Mill Branch Trail is a 4.6 mile out and back trail located near Vonore, Tennessee. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking.
This is a good steep day hike for late fall through early summer. You can make a loop hike out if it by linking Crowder Branch.
Great day hike. Small parking area across from the trailhead and more spaces up and down the road. This hike is fairly steep in places (as are most of the hikes that fall off of this ridgeline) but some level places to make it okay for those who need a respite once in a while. I wouldn't recommend this hike in the late summer/early fall as there are patches of blackberry and catbrier that may make your journey a little bloody. We hiked this at the end of winter/very early spring and you could tell it might be a problem when things are in full bloom.
On the hike up you'll see some nice views of some small cascades of Mill Branch. Nothing big, but it makes the hike very pleasant. You won't see much of the branch while leaves are on the trees. There is only one section where you can see the distant mountains through the trees. It was really hazy due to some fires in the area so we didn't see much. Don't expect to see any views on this hike.
There's one creek crossing but not very wide so you shouldn't get wet. The upper section has a lot of spring crossings which at certain times of the year will turn into muddy bogs. You will get muddy during those times. You might see signs of wild boar wallows in the mud as there are a lot of those invasive varmints in this area of the forest.
Just before you get to the gap, and the intersection of the Fodderstack Trail, is a really nice campsite (that's the end point on my track). This is good place to have lunch if this is a day hike or a good place for camp if your journey is longer. Relatively flat area with enough space for several tents and enough trees for those who hang. An existing fire ring sits near a fallen ancient oak.