Cumberland Trail State Park, TN
Good hikes usually mean good crowds, but winter clears the planned 330mile Cumberland Trail along the Cumberland Plateau. For the best weekend-size chunk, tackle a 22.1-mile point-to-point through the Three Gorges section. “The path hardly strays from a crashing whitewater stream encased in a steep-walled gorge,” says Bob Fulcher, the manager of Cumberland Trail State Park. In winter, fine crystals from the fall’s spray glaze the rock walls. Start at Soddy Creek and hike north across two suspension bridges and an old coal mine; camp at Little Possum Creek Campsite (mile 10.5).
SHUTTLE 35.410100, -85.130933; 31 miles north of Chattanooga on Legget Rd. TRAILHEAD 35.281617, -85.193500; 20 minutes south of shuttle on Hotwater Rd. PERMIT free; friendsofthecumberlandtrail.org CONTACT cumberlandtrail.org
Little Possum Creek Falls (locals call it Imodium Falls) lies at mile 17.2.