Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Devil's Nose, 11-29-2013 Hike (published 1-1-2014)

Devil’s Nose, in Hawkins County, Tennessee, is the highest peak, at its saddle, in the county. How it is named? I have heard two stories. From the east, the mountain looks like a crooked nose coming out of the ground. The other story is that someone got lost on the mountain and never returned. Someone asked, “Where is he?” The answer was, “Only the devil knows.”

This Appalachian Irishman has hiked Devil’s Nose, since his high school days. A friend's uncle owned property, at the southwest base of the mountain. We boys would hike up “the Nose” from his property. Later owners still allow us to hike from the same property. In 2002, I began keeping record, of my usual annual hikes up “the Nose.”

My 10th hike up Devil’s Nose, since 2002, was on 11/29/2013. The weather was cool and clear – almost perfect. If it had been a little cooler, as in 20F or so, the weather would have been perfect.

In recent years, only my youngest brother has been brave enough, to venture up “the Nose” with me. The following are photographs from our 11/29/2013 hike.

The first two are of my brother and me, at what he calls “the Samson Rock.” This is a rock formation, as we hike up the southwest side.

The next photograph is of my youngest brother, climbing in his favorite tree on the ridge, heading east. He likes to have his photograph taken in this tree every year!

It had snowed the day before, on Thanksgiving, and snow was still on the ground, on the ridge and on the north side of the mountain. We found fox and bobcat tracks on the ridge. The next photograph looks like fox tracks.

This next photograph looks like a set of bobcat tracks.

The next two photographs are heading east on the ridge. This is the first time that I can remember hiking, with snow on the mountain.

The next three photographs are taken from the east bluff, looking south and southeast. A group of four hikers came up the treacherous east side, using rope and hooks, while we were on the bluff. One was a nine-year-old girl, who is the great granddaughter of my uncle Carson and aunt Hazel Ferrell! (Can you figure out how she and I are related exactly?) This young girl certainly has some Appalachian Irish blood in her!

The next two photographs are the traditional “standing on the bluff” images, of my youngest brother and me.

Lord willing, I want to hike Devil’s Nose every year, the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving, as a memorial to my mother, whose birthday was on November 24th, 1932.


Andy Fox said...

Thanks for your blog! I bumped into it while looking up local hikes. I don't get into the outdoors as much as I would like, because of time issues. House Mountain looks to be a very convenient respite; I live in south Knox County. I appreciate your other posts too, I think we are somewhat like minded. Here are two blogs I have . . tinkered with, would be the most apt description.

Shane Phipps said...

Nice piece and pics. One correction, though, Devil's Nose is not the highest point in Hawkins County. That honor goes to Chimney Top Mountain. Chimney Top's elevation is around 3,100 feet. It is a few miles Northeast of Devil's Nose in Beech Creek. Devil's Nose is closer to 2,300 feet. There are several peaks along the same ridge as Chimney Top that approach 3,000 feet, including Fodderstack Mountain.

M. Fearghail said...

From the backwaters of the Internet, my blog had a hit! Thank you, Shane, for “dropping by.” I visited your blog. Your cover photo is well taken. Where is the location?

To the point of Devil’s Nose elevation, your comment got me to pondering. So, I found Plugging in Hawkins County, Tennessee, I discovered that, in elevation, Chimney Top takes first place, at 3,118 feet. Devil’s Nose ties for eighth in elevation. When the saddle of a mountain, however, is considered, Devil’s Nose takes first place, at 2,390 feet. Chimney Top saddle is only 1,370 feet, lower than other mountains, including Devil’s Nose. Of course, being a Hawkins County native, I know exactly where Chimney Top is located.
I have always heard, from generations gone by, that Devil’s Nose was the highest peak in Hawkins County. I recon that they meant highest saddle peak. It is a mundane point, since the view, from any high mountain, is worth the hike!

As an important by the way, my paternal grandfather, whose first name I was given, was born on this exact date, in 1880! Happy hiking, sir!

Anonymous said...

I live in Knoxville Tenn.Iwant to hike Devils nose.when i turn on devils nose rd how far is the traihead is it marked. Any info appreciated. Ken Palmer.7

M. Fearghail said...

You need to know someone, to ask permission to hike up Devil's Nose. You make your own trail. No "trailheads." It's rough hiking. Might want to go with someone who has done it before. Don't go alone!

Anonymous said...

We own the devils nose the very top 22 acres my husband and i both would love for one of you to get in touch with us we have questions seeing that we have not been to the top

M. Fearghail said...

Thank you, Mrs. Anonymous, for your comment, on this article of almost nine years ago. My, how time flies! You are welcome to contact me. Just use the “Contact Form” on this website. Enter your name, email address, and comments. Clicking the “send” button shoots your email to my email address. If your comments include your phone number, then I'll be glad to call. I will reply to your email.

Anonymous said...

We must be mountain neighbors! I always wondered if the top stretch was private or county owned.

M. Fearghail said...

Greetings, to “Anonymous,” who commented yesterday! Thanks, for reading and commenting, on this 1/1/2014 article, of ten years ago!

You may have responded to the 8/10/2023 comment, by another “Anonymous.” By searching, on “Tennessee Property Assessment Data, Hawkins County” (, one can see the public records, of Devil's Nose property owners. I searched, by the roads that are around the mountain.

On Monday, 1/16/2024, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we had eight inches of snow. Yesterday, under cloudy to mostly sunny sky, the low and high temperatures were 16 and 27 degrees Fahrenheit. The low, this morning, was -3 degrees Fahrenheit. The sky will be clear and sunny today.

I wonder how much snow is on Devil's Nose! Today would be a very cold day, to hike “up the Nose,” trudging through several inches of snow.

Mostly due to my near death experience -- first mentioned, in the 8/26/2016 article, “I’m Still Alive – Why?” -- I've not hiked “up the Nose,” since 11/29/2013 (as detailed in this article). My “bionic” right foot and knee could now endure a hike, up Devil's Nose. Lord willing, I hope to hike there again. We will see.

Anonymous said...

I have just found this page and hope to continue to follow, please make a Youtube podcast it is enjoyable reading your content perhaps even watch it!

M. Fearghail said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for your kind words! I'm pleased that this article, of over ten years ago, is still being read. I do have a YouTube channel. It's Appalachian Irishman - Podcasts, where I have 34 episodes, so far. Ten are in the “Hiking” playlist. One is in the “Hiking Theology” playlist. Thanks so much, for dropping by, to read and comment!