Kephart Shelter via Kephart Prong Trail

EASY 30 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.

DISTANCE
3.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
836 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

trail running

forest

views

no dogs

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

hiking
18 days ago

1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

Awesome trail with many river crossings

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

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.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
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.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

hiking
Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016

hiking
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 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.

hiking
Sunday, June 12, 2016

Saturday, April 30, 2016

it was fantastic!
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