Gregory's Little Bald Trail is a 10.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Tallassee, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Horses are also able to use this trail.
Shortest route to one of the best location in the Smokies There are many ways to get to Gregory Bald but only one way to leave; impressed with the beauty and scenery of the Smokies. This is the shortest hike to the bald but you will have a longer drive out due to the one-way road of Parsons Branch. The GBT will continue for 1.2 mi pass the bald to Gregory Ridge Trail but described in this hike to the bald and back. Your hike begins with an easy climb for the first mile. Over the next three miles you will gain over 1700 feet of elevation. One mile later you reach Campsite #13, which is often used if not closed due to bear activity. So if a backpack trip is planned be sure to check well in advance for reservations. From here the original AT ran south to Deals Gap before being relocated for the building of Fontana Dam. You will have a steep half-mile climb to reach the bald. Wonder around this magnificent area for views, you will eventually have to leave so return via the same route.
Kellie pretty much nailed it. I went in May with a thunderstorm the night before so the path had muddy spots. The view was still absolutely beautiful and the bald was huge. The trail was poorly marked and we ran with excitement when we saw the 0.6 sign. Coming down the trail was very hard are knees. I got a lot of blisters. But overall it was fun, super super long, and beautiful. We aren't everyday hikers so it tool us 4 hours to get to the top (the last stretch it straight up) and 1 hour and 45 minutes (closer to 2 hours) to come down.
We visited on an unseasonably warm day in mid-April, and Parsons Branch Road was closed, so we parked at the end of the cul-de-sac and hiked up that way, which made it 11 miles roundtrip. Oof. We never saw Campground 13, so we were a little worried we'd veered off the path since it's not well-marked, but after those last 3 miles basically heading straight up, we were overjoyed to see the sign letting us know we were only 0.6 miles away! Unfortunately, nothing was in bloom, but we were the only people there, so that was pretty nice. We passed a few groups on the way down (which was brutal on our knees since what goes straight up must come straight down), but it was a pretty quiet day. We did like walking along the stream in the beginning, and we were also glad we didn't see any bears despite reports of them in the area. All in all, it took us right at 5 hours (10 am - 3 pm) to do the whole 11 miles. There were also a ton of butterflies and bugs on the first couple of miles.
This is a beautiful hike with a great reward at the end. Make sure to do it on a clear day so you're not in the clouds when you get to the top!
Not a lot of views or things to see on the way, but the view at top is awesome, I was lucky enough the have a clear day and lots of Azalea blooms. As others have stated you should allow yourself plenty of time on a round trip, because you'll want to spend some time on the bald.
This is a spectacular vista and a relatively easy hike to a high location. If you go up Gregory Bald Trail, the ascent is definitely doable. Nice, pretty hike up rewarded with astounding views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The best part though is the wild azaleas in bloom if you time your trip right. We went on June 19, 2012 and the azaleas were still blooming although not at their peak. I would suggest late may to mid-June for the best bloom. Here's my trip report and some pictures: http://hikingtotheheights.blogspot.com/2012/07/incredible-azalea-spectacle-on-gregorys.html
Plan to spend some time on the bald. You won't want to leave!
I highly recommend this hike!