Kephart Shelter via Kephart Prong Trail

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Kephart Shelter via Kephart Prong Trail is a 6.3 kilometer heavily 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 running and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 6.3 km Elevation Gain: 254 m Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

running

forest

views

no dogs

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

hiking
1 day ago

We loved this trail. The log bridges are a lot of fun. This was probably the limit for our 6 year old... way out is all uphill.

Pretty hike beside the river - well maintained trails

hiking
muddy
12 days ago

Overall good trail. Good for kids and all ages. Log bridges over the water make this trail more enjoyable.

Top intersection with AT provided spectacular views since leaves not yet on trees. Abundance of wildflowers in middle of May. Waterfalls along the way down always add photo opps and interest. Only crossed paths with a few hikers. Trail well maintained.

hiking
22 days ago

Peaceful hike through the woods along a creek. No Mountain View. There are some old structures along the way and a footbridge. We weren’t that impressed because we feel like we can hike a trail like that around our home and we would rather feel like we are in the mountains.

hiking
1 month ago

This was/is a great hike, very easy to follow trail. We loved this hike, we went to the shelter and back, can’t wait to do it again.

hiking
1 month ago

We found this hike about a year ago when we were looking for abandoned places to explore. Finally got to visit and it didn’t disappoint! It felt like a scavenger hunt trying to spot as many cool CCC camp items. Further down the trail was so peaceful and there were several opportunities for great photos. We did a video to help inspire others to visit because it’s definitely worth it! https://youtu.be/T0AOhnICWoE

hiking
2 months ago

What a lovely trail along the river. Wide paths and a bit rocky but an easy gradual hike. Such beauty everywhere and not too many hikers right now. Plenty of parking well maintained area.

recorded Kephart Prong Trail

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Beautiful river

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

Great quick and fun hike! Went on my day off from school and it was perfect weather! A little muddy from all the rain we’ve been getting and a few downed trees in the way but nothing you can’t get over. Very well maintained with lots of off shoots to see cascades. So many beautiful views along the way. Definitely will be coming back to this one:)

blowdown
muddy
3 months ago

Absolutely beautiful day for this hike! Plenty of foot bridges to cross with lots of Cascades! A few side waterfalls have popped up with all the rain we have had lately! A few trees across the trail but very manageable to go over!

5 months ago

Beautiful trail we hiked in the rain. Still spectacular. Easy hike, just wear good shoes if wet.

hiking
5 months ago

Pleasant hike with nice views of the river. Not the most exciting hike though.

hiking
muddy
rocky
5 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

This was a great hike for me and my whole family. My wife and I along with our kids and their kids (grands) did the whole hike. It was the first time our grand-kids (ages 6-13) did a bonfided "hike". They had backpacks and hiking sticks. November 26, 2019 the weather was beautiful around 55 degrees and mostly clear. The trail offered up all sorts of eye opening views for the kids and the four bridges were the highlight every time we crossed, then again on the way back. The last .5 miles (rocky) to the shelter was tough for them but after we reached the shelter they were all re-energized with wonder and amazement. We wanted to show them a "hike" that would express the appreciation and reality of being out in the forest. A great trail, my wife and I will return to try our stamina up to the A/T from the Kephart trailhead.

6 months ago

amazing 2 mile hike to the shelter... alot of water flow and alot of foot bridges. no traffic at all.. till reaching the shelter which is a crossroads for a few trails.

6 months ago

Great little trail. Don't understand why it's so lightly trafficked, but I'm glad! The four log bridges to cross along the way are really neat. The last third of the trail before the shelter is quite rocky, so good footwear is a must.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike in October with beautiful color. It had recently rained so the foot bridges were very slippery. Good shoes recommended. Great hike for all ages.

hiking
7 months ago

Day 1

Great easy hike for young kids 6-7. We stayed at the shelter and had a blast jumping around on the rocks in the river beside it. The shelter had plenty of room and was in great shape! It is the center spot for several connecting trails! Great location.

Wish I had more time to do this all the way in. Went about a mile and turned back. Beautiful scenery. Lots of birds chirping and a surprise waterfall about 3/4 mile in. Beautiful scenery.

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