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Carroll Cabin Barrens State Natural Area

Hiking Trail or Trailhead
Cari Griffith

Carroll Cabin Barrens is a 250-acre natural area located near the Tennessee River in Bath Springs, Tennessee. The property was designated as a natural area in 2002. A parking area is provided at the intersection of Smith Gravel Pit Road and Carroll Cabin Lane. An approximately 2.5 mile trail leads from the parking area to two of the glades, an overlook and a large forested portion of the natural area before looping back to the parking area.

This 250-acre oak-hickory forest has open glades dominated by native grasses with several rare plant communities, an excellent example of a rich and diverse ecosystem featuring Tennessee limestone glades or “barrens.”

Carroll Cabin Barrens is in the Western Valley of the Tennessee River, recognized by some experts as a separate physiographic region with a unique flora. Several state rare plants are found at Carroll Cabin giving an interesting western affinity to the flora. Rare plant species include the state threatened barrens silky aster (Aster pratensis), hairy fimbristylis (Fimbristylis puberula), slender blazing star (Liatris cylindracea), and state special concern blue sage (Salvia azurea var. grandiflora).The Silurian limestone outcroppings in the Western Valley are considered some of the most extensive in the un-glaciated United States.

This glade/barrens complex is classified as a Western Valley Limestone Hill Barren community and is considered a globally imperiled community.

How to Get There

From Interstate 40, exit at U.S. Highway 69/641 (exit #126). Go south through Parsons (crossing Highway 412) and Decaturville (crossing Highway 100). After the 4-way stop at Highway 100, go approximately 11 miles. Turn left on Bob's Landing Road and continue for about 1 mile, then turn right on Smith Gravel Pit Road. The parking area is one mile on the right side of the road.

Trail Distance

2.5 miles