The Boogerman Trail

MODERATE 64 reviews

The Boogerman Trail is a 7.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Waynesville, North Carolina that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,128 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

washed out

no dogs

Directions from Waterville, NC: Take the twisty SR 32 south approximately 10 - 12 miles to the Chataloochee Campground. The road will fork and you will want to bear right.

3 hours ago

Lovely, largely shaded trail evidently recently cleared (only one easily traversible tree fall blocking the path today). The necessity of having to ford 5 knee-deep and fairly fast water crossings along return (or outgoing) portion of Caldwell Fork Trail makes it much more challenging than 4 years ago when bridges were intact.

1 month ago

One of the top five in the park. Many wonderful old trees and other surprises along the trail. Water shoes are useful for Caldwell Fork Trail (5 crossings).

hiking
1 month ago

The Boogerman Trail part of this is nothing short of a delicious journey through true old growth forest. The part of this loop that's the Caldwell Fork Trail requires either preparation for creek crossings or a sense of adventure, or perhaps both. If you love the woods and don't mind getting wet, this is a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED hike.

1 month ago

Good hike. The kids enjoyed it. Only drawback is the portion that is also available to horses. They make the trail muddy.

hiking
1 month ago

My partner and I hiked this trail today. It took approximately 4 hours for the entire loop. There were several creek crossings which slowed us down since we changed in and out of hiking shoes/sandals once we hit the creek crossings (there were 5 of these). The trail is in great shape and clean. We only saw two other couples so we essentially had it to ourselves. There was lots of shade, but no vistas other than the gorgeous forest and creeks. No fallen trees are blocking the path, probably the forest service has been out recently to take care of the downed trees mentioned in previous reviews. This is an excellent trail for a hot summer day when you want to be in the shade, but it'd be challenging in the colder months unless you bring waders. There doesn't appear to be any (established) campsites from what I could tell, although it could be done with some creativity (but not sure if allowed in this part of the park).

hiking
1 month ago

Did 2/3 of the trail going clockwise before reversing the route to avoid the high water crossings so I ended up going about ten miles by the time I got back to the campground. After talking to another hiker who I passed when I turned around (who did the full loop and wading through four water crossings), we ended up taking the same amount of time. This hike was done in April 2018. Nice adventure.

hiking
2 months ago

Great loop, started thunder storming about 2/3 of the way through. Going clockwise the the trail climbs a decent bit before coming down and remaining level. Had to ford the creek 7 times, once by choice because the bridge looked more dangerous. Plan to go on a dry day after a couple more dry days or the water will be quick and high. My only complaint is a lack of viewing spots, you're in dense trees the entire time.

hiking
4 months ago

Clockwise repeat a month later. With the river lower this was definitely more manageable and straighforward. Still have to shimmy or balance beam across a suspended fallen tree, and still 3 river fords to negotiate but all water crossings were quite reasonable. No need to bushwhack off trail which was just fine with me. Water level dropped 8-10 inches since March and made this trail even more enjoyable then before. Some fallen trees blocking the trail were even cleared! But you'll still be going barefoot or soaking your shoes 3-4 times to get back to the car:)

hiking
4 months ago

Peaceful trail for the first 5.5 miles. Other reviews are very accurate. There is simply no trail over the water in multiple places and we were in the cold, fast moving water up to our calves trying to cross over slippery rocks, when we weren’t shimmying on our bum over a fallen tree that was 10’ above the water. An adventure for sure!

hiking
5 months ago

Incredible hike! Very much worthwhile, but heed Patrick's previous review. Hiking clockwise, the first 3/4 of the trail were lovely. A gentle incline and then a more moderate climb, some fallen trees but nothing crazy. After descending back into the lower parts of the trail and rejoining the creekside walking, things started to change. My girlfriend and I had to shimmy across a 20 ft. fallen tree suspended 10 feet above the swiftly moving Caldwell-Fork. That was quite exciting, but after meeting two other parties struggling to find ways across more missing bridges, we all found ourselves bushwhacking through dense foliage to find alternate ways to rejoin the trail. We eventually ended up fording the Caldwell twice, with a very fast-moving current. The only other choice was to bail back the way we came and rehike the first 5 1/2 miles going counter-clockwise. The river crossings were manageable, but definitely a bit sketchy. Be warned! As the water level subsides these crossings should become much more reasonable, but keep the levels in mind if you decide to attempt the Boogerman this spring. A potential alternative could be to hike clockwise for the time being to be sure that the section repeatedly crossing the Caldwelll is within your comfort zone. All in all, with improved conditions this is a gem of a day hike that's really quite diverse and with nice trail conditions excluding the downed trees and bridges. I can't wait to get back out there!

hiking
5 months ago

My wife and I started the trail around 12:30 yesterday (3/4/18). We did the loop clockwise. It was a really nice hike - until the last 2 or 3 miles. Most of the bridges on the creek were not there. I suppose they have been washed away. In addition, there are many downed trees on the trail. My guess is that the park service will try to clear them before the busy season in late spring. The water was high and the current strong to the point that trying to cross the creek was dangerous. The trail crosses the creek numerous times, so it was necessary to either find a way across on fallen trees or attempt to bushwhack through very dense vegetation to meet up with the trail farther down, which was typically unsuccessful. We finished the hike around 4pm, pants and shoes wet. I always enjoy adventures, however, this one turned out to be more than we had planned for, mainly due to the high water. I would not recommend this trip for the typical hiker until water levels are lower and/or bridges across the creek are repaired/built.

hiking
8 months ago

Definitely bring water shoes, I wish we had !

hiking
10 months ago

Having read other reviews I agree with most of them. However my experience was that only one stream required removal of shoes but it had been dry lately. Fortunately had river shoes in backpack. Also signing seemed clear to me and trail was obvious. Didn't see any blazes on trees but trail really didn't need them since there were really no side trails per se. Only places that would had any doubt had the signs. There was one other crossing with a dangerously wobbbly footbridge but fortunately there was a large tree that had fallen near it which allowed me to crawl across. Mileage of 7.8 seemed accurate. Glad took loop clockwise because was able to get the harder inclines out of the way and the last quarter of loop was near creeks and mostly flat and very enjoyable. Always rather end a hike on an enjoyable note. No scenic views of mountainsides but hike had all other things that make a hike enjoyable usually. About halfway point despite trying to be noisy came around a curve and surprised a large black bear. The bear seemed scared at first and scampered up high side of ridge above trail only to stop only 20 foot above the trail and myself and turned head to look back at me. Contrary to usual advice on this matter I didn't back away since we were already beside each other but quickly walked on. When I got about 30 Feet away the bear came back across the trail and went down the ridge in the direction of where the trail curved to but I continued to be noisy and fortunately never saw bear again. Later after finishing hike drove down the road to the valley to see more than a dozen elk.

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

So this is truly a beautiful hike. It includes all of the elements you seek in a GSM hike, ruins from pioneers of long ago, old growth forests with ancient trees, babbling rivers/creeks, and a plethora of wildflowers, however you should be fully aware of what you're getting into. One, the entire GSMNP is NO DOGS ALLOWED, you've been notified. Two, even though this trail is rated as moderate, be assured it is strenuous in sections, no matter which direction you choose to complete the loop, plan on about 1200ft + elevation gains. The trails are not well marked nor are they well maintained. If going clockwise on the trail, make sure you measure out your distance as you hike from the trailhead, Boogerman Trail starts on the left at exactly 0.8 miles, and is not marked. On the loop you will encounter 3 stream crossings that will require you to remove your hiking boots and get in, the water is not deep but the rocks are slippery and the current moderately strong. And last but not least the entire loop, including the 0.8 in and out, is more like 9 miles. We did this hike with two kids and by the time we stopped and smelled the flowers and shoed and unshoed three times, it took about 4 hours. I definitely recommend you map out the route before you go bc, again, it is not well marked. Happy trails!

hiking
Wednesday, June 07, 2017

This was a nice hike. I'm just starting on my backpacking training so this was nice for a longer hike with my backpack. There were 2 places we had to cross the water by foot which made it tricky but we had brought our water shoes so no worries, just really cold. Also a lot of trees down along the way.
Once on the actual Boogerman Trail it gets STEEP.
I'm not sure I would do it again anytime soon. Not really any views but it was a good way to test out my pack as well as myself!

hiking
Friday, June 02, 2017

We enjoyed hiking this trail. There are some obstacles such as creek crossings and bridges with questionable railings but that made it interesting. There are not many views on this trail but a lot of things to see along the trail such as wildflowers, old trees and the stone walls. We even found a small area of flaming azaleas. After we were finished we drove over and saw several elk in the fields. Very cool!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Beautiful, lush trail. Easy to moderate the whole way. There are at least 3 significant stream crossings, but none over 2-3 ft deep. Long steep climb towards the end if you do the loop counterclockwise. Light traffic, a good solitary hike on a weekday.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Great trail with lots of old forest. There are several creek crossings, mainly because bridges are washed out. Small creeks though, so it makes it a lot of fun. Just be prepared to get wet or take your boots off. A historic stone wall at the end of the trail.

hiking
Sunday, April 02, 2017

This is a five star in and out hike from the lower junction of Caldwell to the upper Junction -- over 4 miles I believe -- the start of a clockwise hike around the loop. BUT, avoid the last part of the loop. There are at least a dozen stream crossings most without foot bridges and if the water is up like it is today they are dangerous. We had to use alternate crossings like beaver dams and bushwhack a lot. My 2013 guidebook claimed foot bridges on most of the crossings. I don't know what happened to them since then, but they are not there. If you read the comments you will see others have warned about this and crossed getting wet up to their waists. Even that would have been fine today, but the current was too swift to do it safely. This is not an April Fools joke folks.

hiking
Thursday, October 20, 2016

This was a great hike. It was more of an incline than we anticipated,but loved it. We went yesterday which was pretty much at its peak in fall and was simply beautiful. There was something very ominous that occurred after the first 2 miles..my wife and I both experienced a fast pulse in our heads that was the exact same beat 3 separate times in the same location in the back of our heads. I know this sounds strange,but it happened to both of us during 15 min of a section of the hike. So if this happens to you,it will pass! Interesting to say the least though . There were many signs of the early settlers which was great to experience throughout the hike. We did not see the burial sites though. Many river crossings that we had to ford through made the hike more interesting. We brought wet shoes since it's much easier to cross without slipping. I'm sure the water would of been much higher a few months back,but It was up to our knees this time around. The hike on all trails says its 7.5 miles but it's actually a little over 8 miles. We took extra breaks to enjoy the fall colors and of course the incline didn't help. Ha. I highly recommend this hike!

hiking
Tuesday, August 09, 2016

hiking
Monday, June 27, 2016

Beautiful area! We enjoyed the hike. Foot bridge was out so we crossed barefoot. Fun hike!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Rugged, hilly, and wet walk. Have to cross the river several places. Totally worth it and saw some gorgeous spots.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Many water crossing are still washed out. That made for an eventful hike because you cross multiple times.

hiking
Monday, April 04, 2016

Heads up: the "washed out" is no joke right now (March 2016). Park crews are building one new bridge to get over the water, but there are multiple washed out water crossings, and we were told the water is very high right now-- up to your torso in some places. We weren't able to access the trail head because of work crews, so we went back up the road to Cataloochee Divide Trail.

I'll post this on each of the three Boogerman trails listed on AllTrails.

birding
Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Most important thing is multiple foot bridges were down and u have to walk in the water from ankle deep to just below waist. We took our boots off so we didn't have to hike with them wet. We didn't mind it cause it made the trail better. When you get to the trail head go left it's not challenging I would rate it easy but around half way if gets strenuously em easy again. My gps said it was 7.5 miles from the p-lot and back. There are multiple large trees and some views which are amazing. We saw a moose, snake, birds, multiple mushrooms and insects. We saw the stone walls but missed the cabin house. I'd recommend this trail but your going to get wet.

hiking
Thursday, October 16, 2014

How can you resist a trail with a name like that? The trail is relatively well marked and has a few steep areas but mostly gentle slopes. Rich variety of trees and other plants. Didn’t see much wildlife but it was raining. It is a gentle rain but will soak you if you don’t have full GoreTex (which we do). Speaking of water, some of the human-made creek crossings are out but the creek is shallow easy to cross. The trail connects to others if you would like a longer hike.

hiking
Thursday, August 28, 2014

It was the first time for me to walk on Great Smoky Mt. Nat'l Park. Actually we didn't have much information about this trail nothing abut a map. We loved to cross the creek. All the way trail we looked for Boogerman's house site and we failed and there was no summit to see view only just beautiful trees..We are beginners and I was afraid of apperacnce of black bears and they didn't appear luckily. We took almost 4 hours enjoying this trail.

hiking
Monday, September 30, 2013

Really enjoyed the hike. Couple of the crossing were washed out so we had to bare foot it across. I can tell you the water is cold :) Saw 5 bear cubs climbing down a tree. Great day in the woods.

hiking
Sunday, January 20, 2013

A beautiful hike where you cross over many log bridges and can see original home sites. Parts of the trail was washed out heading south to the Messer Property. Parts of that in the same area had been bushwhacked. We saw three different bats an hour out from sundown and one of them was acting strangely. It flew directly at my husband many times over. Still, this is one of my favorite hikes.

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