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FAQ & Rules

Questions and Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

The trails at Doe Mountain Recreation Area are open daily, year-round from sunrise to sunset. Please wear proper gear, monitor local weather, and be prepared for trail conditions. In winter, we do not plow or treat trails. Our Adventure Center at Harbin Hill Trailhead may be closed in the event of inclement weather.
The majority of our trails are built to U.S. Forest Service Class 3 or 4 standards and are relatively easy. Multi-use trails are marked as “easiest” (green), “more difficult” (blue), or “most difficult” (black). Only three of our multi-use trails are rated “most difficult” (black). Single track trails are unrated, but are all challenging and should only be attempted by experienced riders.
The summit at Kettlefoot Peak is 3,889 feet above sea level. The historic Kettlefoot Fire Lookout Tower at the peak was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936 and is 60 feet tall.
Yes, a DOT or SNELL approved helmet is required on vehicles, along with protective eyewear and, if applicable, factory-installed restraints. It is illegal in Tennessee for minors to ride a vehicle without an approved helmet and illegal for adults to allow a minor to ride without a helmet. Passengers are limited to the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.
You may purchase annual or single day motorized vehicle permits HERE. Permits are also available at the Adventure Center at 1203 Harbin Hill Road, Mountain City, TN, and at:
  • East Tennessee ATV: 106 Clay Little Road, Elizabethton, TN 37643
  • Johnson County Welcome Center: 716 S. Shady Street (US 421), Mountain City, TN 37683
  • Mountain City Cycle: 341 S. Shady Street (US 421), Mountain City, TN 37683
  • R & D Campground: 900 Mining Town Road, Mountain City, TN 37683 (connects to Trail 17)
  • Roan Creek Campground: 205 Morefield Road, Butler, TN 37640 (connects to Trail 1)
No, our trails are limited to foot, bike, ATV, UTV (side by side), equestrian, and/or dirt bike traffic. In the local area, we recommend contacting Patriot Mountain Offroad Park, located at 3588 NC Highway 194, Sugar Grove, NC, for 4×4 riding.
No, we do not offer onsite accommodations. However, we have provided links to several lodging options on our Area Info page. Please contact the Johnson County Welcome Center at (423) 727-5800 for further assistance.
We do not rent ATVs or UTVs; however, please contact Appalachians Outdoor Adventures for rental information or to schedule a guided tour on horseback.
The maximum speed limit anywhere in Doe Mountain Recreation Area is 16 mph. The speed limit in parking and trailhead areas is 5 mph. All trails are open to two-way traffic, and there are many sharp curves and places with very limited sight distance where it is unsafe to reach the maximum speed limit of 16 mph. We strongly encourage OHV operators to obtain appropriate ATV insurance.
Our primary trailhead is at Harbin Hill, 1203 Harbin Hill Road, Mountain City, TN. Campers may enter Trail 17 from the R & D Campground or the far end of Trail 1 from Roan Creek Campground. The Pioneer Village Shopping Center on US 421 in Mountain City can be visited via Trail 15 but is not a trailhead, and you risk being towed if you unload vehicles there.
Visitors may ride to Pioneer Village Shopping Center using Trail 15. However, the rest of Mountain City is not accessible to unregistered vehicles at this time.
Doe Mountain is a non-profit public authority. We receive no ongoing funding from the state, county or federal governments, and rely on user fees for the majority of our operating revenue.
Yes. The majority of our trail system is comprised of multi-use trails open to equestrian traffic. Most equestrian riders choose to visit during weekdays.
No. Doe Mountain is not part of TWRA, although TWRA does exercise its jurisdiction to enforce wildlife regulations on Doe Mountain and across the state.
Yes, vehicles must not exceed 96 decibels, and all motorized vehicles must be equipped with mufflers/spark arrestors.
Annual permits expire at sunset one year from the date of purchase.
Yes. Vehicle operators must comply with the vehicle manufacturer’s age restrictions. All minors riding or operating a vehicle must comply with Tennessee law by wearing a DOT or SNELL approved helmet. Minors must be under the direct supervision of an adult at all times.

Doe Mountain Rules

Trail Rules:

Keeping all of our guests safe throughout every outdoor adventure is our priority. The following trail rules were designed with that mission in mind, as well as to protect our natural resources and wildlife. Thank you for your compliance.

  • User permits for drivers and passengers are required at all times on the property.
  • Obey all signs, stay on marked trails, and do not open or remove any gates or barriers. All trails are closed unless marked with a trail post.
  • Jeeps, trucks, cars, and dune buggies are strictly prohibited.
  • Adult supervision is required for anyone under age 18.
  • No alcoholic beverages may be consumed or carried.
  • No littering, camping, or fires. Please respect our wildlife and nature.
  • Stay alert at all times. We recommend carrying a first aid/survival kit and cell phone, as the weather and trail conditions can quickly change.
  • On multi-use trails, motorized vehicles yield to non-motorized traffic. Hikers yield to bikes, and bikes yield to horseback riders.
  • The property is closed from sunset to sunrise.
  • Dress appropriately and plan for changing weather. Blaze orange outerwear is strongly recommended during TWRA Big Game hunting season.
  • For any trail emergency, call 911.
OHV Rules:
  • Obey all trail rules. Speed limit is 16 mph on all trails and 5 mph in all trailhead and parking areas.
  • Adult OHV operators must wear a DOT or SNELL approved helmet or wear a factory-installed seat belt at all times. Minors (under age 18) must wear helmets per Tennessee law. Eye protection is required.
  • All motor vehicles must have spark arrestors. Let’s keep it natural: no vehicle noise above 96 decibels.
  • All OHV occupants must adhere to the manufacturer’s minimum age requirements and capacity limitations.
  • Inspect and test vehicle before riding, and never ride alone.
  • Trails allow two-way traffic. Maintain a safe speed and distance from other riders, and do not exceed your skills.
  • Be prepared with a first aid kit, tire repair kit, tools, spare equipment and a cell phone or two-way radio.
UTV Additional Rules:
  • Operator and each passenger must wear seat belts at all times. Passengers are limited to the number of factory-installed seat belts.
  • Keep head, hands, arms, feet and legs inside the vehicle at all times while moving.
Motorcycle Additional Rules:
  • Single track motorcycle trails are for experienced riders only.
  • Helmet is required. Riders are strongly encouraged to wear full protective gear.
  • Motorcycles must have spark arrestors and comply with the 96 decibel noise limit. Please limit noise in all parking areas and near the Doe Mountain Adventure Center.