Walls of Jericho-WMA
12+ miles; trail difficulty - advanced
Address: 2 hours SE of Nashville "around" 15800 Rowe Gap Rd (hwy 16) approximately 1 mile North of state line.
Phone: (615) 532-0431
Website: Walls of Jericho (tn.gov)
Here's what you need to know:
- Getting here -mostly wide rural highways, 11% steep grade on highway leading to campground. Have good brakes and don’t overload.
- Parking & Trailers - ample parking on gravel pull through lot.
- Family Friendly - yes
- Trail Difficulty - advanced.
- Trail Info - some trails have loose basketball sized rocks, ruts and hillside, limited trail markers, great views and rock formations.
- Amenities - gravel parking lot and trail kiosk.
- Events & entertainment - Organized trail rides by permit only.
- Lodging - circle e guest ranch nearby.
- Hookups - circle e guest ranch nearby.
- Stalls - circle e guest ranch nearby
- Name of Trail-Walls of Jericho
- Location in relation to Nashville-2 hours SE "around" 15800 Rowe Gap Rd approximately 1 mile North of state line.
- Day use or campground-Day use
- Perks-Walls of Jericho waterfalls
Entrance and Trailering
- Trailering-Gravel lot trailhead just off Rowe Gap Rd-Wide hwy to 11% grade drive up to the top of the mountain.
- Parking- roadside gravel pull through parking lot.
- Town-Belvidere TN
- Fuel-20 minutes in Winchester
- Food-20 minutes in Winchester
- Amenities-trail kiosk
- Acres-Over 21,000 including Alabama property
- Who manages it?-TWRA-WMA property-WMA High Impact Permit Required. See link below.
- Hours-daylight hours (Closed for hunting season).
- Shade-trails are mostly shaded. No shade at trailhead parking area.
- Water-trail streams, no water at trailhead
- Wifi-no (limited cell reception)
- Lodging-Circle E Guest Ranch minutes away
- Cost-PERMIT REQUIRED
- Trailhead in relation to parking-South end of parking lot.
- Markings-Yellow Paint and markings and brown horse signs on horse trails. Red markings for hikers. Very little signage.
- Miles-Approximately 12 miles
- Skill level-Advanced. Seasoned rider and patient trail horse recommended.
- Footing-Extremely Rocky-Shoes or boots are necessary, borium recommended.
- Views-Walls of Jericho water falls, streams and some overlooks in the winter.
- Shared trails-Dedicated horse trails intersect with hiking trails.
- Special Notes-Several sections of this trail are made up of slick rock tables and large rocks. There are some fairly steep inclines and some creek crossings, possible stray cows in the area, some trails may be overgrown making signage difficult to see. Must tie horses off and hike into scenic views such as blowhole and Walls of Jericho. Pack hiking boots and extra socks. TWRA HIGH IMPACT PERMIT REQUIRED.
The Walls of Jericho is a 750-acre natural area located in the nearly 9,000-acre Bear Hollow Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA), which connects to the Skyline WMA in Alabama. The two public lands total over 21,000 acres.
The “Walls” is an amazing geological feature that forms a large bowl-shaped amphitheater. Embedded in the limestone are large holes and crevasses from which water flows. Turkey Creek flows through the 200 foot “Walls” creating the amphitheater. The forest is comprised of a mixture of hardwoods, eastern red cedar and many other plants commonly associated with limestone and the forestland along the trails continues to impress with its many bluffs, large rock outcroppings, caves, and sinkholes.
The protection of Turkey Creek also helps protect downstream the Upper Paint Rock watershed where numerous rare mussel and fish species occur in the Paint Rock River. This part of Tennessee and Alabama boasts the highest concentration of caves of anywhere in the United States, and harbors the rare Tennessee cave salamander.
The 12-mile riding trail starts at the southern parking area on HWY 16 just about a mile North of the Alabama line. The drive to the trailhead consists of wide country highway. There is an 11% grade for several miles heading up to the plateau so be sure to load your truck accordingly. The trailhead is a simple pull through gravel lot equipped with a trail kiosk. While there will be an occasional stream for your horse to drink from there is no water at the trailhead so bring water for your trailer.
The trails are lightly marked and can be overgrown to the point of covering trail signs so be sure to have a GPS and map on hand.
The trail will take you down John Gifford Hollow into the valley of Hurricane Creek eventually joining Turkey Creek. The trail can be very technical with large rocks beds on sloped terrain. Boots or shoes are necessary on this terrain and a breast collar is recommended.
Upon reaching the bottom of the valley you’ll find a grassy meadow with signage that you’ve reached the Walls of Jericho hiking trail. You’ll tie your horse at the staging area then hike in and out several miles to view the Walls, an old cemetery and the natural beauty along the way.
Some sections of the trail are equipped with ropes to hold onto while crossing narrow cliffside paths. Bring hiking shoes as the cliffside trails can be slick for cowboy boots. Also pack a lunch in a bag that you can carry along your hike to stop for a while and admire the beauty of the Walls.
Once returning to the saddle you’ll begin working your way back up to the top of the plateau for the remainder of the ride.
There will be several sections of steep trails and rocky paths eventually leveling out to give your horse a breather.
As you near the trailhead you’ll find yourself on old logging roads and atv trails leading back to the edge of hwy 16 then finally to the trailhead.
The Walls of Jericho trail will be a trail I’ll always remember as exciting, rewarding, and maybe even a little risky but taking on the toughness of this trail revealed the beauty that was hidden within its walls.