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Lost Chestnut Trail and Sinkhole Crest Spur

Lost Chestnut Trail length: 0.4 miles
Sinkhole Crest Spur through Lost Chestnut Trail loop: 0.05 miles
Sinkhole Crest Spur from Lost Chestnut Trail to N. Forest Loop road: 0.06 miles
Round Trip from Visitors Center via Oak Hickory Trail: 1.2 miles

Steps Along the Lost Chestnut Trail The entrance to the trail and spur is via the Oak-Hickory Trail entrance off Valley Road, just above the Visitors Center. The Lost Chestnut Trail makes a loop above the Oak Hickory Trail, starting at a kiosk about half way along the Oak-Hickory Trail. This trail was originally developed to provide an opportunity for visitors to observe surviving traces of the once abundant and majestic American chestnut tree. The only reminders of this once magnificent forest tree were old decaying stumps and logs. Today, even these remnants have disappeared. Although the types of trees along this trail are similar to those of the Oak-Hickory Trail, large chestnut oak trees are conspicuous dominants. The trail passes along the edges of several sinkholes, which can be viewed more closely on the Sinkhole Crest Spur Trail. The Lost Chestnut loop ends at the kiosk where walkers can rejoin the Oak-Hickory Trail and return to Valley Road. The Dwarf Conifer Collection is along the route back to the Visitors Center.

There are two sections of the Sinkhole Crest Spur. One section spans the northern and southern parts of the Lost Chestnut Trail loop. This section is fairly level and skirts the upper rims of two sinkholes. The other section begins at the northern part of the Lost Chestnut Trail Loop, skirts a third sinkhole, and ends at the North Forest Loop road. Sinkholes are common geological features in areas underlain by limestone. Over time, rainwater dissolves the rock to form underground caverns, which may eventually collapse, leaving behind a depression known as a sinkhole. Forest composition along the Spur is similar to that present along the Lost Chestnut Trail, with chestnut oak and white oak being major dominants. An interesting lightning strike can be seen on a white oak tree just above the junction of the Spur with the southern part of the Lost Chestnut Trail loop.

Map and Profile

Lost Chestnut Trail


Lost Chestnut Profile

Lost Chestnut Trail Profile (A to B)
GPS at A: N35.99746, W84.21379
Average Grade: 8%
Distance: 2026.2 ft.
Climbing Distance: 837.0 ft.
Descending Distance: 1189.2 ft.


Lost Chestnut Profile

Sinkhole Crest Spur Profile (C to D)
GPS at C: N35.99795, W84.21108
Average Grade: 1%
Distance: 379.1 ft.
Climbing Distance: 231.6 ft.
Descending Distance: 147.5 ft.


Lost Chestnut Profile

Sinkhole Crest Spur Profile (E to F)
GPS at C: N35.99733, W84.21237
Average Grade: 6%
Distance: 294.9 ft.
Climbing Distance: 22.8 ft.
Descending Distance: 272.8 ft.

Profiles generated with DeLorme XMap.

University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: UTforest@utk.edu