Scenic & Historic Landscapes

The Byway links a series of views to rural historic landscapes that are evocative of the pioneer era and frontier culture.

Pioneer Landscape

Caney Fork River

 

Places Where One Can Still Sense the Pioneer Landscape

High quality views and rural historic landscapes evocative of the early 19th century can be seen from the Byway or directly accessible from the Byway at the old Walton Road Traces. 

Cumberland River
Cumberland River

Views to the Cumberland River can be enjoyed from Upper Ferry Road and the Cordell Hull Bridge in Carthage. A boat landing, located less than a quarter mile from the Smith County Area Chamber of Commerce offers a place to pull off and view tranquil waters and wooded shores, as well as the National Register Listed Cordell Hull Bridge. From Walton’s Grave Site, just north of where the Caney Fork splits from the Cumberland, the view toward the Cumberland River is relatively free from intrusions and is historically evocative of the early 19th century. Views from canoes and kayaks will offer a more intimate experience of the Cumberland River.

Caney Fork River
Caney Fork River

Cumberland, Smith, Van Buren and White Counties

Branching off of the Cumberland just east of the TN-25 Bridge in Carthage, the Caney Fork can be viewed from the Byway at the Benton McMillan Industrial Bridge. As with the Cumberland River, scenic views of the Caney Fork can be intimately enjoyed by canoe and kayak.

Mountain Views between Elmwood and Baxter
Mountain Views between Elmwood and Baxter

US-70 N closely follows the old Walton Road traces at Walton Circle and Raulston Stand between Elmwood and Baxter. Scenic views to the mountains along this segment of the Byway are are historically evocative of the challenging terrain that pioneers would have viewed along the Walton Road in the early 19th century.

 
Abandoned Gas Station Near Helms Road
Road Trace at Helms Road

Closely following the original Walton Road on US-70N, the Byway passes a road trace at Helms Road about two miles northwest of Baxter. This section of the old roadway is about thirty to forty yards from an old gas station just off of the Byway, and is an excellent example of the historic Walton Road—the historic integrity remains to be relatively intact. The general width of the sunken old Walton Road can be seen, and, though vegetation has encroached, the wooded character offers an experience that approaches that of pioneer travelers many years ago. 

Valley and Mountain Views South of Route 40, between Cookeville and Monterey

The scenic rural corridor between Cookeville and Monterey offers almost seven miles of sweeping views to ridges and open agricultural land. Although agricultural practices and technologies have evolved since the days of the Walton Road pioneers, the rural landscape evokes a historic setting reminiscent of early farms in the region. 

Woodcliff Road
Scenic Views along Planned Cookeville-Monterey Rail Trail and Road Traces at Woodcliff Road

The trail, a rails-with-trail project, will eventually run 19 miles along refurbished railroad tracks from Cookeville to Monterey. The proposed trail also follows the old alignment traces of the Walton Road which starts near the Cookeville Railroad Depot; crosses through a portion of Algood; travels along scenic Buck Mountain Road at Shenandoah Subdivision; then follows Brotherton Mountain Road to scenic Woodcliff Road before it ends in Monterey just after the historical Standing Stone site. Road traces are located along the right of way of Woodcliff Road (also known as Buck Mountain Road) between Algood and Monterey (Figure 1 on page 1). There are numerous excellent sections that cut in and out of the paved existing road. Following the old Walton Road traces, visitors to the trail will have an opportunity to experience a rural setting that is relatively free from intrusions, evoking scenes from the 19th century. 

Bee Rock
Bee Rock

High quality views can be enjoyed from Bee Rock on the picturesque edge of a Cumberland Plateau bluff. The Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast at Bee Rock offers a stunning view of the bluff and a relaxing place to stay. Visitors should contact the Garden Inn B&B for permission to access the site, which is located south of US-70N and at the southwest corner of Monterey. 

Flat Rock
Flat Rock

Just east of Monterey, is a curiously expansive, flat rock shelf of sandstone that was a landmark for early wagon travelers. Suitably known as Flat Rock, this site was a popular camping spot for early travelers, and can remains to be accessible to travelers today. Located where the railway passes under I-40 at a curve in the interstate, visitors to Flat Rock can walk on, touch, and experience the rock shelf that has remained much the same for more than 200 years. 

Old Rail Bed at Linder Road
Old Rail Bed at Linder Road

The old rail bed at Linder Road is located west of Crossville near Mayland. The Walton Road closely paralleled the Tennessee Central Railroad, built in the 1890s, and the site offers a glimpse of what early travelers may have witnessed in this rural setting. 

Plateau Views
Plateau Views between Mayland and Crossville

Between Mayland and Crossville, Byway travelers are exposed to sweeping views of the Cumberland Plateau. Dominated by rural agricultural expanses, these views maintain some historic integrity as they are relatively free of intrusive development. 

Agricultural Views
Agricultural Views Northwest of Crossville

While the old Walton Road diverges from the Byway north of Crossville at the Baker’s Crossroads trace, the roadway between this site and Crossville’s western town limit is characterized by open views to agricultural land, much like those between Mayland and Crossville. Such views evoke a historic rural setting that has seen relatively little change. 

Spencer's Rock
Spencer’s Rock

Pioneers dreaded the trek over Spencer’s Mountain, notoriously considered to be one of the most dangerous obstacles on the Walton Road. While the mountain side was destroyed with the construction of I-40, Spencer’s Rock remains to be a landmark of the Walton Road. During the winter the massive rock is visible from I-40 and U.S. 70. Wagon travelers would secure ropes to the rock and their wagons to ease the decent down the mountain, avoiding imminent destruction from the steepness of the grade. While the mountain side has changed, the rock remains as a monolith, unchanged over time. 

Ozone Falls
Ozone Falls

In the small town of Ozone, visitors can enjoy a brief hike down the side of an embankment to the highly scenic cascades of Ozone Falls where a mill and stand once stood. While it is picturesque, the historical integrity of the landform remains to be intact, as well. 

Road Trace at Marlow Lane
Road Trace at Marlow Lane

This section of the Walton Road may have the best historical integrity and length of the remaining historic road in the project area. It is located at the west end of Marlow road, just east of Ozone Falls. The roadbed appears to extend to the crossing of Mammy’s Creek and has several parallel tracks and deep indentations Figure 71 on page 33). 

Fort Southwest Point
Fort Southwest Point

Situated on a hill at the junction of the Clinch and Tennessee Rivers, Fort Southwest Point remains to be historically intact among tranquil waters and wooded shores in Kingston. Before it was established as the eastern terminus of the Walton Road, the primary purpose of this fort was to protect those traveling into the wilderness on the Avery Trace. The historical structures and rural views are historically evocative and pleasing to the eye.