Kephart Shelter via Kephart Prong Trail

EASY 39 reviews

Kephart Shelter via Kephart Prong Trail is a 3.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Cherokee, North Carolina that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is accessible year-round.

3.9 miles
833 feet
Out & Back

kid friendly


trail running



no dogs

A nice wide path leads along the Kephart Prong (creek). Moderate uphill. Excellent for kids.

7 months ago

My wife and I really enjoyed this trail. It’s pretty easy and includes some beautiful views of the forest. No really good views of the mountains, however, so pick another if that’s what you’re after.

9 months ago

Easy, beautiful, relaxing,

Monday, July 17, 2017

The entire Kephart Prong Trail is gravel and large rocks. Some nice views of the river that ran thru it but otherwise not very exciting. Would not do again.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Awesome trail with many river crossings

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

I loved this trail! So many different wildflowers scattered around, different trail foundations, some historic remains, lots of small waterfalls and rapids, lots of creek crossings, little inlets with water features. And a variety of tree and plant life to keep one constantly looking around in amazement. Just watch your step!! The path can get very tricky with a lot of loose rocks and some roots. A bit of a challenge on the knees and ankles. But I absolutely loved it! I went about a half mile past the shelter (path on the right). That has a more narrow and uphill path.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A beautiful hike! steady uphill, so a good calorie burning trail. Took about 3 hours and my husband and I are beginner hikers so I am sure it could be done faster, but not sure I would was very peaceful. Hoping to go back and use the shelter overnight.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Excellent hike. Most of the 4.0 mile (round-trip) trail was very rocky and you have to concentrate so that you won't sprain an ankle. I recommend hiking shoes. The trail was gradually and steadily upward and mostly along a scenic stream. There were four bridges, three of which were foot logs (or bridges that are a log leveled on one side). Don't worry, these bridges have a single rail along the side to hold on to. Recommended hike.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

*No facilities at the trail head. If headed south on NFG, make a stop at the NFG look out area. If going north on NFG, make a stop at the Oconaluftee Visitors Center*

Parallel parking style, on the side of Newfound Gap. This was a REALLY nice hike! Moderate incline, but not too much of a quad burner. The trail is fairly wide, for most of the way. About 1/2 to 3/4 of the way up, the trail becomes more narrow and much, much more mindful of your ankles. There are a total of four foot bridges crossing the Prong, 2 of them are half logs, and can become very slick when cautious. The sound of the Prong, running along side of you the entire time, is heaven. So many off shoots to step off the path, sit on one of the boulders and take a rest, or have a snack. I decided to wait until I made it all the way to the Kephart shelter to eat, take a rest and shoot some more photos.
R/T was 4.1 miles, and took me 3 hours from start to finish (two hours of actual movement time).
Side note...there is no restroom facility at this trail head. If you are coming from the Gatlinburg side, make sure to stop at Newfound Gap parking area and make a pit-stop there. You'll be happy you did.
This is my second favorite hike, simply for the fact that if you are wanting to put a few miles under your belt, with gorgeous scenery, rushing water and some remains of old history....this is an excellent one to put on your list, at any time.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

it was fantastic!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Nice hike through the woods. One foot bridge was tricky as it rained last night. Beautiful trail!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

One of the prettiest hikes we have done so far. The scenery was beautiful and the log bridges where amazing! Even the kids found this to be a very interesting hike.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Love this hike. Loads of history.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Good hike. Absolutely gorgeous with all the fallen leaves, and the remnants of the CCC camp were really cool

cross country skiing
Saturday, October 10, 2015

It was uphill all the way which provided for a good aerobic workout! Seemed like a breeze coming back. Beautiful scenery of the mountain stream most of the way.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Nice hike along mostly water! One log crossing needs to be replaced as it is becoming real "springy"

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Really nice trail. Steady uphill climb to shelter.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Really easy and great for kids

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A beautiful wide trail gently leading up along the valley. There are some old ruins nearby the trailhead. Generally an excellent peaceful walk in the woods near the creek.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Its the best! If your looking for a quick hike with great surroundings this is the place.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday, July 03, 2017

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