Cove Lake State Park is situated in a beautiful mountain valley setting on the eastern edge of the Cumberland Mountains. There are scenic nature trails and bike trails leading through the open grasslands and woodlands. In the winter, several hundred Canada Geese make this lakeshore their feeding ground. Hikers and rockclimbers will want to explore the Cumberland Trail that leads to the Devil's Racetrack overlook where dramatic views of the valley can be seen from the jagged rock edges of this steep pinnacle rock. Year-round rowboats and pedal boats are available for rent on the lake, but no personally owned boats are permitted. There are 100 campsites available with water and electrical hookups. Other park amenities include badminton, shuffleboard, horseshoes, field games, volleyball, playgrounds, ping-pong, and tennis. Recreation equipment is available on a free checkout system at the boat dock in the summer months or in the park office during the winter months.
Bicycling: Around the park, walkers, runners and cyclists can enjoy 3.5 miles of paved trail. While there is no mountain biking in the park, nearby Cross Mountain has trails.
Birding: Cove Lake is a premier year-round birding destination and a common site for waterbirds and songbirds. Other common waterbirds include Great Blue Herons, Mallards and Wood Ducks year-round, and wintering Pied-billed Grebes, Gadwall, Ring-necked Ducks, and Hooded Mergansers. Several other ducks are uncommon but occasionally present. One or two Bald Eagles have been regular winter residents in years past, and Red-shouldered Hawks are present year round in the low wet woods. For many years the woods on the back side of the park has been one of the best spots in the entire state to observe the rare Swainson’s Warbler.
Fishing: Year-round fishing is permitted on the 210-acre Cove Lake. Bass and bluegill are the best sporting fish in the lake, but good catches of crappie always tempt the angler. Fishing is allowed from anywhere on the banks of the lake.
Trails: The Volunteer Loop is a 1.5 mile nature trail that connects to the Cumberland Trail which heads north, winding its way over to the lookout at the Devil's Racetrack and then along the crest of Cumberland Mountain to LaFollette. Heading southbound at the fork of the Volunteer Loop, you can link with the New River Segment of the Cumberland Trail which stretches to the New River headwaters in the heart of the Cumberland Mountains. The trailhead for the Volunteer Loop is located near Shelter #1.
Park Size: 673 acres
Paved Trail: 3.5 miles
Natural Trail: 1.5 mile loop
Connects: Cumberland Trail
110 Cove Lake Lane, Caryville
Directions: Take I-75 to exit #134 and travel 0.5 miles on Veterans Memorial Highway then take the first left turn to the park.
State Park Website