The Domain is home to 65 miles of hiking trails. The signature Perimeter Trail is a 20-mile loop that offers students gorgeous views and excellent opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and running atop the bluffs of the Cumberland Plateau. The trail can be accessed within a five-minute walk from central campus. Hikers will pass beautiful overlooks, geologic features, lakes and ponds, and loads of upland deciduous forest. Caving and climbing sites, too, can be easily reached from the trail.
Let's get started!
Access points on the trail include the Sewanee Village, the Memorial Cross, Lake Cheston, Green's View, the Caldwell Rim/ Potter's Ridge trailhead, and the University Gates. Certain portions of the Perimeter Trail, such as Shakerag Hollow, are open only for hiking (no biking or horseback riding). Camping is for students, alumni, faculty/staff, and leaseholders only. Please follow Leave No Trace guidelines. Use by groups not associated with the University is handled on a case by case basis. For maps and more information, please stop by the SOP office in the Bishop's Common.
The Perimeter Trail is generously supported by the Roberts Family. In August of 1990, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Roberts III, C'50, donated funds that enabled the completion and ongoing maintenance of the Perimeter Trail in memory of their son, Tate. Thanks to the Tate Roberts Memorial Fund, we are all able to enjoy the trails today.
Students can find more nuanced information about Sewanee's trails at the SOP office. Additionally, the Sewanee hiking guide book, Go Take a Hike, by Mary Priestley and John Benson, can be purchased at the University Bookstore. Ideas for day hikes also can be found in the Ten Best Hikes Guide (note that number 8 is no longer open for hiking).
USE OF THE PERIMETER TRAIL & FIRE LANES
Hiking: Sections of the trail are suitable for short day hikes with access from Green's View, the Memorial Cross, University Gates, Lake Cheston, and Brakefield Road.
Mountain Biking: Mountain Biking is allowed on all trails and fire lanes except in Shakerag Hollow, Morgan's Steep to the Cross, Solomon's Temple Trail, and on the Bridal Veil Falls Trail. To reduce impact riders should refrain from use when wet. Students can enjoy access to mountain biking trails by riding from campus; for visitors the best place to park is Lake Cheston.
Horseback Riding: Horses are allowed on all fire lanes. Horses are prohibited from using the Perimeter Trail and all secondary trails. To reduce impact, riders should refrain from use when wet. Permits are required for all horseback riders and may be obtained from the Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability here.
Trail Markers: The Perimeter Trail is marked with blue blazes while secondary trails are marked with white blazes.
Motor Vehicles: Motorized vehicles, including ATVs, are prohibited.
Water: Water taken from streams is not suitable for use unless boiled, purified, or treated with iodine tablets.
Fires: Fires are prohibited. Use a backpacking stove.
Camping: For students, alumni, faculty/staff, and leaseholders only. Please follow Leave No Trace guidelines: Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.
Reserve campsites and review university camping policies here.
All trails on the University of the South's Domain contain areas with significant fall hazards. Users should exercise caution in all recreational activities on the Domain. The University of the South assumes no liability for accidents or injuries to users of the Domain (or their property) whether on or off trail. Call 911 for emergencies.
Users must leave natural, historical, and archaeological items in place. Collecting natural or archaeological objects or removing, defacing, or destroying any plant, animal, or mineral is prohibited. Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.