off roading in tennesseeThe adventure of a lifetime for most would be the opportunity to visit a historic abandoned train tunnel and either walk or drive through one. You might ask “How Can This Happen”? The abandoned Nemo train tunnels are just 6 miles SW of Wartburg, Tennessee. Nemo is situated in the East Tennessee Mountains, on the north edge of the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area. This area is full of many different attractions, but it’s rare to come across train tunnels like these. There are actually two abandoned tunnels, which are both accessible to the general public to explore. When you’re looking for new adventures these tunnels are great for Easy Off Roading in East Tennessee and are a total step back in time.

Walk-Thru or Drive-Thru Tunnels

Just outside The Catoosa Wildlife Management Area are two one-of-a-kind tunnels, both of which you can travel through at your leisure. In fact, you can easily explore one of these tunnels on foot. The tunnel isn’t dangerous by any means, but it is cold, dark and gives off an eerie feeling upon entrance. In fact, it’s the suspense and anticipation of what you might see that makes it exciting. A short 5-10 minute walk will take you from one end of the tunnel to the other and a flashlight will definitely be needed.

If you would prefer to drive instead, there is another tunnel suitable for any stock off road vehicle. Tunnel #24 makes off roading in Tennessee a blast! It will be a naturally dark ride, however, so you’ll want to equip your vehicle with a suitable amount of lights so you can see where you’re going. This will be handy in case of hazards, such as standing water which may collect up to mid-tire within the tunnel’s depths. Tunnel #24 is also the longest tunnel to explore in the area. Eventually, you’ll find yourself traveling in pitch darkness so dense there will be no visible light ahead of or behind you. We guarantee a trip through Tunnel #24 will top as the crowning moment of your trip! If you’d like to experience what the tunnel is really like before your trip, you can find videos online from other people’s tours.

Explore Trails Outside the Tunnels

These abandoned train tunnels are just east of the Rock Creek Campgrounds and Catoosa Wildlife Management Area on the east bank of the Emory River, so there is plenty to see around them as well. Natural trails are available for hiking, biking and even kayaking and fishing on the Emory and Obed Rivers. Once you get through to the other side of a tunnel, you’re naturally transitioned into a trail where you can continue exploring. Your adventure doesn’t stop at the end of the tunnel! Visit The Catoosa Wildlife Management Area which features numerous other dirt roads to travel and hiking trails – too many, in fact, to explore within one day, or even one trip! You will want to make sure you have a cooler full of drinks and food so you can spend the whole day enjoying nature.

Historic Nemo Train Bridge

The historic Nemo Train Bridge is a must see while you are there. This bridge is part of the Cumberland Trail system. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Cumberland Trail System is in the process of saving this wonderful bridge. To read more about the Nemo Bridge CLICK HERE.

Wildlife Management Area Regulations

The Nemo Tunnels are located in The Catoosa Wildlife Management Area.

It is important to review Tennessee Wildlife Management Area’s  General Regulations for specific restrictions to make your trip worry free.

Motorized Vehicles Requirements:

off roading in tennesseeAll motorized vehicles must be muffler equipped to suppress noise and be spark-arrestor equipped to prevent fires. Operation of motorized vehicles is confined to roads not designated as closed. Off-road vehicles are restricted to roads open to other motorized traffic (except where prohibited by state or federal statute) and designated trails only. ORVs may be operated during daylight hours and at other times when participating in authorized activities.

Driving off roads into woods, fields or utility right-of-ways is prohibited for all motorized vehicles.

Motorized vehicles may be prohibited on any Agency-owned Wildlife Management Area if deemed necessary to protect wildlife, vegetation and/or property. Some exceptions apply. Review Tennessee Wildlife Management Area’s  General Regulations.

Plenty to See and Come Back for More

Whether you have children or just want to get a group of friends together to explore these abandoned tunnels, you’re sure to have a great time. Some of the trails follow the Obed River, which has plenty to see and explore as well. Once you make a stop at Catoosa Wildlife Management Area, you’ll want to come back to do some more exploring in Morgan County, Tennessee pretty soon. There’s so much to do in this area that we could not cover all of the information about Morgan County. For more information on Morgan County TN CLICK HERE.

If you’re a history buff, a railroad fan or just a seeker of the unusual, there may not be a better experience than the abandoned Nemo train tunnels in Catoosa Wildlife Management Area. Be sure to subscribe to our blog for more adventures like these.

Starts at Nemo Trail Head

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Looking to find a grid coordinate on the tunnel entry point. I would like to take my Jeep and some others up that way. thank you for the information. always looking for fun and beautiful places to ride.

        • The maps are Free but you must read and agree to the Terms and Conditions prior to gaining access.
          Nemo map is supplied from a 3rd party entity and is merely posted for convenience, reference, and information purposes – not direct navigational purposes. This supplied map is an approximate depiction of a possible route taken to the listed destination/location. This map should not be used as a primary means of navigation. The drivers, including passengers, assume all responsibility and utilize this map voluntarily and at their own risk. Easy Off Roading makes no warranties about the supplied maps, safety and/or condition of the listed destination and each user of this map is responsible for determining its suitability for his/her intended use or purpose. Easy Off Roading is also not responsible in any way for any mishap or consequences suffered of any nature as a result of the information seen and contained within this map, and the driver’s/passenger’s use thereof.

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