A devastating forest fire in the late 1990’s left a portion of the woodland in Cherokee National Forest burned and barren, and there is an ongoing regrowth and recovery process for affected areas. While for many other trails this could be a damning detriment, Warriors Passage has since become a hidden gem, carving out its own tunneled path in the dense and fantastical forests. The trail is lined with dead pine trees, some of which still stand and some which have fallen, and as you begin the trail and descend further into the pine recovery area, the track becomes more like a courageous climb than a smooth saunter. This path will have you skipping through shallow creeks, wading through fallen leaves, and ducking under mighty branches. The lack of towering trees in some spots does mean that walkers can see the awe-inspiring views a little clearer, making this trail as beautiful as it is exciting!
This furrific frolic is best suited to the adventure seekers looking for something more from their trails. The trail is never crowded, so you and your pooch can enjoy a solitary stroll. Your four-legged favorite will have so much to sniff and see here, but while you’ll both be desperate for some endless exploration of this special spot, hikers are advised to follow the track as best they can.
The recommended starting point for the Warriors Passage Trail is the Lyons Creek Trailhead near Old Furnace Road, and drinking water is available at Wildcat Creek, Tobe Creek, and the Two Springs Campsite along the route. Restrooms are available here also, but don’t forget the poop bags for your pooch! This tremendous trail comes to an end at Waucheesi Bald Trailhead, where you can see the majestic Waucheesi Mountain. You and your furever friend are guaranteed hours of fun as you navigate this unforgettable forest together!