Maddron Bald Trail to Albright Grove Loop

MODERATE 65 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.

6.6 miles
1,456 feet



nature trips

trail running






wild flowers



old growth

over grown


no dogs

19 days 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.

1 month 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!

1 month 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.

3 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

3 months ago

Great look at virgin timber.

5 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.

8 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.

9 months ago

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

10 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The trail begins at the trailhead just off Baxter Rd and then follows along an old logging road for 2.7 miles. The the trail quickly becomes very narrow and continues to the Albright Grove Loop. There is a stream crossings with a foot log bridge. If anyone has the time, try counting the rings of some of the old downed trees covered with moss. Hundreds of years old. Some really fantastic old growth forest still remaining along the loop. Lots of wildlife and lots of biodiversity - a naturalists dream indeed.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Just close your eyes and imagine what the views must once have been here and everything was so green here. So just imagine! It was worth seeing and another bucket list trail by the wayside

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Worth it. Sketchy parking area. Cool old-timey cabins to see. Huge trees to see.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Note that this is mostly an in-and-out hike with a small loop (Albright Grove Loop) at the end. Most of the trail is relatively easy uphill climb on a gravel road. The Albright Grove Loop was much narrower and less maintained but very passable in 9/29/12.

Friday, June 29, 2012

I had a great time on this trail. I started from the trailhead behind jellystone campground, which was great. I hiked to the junction which was a couple miles or so down the trail. I went straight through to the Maddron Bald trail to the start of snake den ridge, where I decided to turn around even though I didn't want it to end. (my family was waiting in camp) I can tell you that once you get past the junction the trail quickly becomes very narrow. I suggest wearing pants because the foliage along the trails will make your legs itch like crazy. Many great stream crossings hiking up, there is a huge trunk of a long dead tree along the way that will really set you back. I also saw Turkey, a Northern Ringneck Snake, several plant species including bee balm.(as beautiful as they were they sure did stink!) also there is an old cabin along the trailhead road. Great trail. Don't miss it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Absolutely breathtaking! The trail is marked with natural quartz crystal, huge trees, wildlife, medicinal plants, and other wildflowers. Of course, the moss covered crystal can be a bit slippery, so be careful! Truly the most beautiful place I have seen -- so far!

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