Snake Den Ridge Low Gap Trail is a 13 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Cosby, TN that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.
Peaceful creek crossings and multi views from the A.T. This would be a great hike for those who are car camping in Cosby Campground or just picnicking at Cosby as well. There are several creeks for cooling off on a hot summer day or trying your luck at trout fishing. The first part of the hike is a steady ascend before you reach the A.T., we rated this moderate based on the Localhikes criteria but it's more on the strenuous for the elevation gain then the dramatic descend once you reach the Low gap Trail. Once you reach the A.T. it's a welcome feeling as the trail levels out for a while. There are some great views along the A.T. looking west into Cosby and east to Mt. Sterling. You may want to stop off by Cosby Knob Shelter for a rest or just stop by to check it out. Once you pass Cosby Knob you will come to the Low Gap Trail take this to return to Cosby Campground.
Mixed review. Snake Den Ridge is long and hard. There is a lovely old growth forest at the bottom, but not many views. It is unrelenting uphill all the way to the AT. It main advantage is being the shortest access to the Old Black/Mt. Guyot section of the AT. Water available on the bottom third, pretty dry the rest of the way.
I did it in reverse (starting on the Low Gap Trail) because its a shorter climb to the AT. It is a "low gap" though, so you'll continue a moderate climb until making a modest descent down to Camel Gap. From there, its a pretty good climb to the Snake.
It was a cloudless day last January, with a thin layer of snow on the AT. There was a pack of fox or bobcat tracks that accompanied me from the Cosby Knob Shelter all the way to the Maddron Bald Trail. Just me, the trail, the tracks and the sunshine - not a soul around the entire loop!
I've never hiked up the Snake Den. Although it seems pretty formidable going down, it's been my experience that trails always look more difficult on a descent, than they really turn out being. Regardless, its a real calorie chewer! I shot some really cool pics coming in from a sunny, almost spring-like ridge into a winter wonderland hollow - check 'em out!
Wonderful hike wild flowers on lower portions of trail. Snake Den has been made out by others as terribly difficult but if you are in decent condition will not be bad. Not a real hard hike with the steepest in the beginning the rest was mostly little ups and downs on the AT. Going down Low Gap was really nice with carpets of wildflower.
Nice hike, it was foggy all day so no views for me, did locate the plane wreckage from the 1984 crash, not much left anymore.
Great hike, but difficult on the Snake Den Ridge portion. Take some pictures of the small waterfalls along the way. Not many views on the AT ridge.
Pleasant trail. Wasn't to difficult, but not for anyone that is out of shape. Starts out gradually on a gravel road then goes to a trail bout a mile or less from the start in the Cosby campground. Theres an old cemetery about a third of the way up. A famouse poet that wrote about the smoky mountains is buried there along with folks from the early 1900's to as far back as early 1800's. Many headstones were so old they could not be read. Seen a Bear and a very large Doe.