) Backtrack on Big Cedar Creek Trail to parking lot. This hike would definitely qualify for families and beginners.
|Big Cedar Creek Trail||1.0||Easy|
|Grapevine Hill Trail||1.15||Medium|
|Spring Falls Trail||0.25||Easy|
|Big Falls Trail||0.5||Easy|
|Clinch River Trail||0.5||Easy|
|Pinnacle View Loop||0.5||Easy|
|Copper Ridge Trail||0.5||Medium|
The trails are reasonably maintained paths or gravel roads. In 2010, it was apparent that summer crews had been clearing the deadfalls from the hard 2009 winter.
The Pinnacle NAP could be very busy during early spring to mid-June as the Big Cedar Creek is stocked with trout. Fall might be quite pleasant when the trees turn color.
Fees, Permits, etc.
No permit or fee. The nature area closes at dusk.
After the Hike
The official Virginia.gov Pinnacle NAP webpage . Based on the boundary map, it appears the Pinnacle itself is not within the park.