Maddron Bald Overnight Loop is a 17.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Gatlinburg, TN that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.
I completed this loop from 1/1/16 - 1/3/16. This is a great loop in a quieter area of the park.
A video of my trip backpacking this loop can be found at the link below.
Notes from my trip video...
A video of my 3 day, 2 night backpacking trip on the Maddron Bald Loop. I start at the Cosby campground (2459') and hike the Gabes Mtn Trail to Henwallow Falls (3140'). I camp the first night at campsite 34, Sugar Cove (3080'). The next morning I continue on the Gabes Mtn Trail to the Maddron Bald Trail. I hike along the Maddron Bald Trail and take the Albright Grove Loop Trail before camping the second night at campsite 29, Otter Creek (4550'). The next morning I continue to climb the Maddron Bald Trail passing over Maddron Bald (5212'), before descending down the Snake Den Ridge Trail back to the car.
Christopher's review is spot on - not much to add other than the campsites were a little beat up when we went through each. Storm damage and people damage. Couldn't find a nice flat space in either, so we did some crooked sleeping! Depending on the direction you're heading - last or first day is a doosie - lots of elevation all day long.
First off, these reviews are for the trail itself, not for the site or the app. The one star reviews are unnecessary.
This is a great loop. There are two backcountry campsites along the loop so it can be done in one or two nights. We started at the Cosby campground and hiked down Gabes Mountain trail. This lower trail passes many small streams and through old growth forest later on. Henwallow falls is only about .1 miles off this trail and is worth checking out. We then took Maddron Bald trail up to Albrights Grove past some of the Park's largest trees. We then continued up to campsite 29 after about 11 miles of hiking in the rain. Campsite 29 is situated just below the ridge along a stream. It is a small campsite able to handle about 10 people.
The next day we hiked up to Maddron Bald not to far from campsite 29. This is a narrow heath bald so don't expect large grassy areas like Gregory's Bald. There are small side trails through the thicket to get better views from highpoints or outcrops. There are still great views of Snake Den ridge. We completed the hike by following Snake Den ridge trail back to Cosby campground. The Snake Den ridge trail is wider and rockier than the Maddron Bald trail due to horse travel.
I very much enjoyed this quiet hike through a less crowded area of the park.
Agreed with Caleb - this information is basically useless without a map of the trail.
This is an awesome 3 day hike/backpack. Numerous stream crossings, old growth forest and great views at the top. Be mindful that there won't be many "open" views until you reach the top. Campsites are good with food hanging cables. Only saw one bear. This is not an easy trip. Day 1 is moderate to Henwallow Falls and the first campground. Day 2 is VERY strenuous almost entirely vertical and day 3 is vertical for the first 1.5 miles then it's all downhill...very downhill. Do not do this unless you have hiked a few trails to prepare- you have been warned.