Mason Evans Cave located on Starr Mountain:Etowah, TN - Member Hike

Hike Name: Mason Evans Cave located on Starr Mountain:Etowah, TN
Country: United States
State: Tennessee
Nearby Town: Etowah
Rating: 3 stars
Directions: I came in from Cleveland driving northward on HWY 411. Take a right just past the train depot onto hwy 310 which later turns into hwy 39. Drive a few miles, and look for the somewhat easy to miss, Starr Mountain sign.Turn right here, and drive up an old gravel road: a car can make this trip, buts its definitely a little bumpy. The GPS coordinates were right for the hotel online, however very little remains of this hotel and it was very grown up. The first very small pull off in the sharp curve near the top of the mountain is where you can park for the hotel. Keep driving, and take your first gravel road to the right (going the other way will take you up to a pull off where you can hike back to the most beautiful view from the White Cliffs). Follow this gravel road looking.for the first grassy road bed with a locked gate rail, it will be on your right. Park there in front of the gate and start following this overgrown old road bed. While walking if you decide to journey off to the right, you'll see another nice view from the top of the mountain. Here's where it gets a little tricky. The directions given were completely confusing at this point, so the girl I was with pulled up a visual on Google earth and she spotted a very large rock formation, the cave. Here are the simple directions to the cave. Walk the old overgrown road bed till you see a second very overgrown clearing (field) on the right. Walk up through this clearing and start walking straight down the mountain. I barely saw any signs of a trail there, making it very unknown, however you will definitely start to see a large rock formation in approximately 1/2 mile. Its steep, overgrown, rocky but easily doable in pants and hiking boots. I had a girl with me that that day that had very little hiking experience. Just wear pants to avoid thorns. Upon arriving at the cave, we found some cookware and a blanket left behind by a camper, probably a few years ago. It's not a very large cave, really more of a big opening. I am 6' 3" tall and 225 pounds, and I barely squeezed through a very small opening located at the back of the cave. The passage went into another small passage room. Here I found the remains of a dead animal, so a bobcat or something else is probably boarding here. I was so happy to have finally found the cave that no locals, hunters, or other outdoors men had any information on!!! I even tried asking two of the local area forestry officers. Sadly, after spending a day looking in the wrong areas, it was quickly approaching dark, so we had to head back.I didn't get to explore some the other areas of this very large rock formation. Perhaps, there was another cave opening around there?
Total Hike Distance: 3.50 miles
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Permit Required: No
Hike Type: Roundtrip, Loop Hike
Hike Starts/Ends: 06/24/2015
Trails Used: Highway 310 and 39
Backcountry Campsites: No
Backcountry Water Sources: None
Management: State Forest Service
Contact Information: Jody Cooper
Best Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Users: Hikers, Dogs
Road Conditions: Maintained Gravel or Dirt Roads, Unmaintained Gravel or Dirt Roads
Hike Summary: Finally found this cave, after much searching. Trails are overgrown, and trail down mountain is practically invisible.


500 points


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