Appalachain Trail to Jump Off Trail is a 6.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, NC that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, birding, and backpacking and is accessible year-round.
There is a restroom at Newfound Gap close to the trailhead.
This was an interesting hike. First I would like to add this hike is described as moderate. I post my reviews more towards those who are not the experienced hiker..so this probably should have been marked as difficult. But we thoroughly enjoyed this hike,there were some tough spots here and there as far as the incline,but once you reach Jump Off it's entirely worth it! The views were phenomenal,but please be careful the drop is literally a disorienting long vertical drop! Very intense ,loved it! It actually ended up being just under 7 miles. I was not anticipating it being a tourist spot,but after I realized when we parked in the Newfound Gap popular parking area..it was inevitable of how many tourists would be on the trail. I enjoy very little traffic when I am hiking but this hike had an amazing view which in the end was worth it. There were a lot of bear skat-so be cautious . If you come across a strong pungent odor, which is much a long the trail,that's bear skat for the most part. We saw a few droppings. All around enjoyed the outcome!!! Phenomenal views!!
The hike to the Jump Off is usually combined with a hike out to Charlies Bunion or to Mt. LeConte. It is a great day hike to do by itself too. The Jump Off is a vertical cliff on Mt. Kephart that has spectacular views of Charlies Bunion, the Greenbrier area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and on a clear day you can easily see Douglas Lake outside the park.
The route out the Appalachian Trail is a bit rocky and has some roots on it once you get about a 1/2 mile from the trailhead located at Newfound Gap. Hiking boots should be worn on this hike, but I have seen a lot of day hikers just go in sneakers. Views along the AT potion are limited, but be sure to follow any spur trails to the side of the trail since they usually lead to a good vista view.
Be careful on the spur trail out to the Jump Off since it is not a well maintained trail. Caution is also advised near the edge of the Jump Off since it is a LONG vertical drop.