Explore the best hiking trails near Cosby with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Great hike! But no way is it 10.4 miles round trip. Try 12 miles up and back. The NPS trail signs add up to 6 miles one way. My iPhone health tracker said 13 miles round trip. Believe the NPS signage.
Outstanding views when you get to the Mt Cammerer FireTower - if it's a clear day (posted photos). Some views on hike up the trail, but nothing like those from that fire tower. Inspirational to see that old structure built wth stones hewn from the surrounding rock bed. Those guys on the old CCC crew worked very hard on this one.
I've gone up to this fire tower two other times using the Low Gap trail from Cosby and on the other side of the mountain using Low Gap Trail from the Big Creek Campground in GSMtns NP. Chestnut Branch is the best way, though longer than Low Gap from Cosby.
An amazing hike! I made it in November and the color of the leaves is breath-taking. If you're not a regular hiker, or a resident of a flat state like Florida (like me), definitely train for this one several months in advance. Your knees will thank you.
Low Gap - as the descriptions say, Low Gap is a relentless marathon of switchbacks and uphill work. It never seems to end. Thankfully, the isolation, beauty, and promise of the upcoming AT are enough to motivate!
AT to Mt. Cammerer - the uphill battle continues for awhile, but the views improve, especially in places where you can gaze into both Tennessee and North Carolina. I took some panoramic pictures here and they're some of the best shots I got.
Mt. Cammerer & Spur - The trail to the summit feels like a rockier extension of the AT, with some fun scrambling toward the end. On the summit, take as many pictures as you can and enjoy the crisp air. I met a pair of hikers who camped in the tower overnight - they were kind enough to share some hot chocolate with me while I iced my knees!
My hiking partner and I are 21 years old and in great shape, hiking a few times a week and active work every day we aren't hiking. However, this trail kicked our butts!! You gain 2,600 feet in elevation, most of it in the first 2.5 miles. There are so many uphill switchbacks that seem to never end!! The trail was gorgeous this fall day. The excitement builds as you get closer. it took us 4 hours to hike up, and about 2.5 or 3 to hike down. The views are UNBEATABLE from the fire tower deck. 360 degree views overlooking every mountain below. I wish we had stayed up here for longer. We had the tower to ourselves for about 15 minutes, pure silence and nature. Then an extremely loud group came up and it was not very enjoyable anymore. When you are up there, take it in!! Respect others who are breathing in this experience. Hiking is some people's way of escaping life and the hectic stress it brings. Please respect the peace and quiet and others who have summited this mountain just to take in the views. Besides the loud group, this hike was my all time favorite and I have seen none yet that compare. We were sore for 3 days afterwards but I would choose this hike again any day over working!
This was a great hike. Completed this hike w/ a group of 6 varying in fitness levels from very little exercise to excel use 5+ times a week on October 27th, 2016. Everyone made it to the top and enjoyed the hike. The first 3 miles are fairly intense with mostly rock paths with a steady and steep incline. The last 2.5 miles to the tower level off a bit with lesser incline and even some portions of downhill.
Highly recommend this trail!
It was so amazing, and hit the mark of what we wanted. Not too difficult, yet long enough to keep the city slickers away. Saw maybe 20 people over 3+ hrs, none while at the bridge. We found salamanders in the cool streams and loved the old growth.... Kinda surprised in the lack of wildlife, besides squirrels it was like a ghost town. Hoping for some turkeys, deer, or possibly beer but even tracks were sparse. When you can explore without others watching it makes it somehow extra special.
**Facilities at the Big Creek Ranger Station parking lot**
Did this hike on October 20, 2016.
This hike is no joke. It's strenuous, no way of getting around it. The 2.1 miles up to the Chestnut Branch/Davenport Gap junction starts out challenging, but the challenge is quickly amped up during the last mile.
The Lower Mt. Cammerer trail is the AT...keep that in mind...the AT is barely forgiving, and thus is true of the remaining 4ish miles to the last 0.6 miles to the tower. There are no "flat spots", to keep walking while catching your breath. If you need a break, just take one.
It's a beautiful hike, nonetheless, and the last spur to the tower is the best part, in my opinion. We lucked out and had a GORGEOUS day of clear skies and complete 360 degree views. There are many spots on the boulders to rest your legs, and eat a snack, while allowing others to enjoy the views from the tower deck.
The only animal activity we saw was an approximately 500 pound bear, right before we ended out trek on the Chestnut Branch. It was far enough away from the trail, where we all could enjoy our encounter, and not be too close. We quietly watched, and the bear couldn't have cared less. A great end to our day!!
Hiked to the tower via the Low Gap Trail on Tuesday October 11th. We had a beautiful clear and sunny day with temps in mid 60's. It took us 3&1/2 hours up and 3 hours down. This is a steep hike that is somewhat strenuous but well worth the effort. The view from the tower and the surrounding rocks is incredible! 360 degree view! It's amazing how they built that fire tower so high up on the mountain. Not many opportunities for views on the way to and from the tower although there are some. The hiker parking lot is large and has a bathroom. I would recommend this hike.
First time hiking with hiking poles I am a definite fan of them. It was a 80 degree day in October very warm for a fall day. Celebrated my 24th wedding anniversary with my beautiful wife on an awesome hike in the mountains. It was great to get out and enjoy Gods creative beauty.
This was a fun hike in a beautiful area. The fire tower on Mt Cammerer was unique and scenic as well. On the day we hiked, it poured rain most of the day, however, and the views were all hidden by the dense fog. I'll be sure to come back again on a clearer day!
This trail was nice it was not steep and was well maintained. There was some growth over the trail near the creeks. We came down from the fire tower by this trail because it was easier than the low gap trail and I had developed some blisters on the way up...that being said this trail is extremely long...the milage on the map leaves off a section of the trail so it is actually about 3 miles longer than the map shows...LEAVE EARLY to do this loop in one day. we were late leaving....stayed a little too long at the firetower and then there were the aforementioned blisters that slowed us down so we were hiking back in the dark for about three miles...we encountered a crazy hornet that attacked our head lamps and a Mt lion or cougar (according to the Rangers we spoke to) at a stream that screamed at us to go away! So leave early...wear good shoes and count on a lot of miles!