Old Sugarlands Trail is a 7.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, TN that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
This is a wide trail that follows and old mountain road. Old Sugarlands Trail passes the remains of an old CCC camp where some abandoned structures can still be found. This trail is well maintained, but can be muddy near the CCC Camp. If you hike this tail from Newfound Gap Road towards the Cherokee Orchard loop road, the incline is a gradual to moderate climb once you pass the CCC Camp. Hiking from the Cherokee Orchard Loop Road towards Newfound Gap Road has a moderate climb near the beginning of the trail, then it is almost all down hill from there.
*Facilities at both Sugarland Visitors Center and Rainbow Falls parking lot.....depending on which end you start at*
Very nice hike, with some incline challenges. Nothing too strenuous, but definitely not a flat, straight-away trail. We car shuttled, and started at the Rainbow Trail head parking area, and ended at Newfound Gap Rd. There are many hidden gems in, and around, this area...many are off the trail, and some are off the trail a ways. You will pass remains of a CCC camp, the Clock Tower that once stood in front of a very large CCC building, the Sugarlands Cemetery and Rock House are up off the main trail, on a very easy manway. You can Google these places, to read up on ways to get there, from different blogs that are more in depth, than what I have written here. I have included photos of these location, so you can see what you'd be looking for.
No bears were seen, today, but there is evidence that they are around, so just be aware of your surroundings.
We started at the Sugarlands visitor center. This is a very nice family hike. We were a group of four with who kids 8-12. Not too steep and not very much danger of falling off the mountain. One of us is scared of heights and had no issues here. The CCC camp, cemetery, "parade field", and "baseball field" are very difficult to find and are not marked on the trail or maps. We didn't see them today. We did hear that the cemetery is down the two-track and after it reaches a "tee" intersection
We will be back next year to start from the top and hike back to the VisCtr.
I agree with Larry (no relation BTW). An uneventful hike until the last half mile before Cherokee Orchard Rd. We used A Walk in the Woods shuttle service to meet us at our car at Ogle cabins and drive us to the Sugarlands Visitor Center for a potty stop before hiking the trail back to our car. With the ridiculous humidity today, we were glad we only hiked one way. Saw just two hikers. They saw a snake right behind us that we didn't see.
If you enjoy history... Pre park history.. There is a lot to see. There were homes and a clock tower and a bridge and lives lived along this trail before it was a trail. My spouse and I loved the walk, finding tree trunks that have been marked by bears, eggs laid by ? Snakes we think. Old homestead remains.
I was looking for a trail close to the Sugarlands Visitor's Cente and hiked to the Old CCC camp along the Old Sugarlands trail. The trail is maintained and follows an old road. There was plenty of wildlife but pretty flat and boring other than the couple of river access points.