KINGSPORT — There is a plethora of hiking trails in Warriors’ Path State Park, but one of the park favorites is the Devil’s Backbone Trail, which has beautiful views along Fort Patrick Henry Lake.
The hike is short — only 1.15 miles out to where it intersects with the Fall Creek Loop — but it is tough with steep, rocky inclines and declines at various points along your journey.
WHERE TO START
The trail is somewhat hidden on the backside of the 17th hole on the park golf course, and you have to watch out for carts going down toward the beginning.
It starts rather gently, with only a slight incline toward another hole on the backside of the course. There, you will get a nice view of the lake on your right and of the golf course on your left.
After that is where the climbing begins.
There are two significant climbs and declines in the middle of the hike that are almost back-to-back.
The first is much shorter in length than the second, but is nothing to sneeze at.
There is no time limit and it’s not a race, so take your time getting up the hills. The views will still be there when you get to the top.
Have a good pair of shoes with grip. Some of the rock surfaces can be slippery and there are some sharp cliffs along the lakeside.
If you like short day hikes, but still want a bit of a challenge, Warriors’ Path has several other great hiking trails. You can even add the Fall Creek Loop — which is about a mile in length — at the intersection with the Devil’s Backbone Trail.
The full trails guide for the park can be found online at https://tnstateparks.com/parks/warriors-path.