Explore February 2018 Potential - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

February 2018 Potential Map
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The day was fogged in, so unfortunately we didn’t get any of the awesome vistas. But we could imagine them. We did however still have a great hike. The leaves are gone at the upper elevations now but there is color (every shade of green) in the moss, ferns, and undergrowth. Still quite amazing. I’d rate the trail as moderate, and found it a nice leisure hike. We stopped at the shelter for a bite to eat and were greeted by a die and two fawns grazing in the reeds in front of us. That was our ‘10’, along with the shades of green undergrowth. We decided to head back from there since there was no expected view from Charlie’s Bunyan ; we’ll be back on a clear day. I rated 5 stars as I didn’t want to down rate it for the weather. This has all the makings of an awesome trail.

Fantastic! Last part a little tricky but not bad. Wonderful!!!

Great views. Trail repairs very nice.

I really enjoyed this smooth well marked hiking trail to the Alum Cave and Bluffs. Beautiful and serene walk alongside a peaceful stream brings you to an interesting natural rock cave structure. A one railed log bridge over the creek leads to an immaculate rock stairwell which brings you through the cave arch and then almost all uphill from here leads to some beautiful breathtaking views of the mountainside prior to reaching the stunning scenic views of the bluffs.

One of the first hikes I did of the weekend! It was definitely a challenge and pretty long but well worth the hike up! Weather was beautiful, part of the mountains were frosted off from the sun not hitting them just yet. The views are to die for! Keep your speed steady.

Fun trail that adds some length and has beautiful fall leaf colors! Only real downfall is that it winds along with the road so most of the trail you see vehicles.

Really worth it when you see the view! Kids might think this is “moderate” but this old dude w bad knees and a pacemaker says it is most definitely worthy of a “hard” rating! But a great hike!

Location
The trailhead starts in the Newfound Gap Overlook parking lot. It's on the left side right next to the bathrooms! It is labeled Appalachian Trail. Nothing about Charlie's Bunion is listed.
About 1.5 miles in there is a spit in the trail. Go left!
Still no mention of Charlie's Bunion haha.

Splits in the trail
Whenever there is a split in the trail choose the Appalachian Trail side. I believe the next split is at mile 3 or so. Choose to go right there.


Views
On your way to the Bunion you have lots of views and even a chance to check out a shelter. Be mindful of thru hikers who may be using that as a resting spot.


The Bunion is better than any picture so hike it yourself! We even did a shoot off to the Jump Off and wow!!!

Moderate is right
We were exhausted from the constant climb up to the Bunion and are legs were sore Dr the long walk back down (burning calves). Moderate is an accurate listing for this trail. Not super technical, but definitely a work out.

Time it right
We got on the trail around 7:30 and had it mostly to ourselves. We passed at least 50 hikers on our way down though, so get there early!

Conditions
It is wet/icy and VERY windy!

A lot of incline but the views were incredible. We started around 12pm and there was a little bit of ice on the trail but overall a great hike.

hiking
12 days ago

Great hike on a sunny day. Beautiful river and bridges. Waterfall was set off the trail a bit and in my opinion not the highlight. Trailhead easy to find and an interesting drive.

hiking
13 days ago

hike it with my wife on November 2nd. beautiful, foggy and cold. not too many hikers. nice and relaxing.

hiking
16 days ago

What a fun and absolutely beautiful trail! We hiked about 3.5 miles of it with our 3&5 year olds and they did great. Back is much quicker than up. Lots of places to climb splash and explore!

The hike up was beautiful. You follow the river up and cross multiple bridges. The first half had only a slight incline and the second half has more stairs. you get great views of the mountains. I recommend it to anyone! Not really sure where the peak was though. There wasn't a sign or anything.

A little rocky but the incline is pretty gradual. I’m super out of shape and was able to get all the way to the end. Not sure where the 7.9 mi number came from- we clocked 8.4 and the internet said 8.3. Good variety of interesting things, from historical remnants (don’t miss the old Cadillac off to the right as you’re ascending- around 1.9 miles from the trailhead!) to waterfalls and a nice stream to the beautiful forest setting (made better by the fact that the leaves are peaking in color for fall right now!).

This is such a fun trail! I started off at 8:30am on a weekday, went up seeing only maybe 3 or 4 other people, and had the Bunion to myself for a good 20 minutes. The view is absolutely stunning! On the way back, I turned on to Boulevard Trail to go to The Jumpoff. The fall colors were brighter than anywhere else, and the view was definitely worth it. My GPS clocked it as 9.5 miles (and 2500 calories burned, so bring snacks to keep up your energy!)
I wear trailrunning shoes, and found most of the trail pretty easy to navigate. Definitely wear appropriate shoes; running shoes are not gonna be a good idea. By the time I got back to Newfound Gap, it was busy with lots of people heading up.

This was a great hike. The ending was epic! So glad we did it!

Awesome hike! But very busy, we had to pass and stop for people coming the other way quite often. The scenery was beautiful and the view at the end was worth it. The trail was rocky with lots of roots so you have to watch your footing!

We were almost scared off this trail by reviews that described this trail as being moderate to strenuous. (We are in our late 60s and my wife has had double knee replacement.) Sure, there were sections that were steep but the trail itself is broad and flat with very easy footing. We can deal with steep but my wife has a hard time when the footing is rugged from rocks and roots sticking up high. Heck, the Cove Hardwood Nature Trail down the road was more rugged that the trail to Alum Cave.That made this trail quite easy for us to hike and maybe the most beautiful trail we hiked all week!

Great hike! Very rocky and uneven in parts but the view is worth it. We also hiked to the Jump Off and it was just as beautiful! Great hike all around!

hiking
25 days ago

One of my new favorite hikes in the Smokies. The trail starts out fairly wide and meanders along a stream (Lynn Camp Prong) while inclining steadily. This trail offers a little bit of everything: beautiful views of the stream, interesting rock formations, and relics from days gone by that give hikers insight into how this area was used in years past. In fact, most of the trail follows an old railroad bed—when the Smokies were logged, the last logs were hauled from this area of Tremont. Pay close attention to catch some of the pieces of history along the trail (including an old cadillac, an old chimney, and stone walls), as there are no official markers, just helpful indicators left by fellow hikers. The trail gets a bit more rugged beyond the junction with Panther Creek Trail at mile 2.3. Be aware that the side trail to Indian Flat Falls (approximately 4 miles from the trailhead) is not an officially marked trail either, so keep your eyes peeled for a side trail to the right when the Middle Prong Trail swings left. If you hit the junction with two other trails, you've gone too far and have missed the falls.

One of my new favorite hikes in the Smokies. The trail starts out fairly wide and meanders along a stream (Lynn Camp Prong) while inclining steadily. This trail offers a little bit of everything: beautiful views of the stream, interesting rock formations, and relics from days gone by that give hikers insight into how this area was used in years past. In fact, most of the trail follows an old railroad bed—when the Smokies were logged, the last logs were hauled from this area of Tremont. Pay close attention to catch some of the pieces of history along the trail (including an old cadillac, an old chimney, and stone walls), as there are no official markers, just helpful indicators left by fellow hikers. The trail gets a bit more rugged beyond the junction with Panther Creek Trail at mile 2.3. Be aware that the side trail to Indian Flat Falls (approximately 4 miles from the trailhead) is not an officially marked trail, either, so keep your eyes peeled for a side trail to the right when the Middle Prong Trail swings left. If you hit the junction with two other trails, you've gone too far.

we did this and branched off to include the jump off and everthing totalled out to 4hrs 23min and 8.8 miles. i think it was a total of 3.9 miles uphill. i slept good that night!
i usually start early (6am) but since the sun is coming up later we started at 9am. it still wasnt crowded and having the sun directly overhead at the bunion really helped with some good pictures

The view from Charlie’s Bunion is amazing. When we hiked up it was cloudy foggy and cold on the way up. Once we cleared the tree line the clouds started to lift and clear. When we got to Charlie’s Bunion it was clear and the view was amazing. Well worth the hike up the hill. Recommend you hit the trail early to avoid the crowds. Hardly anyone on the trail on the way up however on the way down there was literally 50 to 100 plus groups on the way up.

Really good hike. Went in about 10 am. Wasn’t too busy. Came out about 2pm and it was very busy. Get there early.

good trail, work the hike

hiking
29 days ago

This wide, well-maintained gravel trail is quite easy due to the gentle grade and offers outstanding views of the Middle Prong of the Little River. You will find a nice bench and awesome waterfall photo-ops at both mile 0.4 and 0.75. We continued on to the Indian Flats Falls turn-off, which is approximately 4 miles from the trailhead, shortly after the footbridge. While the Middle Prong Trail is wide and easy, the spur trail to the falls is narrow, a little tougher and in some places a bit of a scramble. Overall we really enjoyed this scenic hike; there are countless spots along the way where the side of river easily and safely accessible so you can take pics of the various cascades, fish, or just relax with your feet in the water.

nice hike, a few views on the way up. we started early in morning in heavy fog. it opened up by the time we reached the bunion. the forest was great in the fog, lots of good pics. if it's a clear day do the jump off for a added bonus.

Love this trail! The fir trees are gorgeous!

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