I-40 exit 451 on the Tennessee side. After exiting cross the river and turn left to drive parallel with the river. Go around the curve in front of the power plant and continue straight pass the ranger station to the trail head parking lot just before the campground. After parking cross the wooden bridge and you are at the Baxter Creek Trailhead that will take you to the top of Mt. Sterling. At the beginning of the Trail there will be one unmarked fork. Go to the left. If you go right and see a brick fireplace you have gone the wrong way. Have fun!
Another trail leading to the summit of Mt. Sterling is the Baxter Creek Trail. The Baxter Creek Trail is 6.2 miles and starts at a campsite just across the Tennessee/North Carolina border. This trail is rugged and extremely demanding, sometimes there can be over 20 full grown trees fallen across the trail that you will either have to climb over or crawl under. It is very tough to cross many of the trees. This trail is the hardest to ascend to the Mt. Sterling summit, if you're looking for something challenging this is definitely the best trail to take up. You can access this trail by taking the Waterville exit #451 off I-40 just on the Tennessee side.
Crampons in the winter if ice is bad. This photo was taken on one of the warmest days on the trail in early spring '05.
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