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Laurel-Snow State Natural Area

Site Directions: Laurel-Snow SNA is located north of Dayton and is accessible via Highway 27/29.  From the north turn right, and from the south turn left, onto Walnut Grove Road north of Dayton (new Eckerd Drug on corner).

Proceed 3/4 of a mile to Back Valley Road (pass La-Z-Boy factory) and turn left. On Back Valley Road, proceed 0.7 miles to an unmarked gravel road/Richland Creek Road (small white church on the left) and turn right.

Proceed about 1 mile to the parking area at the end of Richland Creek Road.

Lat: 35.52805°N Long: -85.02555°W

Hours: daylight hours, except for camping

Seasonality: year round

Fees: none

Site Description: Laurel-Snow is a 2,259-acre natural area located in Rhea County. The natural area occurs on the Walden Ridge of the Cumberland Plateau and contains a section of gorge that is deeply dissected by Morgan, Henderson, Laurel, and Richland Creeks.

The site is named after two scenic waterfalls, Laurel Falls (80 feet) and Snow Falls (35 feet), and features two prominent overlooks, Buzzard Point and Bryan Overlook (also known as Raven Point).

The natural area also has scenic creeks, steep gorges, geologic features, a small stand of virgin timber, and a wide variety of plants. Buzzard Point and Snow Falls can be hiked to by following the trail as it forks to the left going west. The trail to the right leads to Raven Point, which overlooks Laurel Snow. The trail eventually climbs to the top of the falls. The distance for both trails is about 10.5 miles round trip.

Laurel-Snow State Natural Area is managed by the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail, and the area includes trail head parking and an open section of the Cumberland Trail. Back country camping is available by permit only.

Wildlife to Watch: Woodland birding is generally good year round, best in spring and summer. Wild Turkey and White-tailed Deer are common and may be seen.

NOTE:  Be sure to check out our Safety Tips page for important information regarding viewing wildlife in these areas. 

Laurel-Snow Class II Natural-Scientific State Natural Area