Maddron Bald Trail to Albright Grove Loop

MODERATE 77 reviews

Maddron Bald Trail to Albright Grove Loop is a 6.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Cosby, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
6.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,456 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

old growth

over grown

rocky

no dogs

27 days ago

This trail is virtually uphill from the start and doesn’t change until you are on the way back. First 1.2 miles very well maintained trail. After that the trail slowly becomes more narrow, dirt, and rock which I prefer. Very nice waterfall towards the top. Nice large old trees along the hike. Was enjoyable!

1 month ago

I loved this trail. It was not super difficult but not easy at times. It Took about 3 hours. The reason why I loved the trail so much is 1) it’s not crowded at all! We started at 1030 am and did not see a single person until the end coming back down. 2) not only is the bridge at the end With the river beautiful but along the way there are multiple brooks, streams, and river photo opportunities. 3) there is a historic site along the way, an old cabin you can walk through. Overall loved this hike just for the simple pleasure of enjoying piece and quite with the Smokey mountains

walking
2 months ago

This was an amazing morning hike! we started at 7:30 am in the morning and were done in about 3 hrs. We enjoyed the peace and serenity on the trail, met only two hikers at the very beginning and then maybe 10 more heading up while we were on our way back. Definitely a moderate hike with a great walk in nature. The waterfall is more for views than for taking a dip, but the gurgling creek stayed with us almost all the way till the Albright Grove trail loop started.

hiking
2 months ago

Very well-kept forest trail. Of interest were an old hand-built cabin and nice waterfalls. Ending the hike at the falls (about 2.9 miles in) would be a good choice for anyone tired at that point.

hiking
2 months ago

We really enjoyed this trail. I wanted to see some old growth trees and this trail did not disappoint. Including the Albright Grove trail this is a 7.5 mile hike. The first couple miles are on a gravel road so the incline is not too bad.

hiking
2 months ago

The trailhead holds maybe 5 cars so not many hikers here. My wife and I took to the adventure not knowing what to expect. The first mile is an old road. More of a walk thru the woods than a hike.The trees are pretty though. At .7 miles Willis Baxter cabin is on your right and it really is a quaint lonely forlorn cabin from long ago. Very nice inside. Pleasantly surprised. Shortly after that the road turns into a trail and continues uphill for another 2 miles when you round the corner to an extremely beautiful creek. And the foot bridge crossing it is spectacular. Lots of cascades and mini waterfalls here. The sound of the river is roaring and we decided to stop here for our picnic lunch. This was the unexpected highlight of this trip. After lunch we continued up a short trek to the Albright Grove loop. The first part was like entering Jurassic Park minus the Dinosaurs but lots of pretty birdsong made this a magical side trip. Lots of ferns and other plant life not seen on the main trail. The back half of the loop was overgrown on the trail but still was nice. The biggest tree in the Smokey's was at the end of the loop but it's long dead and the top is gone but still was cool to see. After the Grove it was all downhill back to the car. We got rained on a little the last half mile but overall was a very nice hike. About 3.5 hours total with our lunch break.

hiking
3 months ago

Easy beginning wide gravel road to moderate as the trail narrows. Not sure where they get 6.6 from. Signs are a bit confusing to this trail and that trail along the way. I’d say I probably did a good 8 miles in and out after crossing a nice rustic tree bridge over a rapids and hiking to another intersection with signs. I will return for sure. Only saw a few people. One jerk couple with a big German Shepherd (violation) that left a big load in the road. If it weren’t for the gnats, I would rate this a 5 star.

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail! Not very traveled, which is nice. It is steep! You are going up hill all the way to the grove! Beautiful little waterfall to stop and get a snack. Some beautiful old growth trees. It is strenuous so be prepared!

backpacking
4 months ago

Great trail. Saw the biggest trees in GSNP yet. It is a continual uphill hike but it’s gradual & not that steep. If just trees & plants bore you it’s not the trail for you, for us it was a beutiful hike for the day & a reminder that the GSNP is a rain forest.

hiking
6 months ago

Went after a cold front, it was like a winter wonderland
Absolutely beautiful, saw wild turkeys and deer
Not too strenuous, great hike

6 months ago

Great look at virgin timber.

8 months ago

Really liked this trail but if you go on the grove loop portion on the right there is a downed tree that makes it almost impossible to continue (we turned back).

We let some park rangers know at the visitors station who mentioned sending some folks up to help clear the way in the near future.

hiking
11 months ago

The best part of the trail is the loop (big, ole trees) and just before the loop (bridge across the waterfall.) No views on the old logging road up - so a longish, slightly boring climb up. The loop at the top is a true trail (so can be slow going in melting snow), and is more stimulating than the hike up.

hiking
Tuesday, October 03, 2017

this is a really nice hike.....just right for a morning outing... not to difficult.

hiking
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Good: Very quiet! Only saw one other small group the whole trek. Very well maintained. Interesting cabin, stream crossing, impressive large old tree once you get up to the loop.
Not so good: A bit rocky. Quite buggy (it's August, so maybe a given). No great open views.

Mostly we loved the quiet but felt it was a bit long and difficult for what we got to see.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

very good trail. it was my first overnighter. it's all uphill. it was too much for me and my dad we had to turn back. it was good. but for a first trail it was horrible.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Well maintained. it was up hill all the way to campsite 29. ugh but there was a creek that rushed by all night. no bears visible here. clean camp site

hiking
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Cyndi and I enjoyed this one very much. No one on the trail all the way up! Beautiful flowers, wildlife, and old massive trees. Quiet, only sounds we're birds and rushing water. Lots of photo ops here.

backpacking
Friday, July 14, 2017

A very quiet trail for those seeking more nature and less traffic. The trail is an easy uphill grade on a wide gravel path until Albright Grove, then becomes a narrow track, still uphill, for a few more miles to campsite 29. Above the grove there are a few streams to ford -- clogs or flip-flops come in handy -- and the trail is barely a foot wide for the last mile or so. The campsite is lovely, secluded, quiet -- Otter Creek is right there for water, bear cables are working well. This was my first real hike so I can't compare it to anything else, but it's a great walk, obviously not too difficult for a novice like me, but still rewarding in the relative isolation and moderate challenge. For those who don't want to leave their car at the trailhead, parking is available at the Imagination Mountain Camp Campground nearby.

hiking
Friday, April 21, 2017

I hiked this on April 21st. I have hiked many different trails in the GSM NP but this one has the highest variety of plant life of any trail I've been on so far. Trillium were blooming that were as big as dinner plates. There aren't many views and only one major stream so it's a quiet hike for a lot of the time. I started about 0930 and only saw five or six people. There is a section of the trail that is just beautiful. After several miles of slow and steady, not tough, uphill trail, the trail levels out for about a quarter mile. It curves gently around with rhododendron along the uphill side and a nice forest on the downhill slope that doesn't have much undergrowth. It's just a very nice break from the uphill for a while. Albright Grove is a nice one mile loop. There are huge old growth trees on this loop. There aren't many and it seems like many are dying. But they are very big.

hiking
Monday, October 31, 2016

It was so amazing, and hit the mark of what we wanted. Not too difficult, yet long enough to keep the city slickers away. Saw maybe 20 people over 3+ hrs, none while at the bridge. We found salamanders in the cool streams and loved the old growth.... Kinda surprised in the lack of wildlife, besides squirrels it was like a ghost town. Hoping for some turkeys, deer, or possibly beer but even tracks were sparse. When you can explore without others watching it makes it somehow extra special.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Long upward ascent to the falls and the bridge. Take your time and enjoy the quietness. The trail was nicely maintained but the actual Albright Loop was very narrow and thick with foliage, think deer trail at this point. I was the only person on the trail for three hours and it wasn't til I was almost finished others showed up.

hiking
Sunday, July 24, 2016

this is a pretty nice trail with a gentle increase in altitude and very well maintained features. you'll see the Willis Baxter cabin and plenty of mushrooms. the intersection with Indian camp creek is a nice place to cool your feet and eat a snack. nice canopy the whole way so you can shelter from sun or rain. my favorite thing about this trail is that it isn't popular. you can be out for 3 or 4 hours and only see a handful of people. enjoy!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Uphill the whole way to the loop. Thick, almost jungle like bush around the trail. The waterfall is worth the thousand foot climb, took us three hours to get there. A nice neighbor let us park in the shade on his lot near the trailhead. Highly recommend.

hiking
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

2 features: old log cabin and river area with bridge.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

After yesterday's 14 mile hike to Le Conte Lodge, this hike was easy and a wonderful way to see some of the beautiful old growth. It rained for most of the hike but with so much canopy cover I never sported my rain jacket. I saw so many salamanders, snails, birds, and other wild life.

It's May right now and I got there at 9:30am and saw a total of 3 people on the trail which was a nice change from the more busy popular trails.

Monday, March 21, 2016

steady & even climb to Albright. pretty much just an old service road to Albright.

hiking
Sunday, January 24, 2016

This was AWESOME in the winter snow! So beautiful! Would definitely recommend. Not a difficult trail but it is mainly uphill. To Albright is 1.2 miles but it feels much longer and supposedly 1.7 miles from the cross path to the bridge. The gps I used on this app showed I was at the bridge when in fact I had about a half mile to go. Also to get to the hike in the first place you take Baxter Rd off 321. For some reason this app takes you to another road in Cosby when using google maps. All and all a great experience just start early enough so you didn't walk back in the dark like we did.

hiking
Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The trail from the trailhead in Cosby to the bridge is a pretty easy, gradual ascension. The trail is pretty wide and flat. It narrowed just a bit and became a little rockier in the path the closer to the top. I didn't go any farther than the bridge, so I don't know what the remainder of the trail is like.

hiking
Monday, November 16, 2015

Campsite 29 is a nice site. This trail feels ancient, between the old growth forest and 19th century stone work along the creek. Nice cascades to view as well. Some stream crossings are dicey but great hike in the smokys.

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