Very rocky, especially coming down crooked creek trail. Good views of Cades cove in the winter, when the leaves have fallen. Look carefully where Rich mountain trail crosses the stream over to Indian Grave trail, I missed it the first time. Spend time looking over John Oliver homestead, almost 200y old. Overall nothing special, there are better hikes in the Smokies.
Picked a perfect day in the winter to do this one (today). But not my favorite .I stayed on Rich Mountain Loop to Indian Grave Gap and came down Crooked Arm. Definitely a good decision. If I ever do this again I will come down the same way. I hated Crooked Arm.
I just hike this trail today and I loved it. I could not asked for a better day to hike it. I wanted to hike it yesterday but it rained so we went today. Less than 2 miles in the ground was covered with snow which made our hike even better. At the top there was around 3 inches in spots and it was so great to look down at the valleys and see the change from snow to all green. The hike was moderate at worst. The guy that went with me is not in great shape and he had no problem. We did all 8.5 miles in less than 3.5 hours. I just loved this hike. Since it is a loop every thing you see is new and you dont have to see everything you saw on the way in again on your way out. I could not stop smiling it was just so beautiful. The views, the little water fall and the wild life made today my favorite hike to date. I would love to see it when the leaves change.
Very nice and secluded trail; beautiful in the fall: you will certainly enjoy the colors. Moderate climb, but rather long. We started at Cades Cove, the climb is a bit more difficult if you take this way. It is a long, 8.5 miles walk, so being enough water and food.
The location indicated on this map for the Rich Mountain Loop Trail is incorrect. The location indicated is all private property and there is no trail head and no hiking permitted. The only Rich Mountain Loop Trail that I have been able to locate is off of Laurel Creek Road on the way to Cades Cove and near Townsend, TN, not Maryville. Rich Mountain and the loop trail is located within the Great Smokey Mtn NP. The reviews appear to describe the correct trail, but the map is way off the mark.
Honestly, worst hike I've ever done in the smokies. I've done some pretty strenuous trails and Ihave never been disappointed until now. You climb all the way to the top only to have to ask yourself "Is this really the top? This is what I worked so hard for?" After reaching the so called "top" you continue to climb for no reason, until the trail rapidly descends for the last couple of miles. Really no views of cades cove unless your willing to climb a tree. Winter it might be great. Not a summer hike in regards to view. Never spotted the fire tower. Not a moderate trail by any means, I'll never do this one again. Word of advice, if you want views of Cade's cove, do Gregory's bald, want a hard hike? Do Ramsey cascades! I'd stay away from this one! But to each their own!
This is a, nice quiet trail in the Cades Cove area. I recommend going in the clockwise direction unless you are looking for something more strenuous. We had a few nice views but there were no leaves on the trees...I doubt you would have any views in the summer. There were lots of deer and by the looks of the droppings on the trail there are a lot of coyotes. The old fire tower location is a perfect spot for a picnic or, in our case, hot chocolate and a snack :)
Rich Mountain Loop which is 9 miles and moderate. The trail was originally a Cherokee Indian trail in which the settlers of Cades Cove used to travel. We hiked up one side of the mountain and at the top we were suppose to see an aerial view of Cades Cove. Who ever wrote the trail map didnt realize that trees grow and we couldnt see any views from that side. But on the other side we did get a birds eye view of the city of Townsend. Back down the other side of the mountain and we were tired. Dead tired!
Mark M. on Little Mountain Trail to Hardwood G...
Great trail. Moderate climbs but not very sustained. Good weather and a good friend make short work of this little gem.