Cucumber Gap and Little River Loop Trail

MODERATE 123 reviews

Cucumber Gap and Little River Loop Trail is a 5.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee 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
5.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
793 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

no dogs

9 days ago

One of the most beautiful wildflower trails in April. Little river trial is gorgeous anytime, it is minimal grade following Little River for most of the hike.

walking
1 month ago

Great trail. 3/22/18. Had a lot of mud and a little snow but over all a wonderful loop.

hiking
1 month ago

This was an enjoyable hike with beautiful views of the river along the first half. The trail along the river would be a great out and back hike for families with younger children. For those who continue on and hike the loop the trail gains some elevation after the turning point and there are more roots and rocks to contend with. This part of the trail has a couple of fun stream crossings. You may get your feet a bit wet, but we navigated them with little trouble on March 12. There are some nice views of the surrounding mountains as you reach the high point on the trail. We also enjoyed seeing the remnants of old cabins near the trail head.

1 month ago

This was a beautiful hike and I found the troll Bridge!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, the first part is more like an uphill walk and would actually be a great hike up and back, perhaps going a little further...the full trail was good, the second half much harder than the first. Lots of tree roots, constant climb. Of course you go downhill at most of that is on a gravel trail past the wonderful old cabins. There were a couple of streams to cross with stepping stones, got a little wet, I guess it's that time of year.

2 months ago

It was hard but it was worth 20,000 steps

4 months ago

great trail easy for first half then a little moderate.

hiking
5 months ago

Husband I went on the Cucumber Gap trail, starting at the Little River Trailhead and followed the Jake's Creek trail to the turn. (We went backwards, to preserve my bum knee!) and I am so glad we did. The hike was strenuous for me (the knee and being mindful of the elevation I wasn't accustomed to!) on the climb up and much easier on the descent (even if the Husband had difficulty crossing one of the swollen creeks on the trail and got soggy!) We didn't see anyone on the Gap loop until a 1/2 mile from the junction to Little River - which was quite nice.
Instead of following the trail at the turn back to the trailhead and parking lot, we turned southeast and went further along the Little River trail back into the woods. That was quite lovely, and took a break at the Goshen Trail junction.
The trek back was very nice, with the river next to us, and provided plenty of pictures to show others.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice easy hike. Enjoyed all the rhododendron and the beautiful river. Fall color was gorgeous. Only saw a couple of hikers on Cucumber Gap but Little River trail was much busier. Saw several men fly fishing in the river. We really loved this hike.

hiking
5 months ago

The very gradual hike up along the river is wonderful- we were at the loop turnaround in no time (even in the falling snow!) Crossing the stream on the second half was a bit tricky with all the recent precipitation. The stroll through the abandoned cabins kept the end of hiking interesting.

5 months ago

Little River section deceiving if you start there. The true hiking experience begins the 2nd half of the trip which is a good hike.

hiking
6 months ago

Enjoyable diversity. I was surprised to find the sections near trailheads/parking to be asphalt, but the scenery in these areas was beautiful. Some better signage could be in place when approaching Daisy Town to guide you back to the trail start.

hiking
6 months ago

Started the trail along the river with beautiful views and last leg is through forest. Nice trail that is easily walkable regardless of skill level

hiking
6 months ago

My son and I took this trail on a Friday morning in mid-September, and pretty much had the trail to ourselves; only met 8-10 people along the 5.6 miles. We started at Jakes Creek, and the last leg was an easy stroll alongside Little River. Though there are no major waterfalls or overlooks on this trail, you can still find amazing beauty. On this trail I saw for the first time the Dolls Eye Plant. We also saw numerous mushrooms and other fungi, and many types of wildflowers still in bloom. In the upper reaches of the trail you could see where the name Cucumber Gap comes from; there were many pods strewn along the path from the Cucumber Tree (aka Mountain Magnolia). This was an excellent hike, not too strenuous for a "not-in-the-best-shape" guy in his early 60s.

hiking
7 months ago

Start at Jake's Creek and get the hard part , ( relatively speaking ) done first. Rhododendron tunnels and beautiful water features. Don't miss the footbridge just .4 miles south of intersection with Little River Trail.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike. Beautiful scenery.

8 months ago

Not much to see. The trail goes all the time in the woods. Few nice creeks crossings.

hiking
8 months ago

Lovely trail! I started at Jake's Creek too, being of the inclination to tackle the elevation first thanks to a sore knee. Had the first 3.5 miles of trail to myself at 7a.m. then met quite a few groups the last two miles on Little River. Beautiful hike through the forest, across a couple streams, and down the river.

9 months ago

This loops is pretty cool. Along Little River, you can explore the area around the Spence Cabin. There is a patio right on the river behind the cabin that you can sit on and listen to the water rush by. There are also a half dozen or so field stone fireplaces along the trail where the old cabins used to stand. If you enjoy photography, these would be a good opportunity to get some cool shots. The trail is an easy incline as it used to be a railroad. It's crushed rock and very easy. Cucumber Gap trail is challenging at first as it's mostly uphill and there are a lot of toe catchers, but it was peaceful with all the large hardwood trees along the way.

9 months ago

Loved the trail, beautiful as we walked along the river and then when we moved into the woods on the Cucumber trail we were moderately challenged and the trail was gite and serene. Trail is a must in the easy to moderate range.

hiking
10 months ago

The parking area was full so I went up to the houses to park. I hiked Cucumber loop backwards to avoid the crowd. It is easy in my opinion. It's just peaceful being in the woods. Not a lot of spectacular views except the Little River section. There you will find beautiful river views and a very nice waterfall. Most days you can watch people fly fishing. Little River is also the area where the synchronous fireflies occur that are so popular. This trail begins and ends near Elkmont and the campground. It's a very high usage area. Beautiful along the river.

hiking
Monday, April 10, 2017

We hike it the opposite direction. The first 2.5 miles was uphill and beautiful. Hiked it on April 8, 2017. Most of the old cabins are being torn down, so figured we would take a few photos. The 2nd half was very busy but still enjoyable. The full river was in view for the last couple of miles with a few fun water features.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Great family hike! I would describe it as mostly easy as most elevation gain is very gradual. The trail along the Little River is wide enough for 4 hikers abreast with a mostly flat surface. Loose rocks under the carpet of Fall leaves
make twisting an ankle a possibility. Trekking poles are helpful. The view of the Little River is beautiful and the sounds of the water cascading over the rocks is relaxing. The terrain of Cucumber Gap is more variable in elevation and surface with loose rocks and ruts hiding beneath the leaves. Here again trekking poles are valuable.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Cucumber Gap is a lovely trail in the fall. Nice views and a pleasant climb.

hiking
Saturday, October 29, 2016

Lovely trail! we did the loop with the hard part (Jack's Trail) first and it was a big climb. As we moved onto the Cucumber Gap portion, it was cool and mystical. Loved it and will do it again. Maybe every season to see the difference.

hiking
Sunday, October 16, 2016

Really enjoyed this one, some hills, variable scenery and terrain as it cuts through woods and also goes along the river. My favorite of the hikes we did.

hiking
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

This hike was pretty easy. We hiked about 2 miles into it and the 5 of us had wine on a huge rock in the middle of the river. This was certainly one of the highlights of the trip.

hiking
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My husband and I love this trail. We've now hiked it 5 times. Most people start at the lower parking lot and go along the creek first, 2.4 miles flat easy hiking, but we like to start, and I recommend starting at the upper parking lot to do the hard stuff first (steady uphill for a few miles) so the last 2.4 miles along the creek are easier and you can even take a dip in the creek if you feel adventurous. Park at the top and the trail begins at the left- wide gravel path. You'll go past the dilapidated summer homes and eventually make a left at the trail head. You will come out at the lower parking lot though and follow the road back up the hill to get to the car at the end. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! :)

hiking
Monday, July 25, 2016

Started the hike on the trail going clockwise so that we could enjoy seeing the river the first 2.5 miles of the trail. Trail turns right then ascends up the mountain for the next mile before dropping down for the last 1.5 miles. Enjoyed the solitude as we only passed one other pair of hikers about 3 miles into the trail.

hiking
Wednesday, July 06, 2016

It was a great, peaceful hike. I definitely recommend starting by the old Appalachian club (which is absolutely awesome and I am kind of upset I haven't seen it before!) and walking it that way. It's all uphill to begin with, but gets much easier. I saw a black bear cub but no mom. It's not a trail you need to stay alert on, just remain aware. I will definitely have to do it again.

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