It has often been said that the best gems are those found off the beaten path (no pun intended). Look Rock Tower trail isn’t as popular as many of the other trails in the area, mostly because it is outside of what is referred as the “Traditional Tourist Zone.” Yet, along this short, paved trail, you will find amazing scenery and incredible beauty.
The parking lot, right off from the Foothills Parkway, sits by a stone overlook with spectacular mountain vistas that provide camera buffs with incredible scenery for landscape photography. The overlook is easy to reach via a short staircase.
It’s a Short Hike to the Look Rock Tower in Maryville, TN
Although the hike is only a half hour round trip, it’s a great starter hike for the whole family. Along the way, there are sitting rocks with which to take a break or take some really great family photos. Unlike many other trails, this one is paved and wide enough for you to walk alongside your kids. The trail is exceptionally well-maintained, making it a pleasure for everyone in your family.
There aren’t any sharp drop-offs along the way for you to worry about the young ones falling down, and the trail offers only a mild climb from beginning to end. One thing for those with little ones, you may find the slope a bit much if you are planning to use a stroller. You might find that using a carrier sling or kid-backpack is a better option. Take all the time you want, let your little ones walk for a bit and explore, and enjoy the hike.
The Piece de Resistance
If you think the scenery as you walk up the trail is magnificent, “you ain’t seen nothing’ yet,” as the saying goes. The most spectacular views are those seen from the top of Look Rock Tower. To get to the top, you must go up three separate ramps. The good news is that these ramps have only a mild incline, so you shouldn’t need to rest on your way up.
Once you reach the top of Look Rock Tower, you are treated to a breathtaking 360-degree view of this part of eastern Tennessee. From the left side of the tower, you can see incredible views of the Great Smoky Mountains, while from the right you have one of the most spectacular views of the seemingly endless Tennessee Valley. In fact, while you are at the top of Lookout Tower on a clear day, you can see all the way to Knoxville and then some.
The hike to Look Rock Tower may not be one of the most challenging you and your family have ever hiked, but it is perfect for those who are just getting started hiking. The trail measures 0.9 miles from the starting point to the tower and is accessible all year round. You can even bring Rover along for the walk as long as you keep him on a leash and pick up after him. Plan to hike here several times a year as the scenery changes dramatically with the seasons! You never know what you might see while you are here.