The Braun Group

Unaka Mountain Beauty Spot sits above the Cherokee National Forest, and is known for its stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Tennessee and North Carolina mountains. Located on the Appalachian Trail in Unicoi County, the trailhead to Beauty Spot is one of the most accessible in northeast Tennessee. Just a 40 minute drive from the Johnson City area, the Beauty Spot makes for a wonderful day hike. While hiking the trail to Beauty Spot Gap, you will cover 2.13 miles and go through a 1,277 foot elevation change. This trailhead is rated easy to moderate depending on hiking experience, and it is dog friendly.

During the summer months, the gate will be unlocked, and with four-wheel drive, it is possible to drive to Beauty Spot Gap. Continue up the gravel road on the same side as the trailhead for 2 miles and bear right at the fork. There will be a parking circle where you can then walk directly to the bald. If you’d like to spend the night on the mountain and take in one of the most beautiful sunsets, then you are in luck. There is a camping area just above the Beauty Spot called Unaka Mountain Overlook. If you like hiking and camping, be sure to put the Beauty Spot on your list.

To get there, take Interstate 26 to Erwin and Exit 36. At the end of the exit, turn left on Harris Hollow Rd. toward Erwin. At the stop light, turn right onto N. Main Ave. Turn left at stop light onto Highway 395 (Rock Creek Rd.).  Take Rock Creek Rd. to North Carolina State Line. Turn left on gravel road (Beauty Spot Gap Rd.). There is a small parking area when you turn onto the gravel road. You can then hike along the gravel road for 2 miles until road forks. Stay right and arrive at the Beauty Spot.