Road Prong Trail is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
Hiked this trail in early January. We accessed the trail off the AT towards the Chimney tops and Newfound Gap road. the trail in our direction of travel was for the most part a wet rocky decent. Road prong offers some nice views of the river that parallels the trail however at multiple locations you will be forced to make some rock skip crossings. A section of the trail at about the halfway point actually requires you to walk in the river back and fourth until the trail picks back up which can be a little deceitful when locating the where the trail starts back but after approximately 200 to 300 yards of water trekking and back and forth creek hopping the trail becomes apparent once again. If hiking in the winter definitely beware of ice as it was quite prominent in the time of year we were on this trail. when you're about a mile and half from the road and about a half mile from the chimneys spur trail the final river crossings is a bit tricky and doesn't really offer an adequate crossing ( possibly due to recent excessive rainfall) so depending on conditions be prepared to roll up your pants and get your feet wet. all in all I would recommend this trail for a thru connector back to newfound gap road and chimney gaps but not so much for a leisure hike, the demands and obstacles of the trail are greater than the sights offered are worth.
Did this hike yesterday on our way to the Chimneys. We started at Indian Gap at the Newfound Gap Parking lot and came down the trail. It is a very rocky trail. Probably easier coming up than going down due to the slick wet rocks. Nice waterfall and cascade views in January. Several creek crossing. After rains it could be dangerous or at least very wet. It had rained some earlier in the week, but the streams were not that high. Other than walking on a creek bed for most of the hike, it was a beautiful hike.
The Road Prong Trail begins at the Chimney Tops Trailhead. At about 2 miles up, the Road Prong Trail continues straight while the Chimney Tops Trail curves to the right and continues up the mountain. The Road Prong Trail continues on beside the creek. It is better to hike this trail in the winter if you are there to see the waterfalls. It can be strenuous in some areas due to elevation climb. (It meets up with the AT I believe.)