Devil's Backbone

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Devils backbone view from lone cedar lookout.jpg
Trail Name Devil's Backbone
Park Warriors Path State Park
Nearest City Kingsport
State Tennessee
Trail Marking Light Blue
Trail Use/Features Dnr hiking.png Dnr dog.png Dnr fishing.png
Difficulty Rating Medium
Hiking Time 2 Hours
120 Min
round-trip/trail only
2.4 Mi
3.862 km
/ 1.2 Mi
1.931 km
Climb/Descent Elevation 566 Ft
172.517 Meters
/ -542 Ft
-165.202 Meters
High Point 1,501 Ft
500.333 Yards
Parking 36° 30' 9", -82° 28' 56"
Trailhead 36° 30' 9", -82° 28' 56"
Nearest Medical Indian Path Hospital
Trip Reports Click Here
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Trail Overview[edit]

Located in Warriors Path State Park. Nice hike nearby for those in Kingsport. Good views of the Fort Patrick Henry Lake from the top of the ridge.

How to get there[edit]

From Kingsport, TN

  1. Take Fort Henry Drive to left at traffic light onto Hemlock Rd.
  2. Make the hard left right in front of Warriors Path Park entrance to follow the road onto Fall Creek Rd.
  3. Cross the bridge over Patrick Henry Lake.
  4. Park at the first pull-off on the right at the golf cart crossing. (Space for 4-6 vehicles - leave gap for golf carts)
  5. Trail begins on the back corner of #17 tee crossing the small bridge with trail sign.

Route Description[edit]

Blue blazed park trail. Almost all of the 300 ft elevation gain happens in the first half mile of the trail as you head straight up the ridge. There are two overlooks as you go. One at #5 tee box on the golf course, a good turn around point for families and those not interested in the rest of the climb. The Rocky Point Overlook (the trail high point on the ridge) is another 0.35 miles past the #5 tee. After the ascent the trail drops back to lake level and is steeper than the initial ascent, something to remember for a return trip.

Mileage Devil's Backbone Trail
-0.04 Parking along Fall Creek Road
0.00 Trailhead, at sign and bridge
0.05 Veer left up the hill (not straight which is a fishing spur trail)
0.35 Overlook at Tee #5
0.50 Lone Cedar Overlook
0.6 Turn along shore of lake inlet
0.75 Leave lake area and begin following Fall Creek upstream.
0.8 Fall Creek Falls (rapids)
0.85 Dark blue double blaze shows trail spur leading up the hill. This alternate route is not being maintained as the northern bridge over Fall Creek was washed out several years ago - thus dead end. Passes a few former abandoned home sites.
0.9 Trail bridge over Fall Creek
1.0 Stone rubble from former home chimney along trail
1.2 Intersection with Fall Creek Loop Trail
The Devil's Backbone Trail intersects with the Fall Creek Loop Trail for a nice 1.2 mile
1.931 km
walk around old pasture lands past several old home sites through gentler hills.

Typical Conditions[edit]

While the park keeps the trails fairly clear of blowdowns, the trend is rutted and washed out on steep inclines. The path through lowlands by the creek can get muddy after a rain or flood in the spring deluges.

Fees, Permits, etc.[edit]

None needed, just park and go.

After the Hike[edit]

Misc. Information[edit]

Former road to the Childress Family Ferry across Holston River.

Several tales surround this trail. Tales of a little girl with an aching tooth crossed this path to reach a dentist within the current day golf course. Another tale of two boys stealing dynamite from the nearby dam construction. After a successful day of dynamite fishing the boys bring home their haul to excited parents. The parents take the fish and leave for town to sell the catch, the boys accidentally catch the dynamite on fire near the fireplace destroying the home.


The path for Devil's Backbone Trail is shown in red below, while Fall Creek Loop is shown in dark blue for reference.

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WPSP Devil's Backbone Trail profile.JPG