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.
A nice wide path leads along the Kephart Prong (creek). Moderate uphill. Excellent for kids.
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.
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.
*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 rocky....be 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 wet...be 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.
it was fantastic!
Nice hike through the woods. One foot bridge was tricky as it rained last night. Beautiful trail!
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.
Love this hike. Loads of history.
Good hike. Absolutely gorgeous with all the fallen leaves, and the remnants of the CCC camp were really cool
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.
Nice hike along mostly water! One log crossing needs to be replaced as it is becoming real "springy"
Really nice trail. Steady uphill climb to shelter.
Really easy and great for kids
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.