Porters Creek Trail

EASY 92 reviews

Porters Creek Trail is a 7.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

7.2 miles 1578 feet Out & Back

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Wooded hike along Porters Creek, old cemetery, historic farm site, waterfall The drive to the trailhead is nearly as nice as the hike. Once at the trailhead you will begin up a gradual incline along a wide gravel path. The trail is in a heavily wooded area, with Porters Creek on your left. This hike provides a cool respite on even the hottest of days. At about the 0.6 mile point, there is a series of rock walls and old building foundations from an old settlement. At the 0.75 mile point, is the old cemetery. Take the time to pay your respects to these early settlers. The gravel pathway continues to the 1.0 mile point, where a short spur trail leads to the Historic Farm Site. You will find John Messer's cantilevered barn built in 1875. Past the barn is the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club Cabin, built in 1934-36. The gravel path ends here. To continue on to the waterfall, take the left trail along Porters Creek. This well marked trail continues its gradual ascent for an additional 1 mile to the base of the waterfall.

hiking
4 days ago

Did this one on a 60 degree Sunday in January. Not many people on the trail. More wind damage the higher up you go. Several trees were cut off the trail. Not much water going over the waterfall but the creek was nice.

hiking
19 days ago

22 days ago

Enjoyed this hike! Had a lot of fun climbing by the waterfall!

hiking
22 days ago

Did about half of the trail with two 6-year-olds. They loved it. It wasn't too much for them and there was a lot to see and learn.

hiking
25 days ago

26 days ago

Never disappoints. Gorgeous hike. perfect day hike.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

A slow steady incline - very rocky underfoot. Some small falls and we saw a deer. 3 1/2 hours hiking time to the end and back. Nice stone wall and little cemetery right as you begin the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

It's 5 miles round trip to falls and back unfortunately this year has been very dry skin the falls were only a trickle and missed by several before us. One think you need to be aware of is Messers lodge is on the right when you come to the first intersection. The sign should be at that intersection but it's not, and since you know the trail to the falls hugs the stream it's easy to not go around the loop causing you to miss the best thing in this hike. Things we saw, the stone wall, lodge footprint, cemetery, rusty car, barn, cabin, awesome stream with some depth, foot bride, deer, squirrels, salamanders, crawfish, and very few people. It was a perfect hike on a Monday morning, only encountered 15 people and had so many beautiful sights.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

One of my very favorite places in the Smokies. I hiked this trail in late May, and there seemed to be a surprise around every turn. Stone steps leading to a beautiful old cemetery, the old barn and cabins, the rushing creek, the charming footbridges, capped off by stunning Fern Branch Falls. My children aged 6 and 11 were exhausted at the end of this trail, and traversing the second footbridge with a very independent (but exhausted) six-year-old is a bit stressful, but we made it work. The end result was an unforgettable experience!
The climb to the falls is a bit much for little ones, but for experienced hikers, it's an easy walk with stunning scenery and loads of history. I wish I lived closer, but I will certainly be back to hike this again.

3 months ago

Very nice. Wasn't too hot. Water was great!

4 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked this trail on a very humid day. The waterfall was nice and unexpected. We did hike to the campsite but wouldn't do it again. Turn around at the falls. Lots of big trees and greenery.

4 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago