Learn more about House Mountain State Natural Area.
House Mountain is a 500-acre natural area located in Knox County, approximately eight miles from Knoxville. The 2,100-foot crest of House Mountain provides significant vistas where visitors may scan the parallel ranges of the Unakas and Cumberlands some 30 miles away, or look northeast at the adjacent Clinch Mountain. The steep slopes of House Mountain are heavily wooded and possess a unique combination of scenic views, rock outcrops, and a variety of bird and plant life. This is a rare combination of scenic and ecological values near a metropolitan area. Great sandstone boulders, encrusted with lichens, crown the western rim where rock outcropping support chestnut oak and Virginia, pitch and table mountain pine. Mountain laurel, huckleberry, partridgeberry, trailing arbutus, and other flowering plants adapted to dry sandstone outcropping are found along the crest. A chestnut oak forest extends down slope where at lower elevations soil conditions associated with limestone, moister deeper soils, and north-facing slopes support a forest of sugar maple, tulip poplar, ash, buckeye, and other mesophytic species. This moister habitat favors the greatest density and diversity of spring wildflowers. House Mountain is a favorite place for birdwatchers. Migrating hawks and warblers can be observed from the mountain. Ruffed grouse, pileated woodpeckers, scarlet tanagers, wild turkeys and more than one hundred additional species of birds have been observed on the mountain. House Mountain is drained by several unnamed tributaries of Roseberry Creek and by Hogskin and Brice Branches, which divide it from the 1,500 feet high McAnnally Ridge, which lies to the east and south.