Injun Creek Trail

MODERATE 32 reviews

Injun Creek Trail is a 6.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
6.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1469 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

As you head up Injun Creek you will find an old Indian burial ground then a side trail to visit the McCarter Cemetery, passing many rock piles and stone fences. Next camp #32 where Injun Creek and Grapeyard Ridge trail cross. Go up Grapeyard trail, toward Roaring Fork, looking for a tree with very twisted branches.That tree signaled the spot to start the manway portion of the hike. This manway, in the old days, was used to get from Grapeyard Ridge to Greenbrier. Of course the trail is now an overgrown manway but the trail is still very visible with just a few blow downs. Follow the manway for about three miles before coming to a huge hollowed out chestnut stump. At that point take a right turn and go down a fairly steep hill. You will then be at the 2nd parking lot you passed to the trail head.

hiking
3 months ago

For starters the trail head is to the left of the ranger station/private residence. Take the trail in for about a mile and hang a right when you see the sign for the cemetery. In about a half a mile you’ll take a switchback up and you’ll end up at the cemetery! The trail is peaceful and relatively flat. We only saw 2 people. (Ignore my recorded time, we stopped a lot to take photos and video.) The trail was pretty slippery after rain so wear hiking boots. And have a spider web stick ready. Also bug spray yourself to death beforehand!

If you do it this way it’s 3.2 miles.

hiking
3 months ago

Very important note - this trail is NOT a loop. It perhaps was once upon a time but now the second half of the trail is completely inaccessible. I recommend going out and back again with the steam engine being your half way point. To get the steam engine, you need to take a left at the signage which points you towards Greenbriar. It's about 15 minutes past the signage in the stream to your left. The steam engine is awesome, however I wouldn't make the side trip to the cemetery unless that's your thing.

5 months ago

There is a lot to see on this trail. I recommend keeping your eyes peeled on the sides for worn paths to see artifacts. Watch out for spider webs stretching across the trail, there were alot. we were out for several hours and only saw two other people. The halfway point for the "loop" appears to no longer be accessable. you won't even realize you've gotten to that point because there is another trail that meets up with it and you feel like it is just winding to the left. Thankfully I checked my GPS and it showed we were wayyy off trail at one point so we were able to head back the way we came. we found the spot where the confusion happened. there is a large chest high tree fall and it didn't look like the trail continued on the other side of it. I would have climbed over it to explore but we had already gotten 2 miles off course and I didn't want to get lost again. Tree falls are common but they are trimmed back for the most part. i think the one that cuts off the trail has been there for years now. Because of this, we didn't get to see the engine. However we did get to see all of the other cool stuff along the way. Everything was beautiful.

7 months ago

We went yesterday and it wasn't bad. A little hard to find since it isn't marked, but found the entrance by this private residence. Turned around almost halfway through due to some branches in the way and had someone with us that didn't feel comfortable climbing over them. Didn't get to see the cemetery but saw the rock wall.

hiking
8 months ago

This trail is well maintained and a very smooth walk. Not many rocks and roots. I've hiked a third of the AT and many other trails and this trail is smooth. Alas timing is everything in life and my timing on this trail sucked on a micro- and macro- scale. I got to the trail near sunset. I knew it would take me a couple of hours to complete. At the start there was evidence that a wind storm or micro burst had been through recently. Deadfall crossed the trail but someone had cut paths through it. (By the way I went clockwise on the loop.)

I made it to the McCarter cemetery and had to go through three small deadfall patches before coming to a very large, impassable one about 300 yards into the side trail. I'm sure I didn't miss the cemetery by much. I didn't have time to clear through that mess and make it the rest of the way up and so I turned around. Next time I will get there.

There is a really nice campsite at the top of the trail before making the turn. It would be a great spot for lunch or dinner. You need a backcountry camping permit to camp there. After I made the turn at the top I began to hit deadfall after deadfall. Small stuff that you have to through - not over or under. It was time consuming and I didn't want to risk that being the case all the way down so I turned around and went back the way I came.

I wish I could say that I saw the steam engine but again didn't have time to look for it. I was both days and hours late in my trek.

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Trail is very rocky and rooty. After the rains, the waterfall half way up was splendid.

hiking
Wednesday, July 06, 2016

The trailhead is just beyond the ranger station.
Beautiful hike on a narrow, woodsy trail along creek.

hiking
Monday, May 23, 2016

This is a moderate trail to hike with a lot of foliage along the way. You do cross several streams in the process and the canopy cover keeps the trail fairly cool. The payoff comes at the end when you come upon Injun Creek and the old steam engine wreckage.

hiking
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Great little trail. Very pretty area with small creeks and bridges. Cemetary was very nice and super interesting. Never saw the "Injun" which was disappointing but had a great time. Not a soul on the trail so a very quiet and peaceful hike. Beautiful stone walls, flowers and bridges!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What a beautiful hike with lots of history. Seen a young bear and encountered a swarm of yellow jackets. Note to self - being after bite bee spray and Benadryl on future hikes

hiking
Friday, April 04, 2014

Hiked this trail today, after hiking Porters creek to the falls. It is not a hard trail and seeing the steam engine at the end made it worthwhile. As a bonus there were many yellow trilliums just opening up. We love finding old homesites and cemeteries and there was plenty to see along this trail.

hiking
Monday, November 18, 2013

Nice moderate hike. Not over crowded. Finding all of the different things to look at is tricky. Worth it all the way

hiking
Sunday, September 29, 2013

This was a nice hike. It wasn't that strenuous but there are some gradual elevations going up the trail. The McCarter Cemetery is well worth the entire hike. My GPS had the entire mileage including the trek to the cemetery at 5.57 miles.

hiking
Friday, April 26, 2013

NOT A LOOP but a great in and out hike. Don't trust the d/l track!

Ok, we started behind the Ranger station and about 1 mile in noticed the stacked stone suspected Native American graves to the right of the trail (N35 43.0102' W83 24.7231'). All along the way, you'll notice stacked stone walls around along the trail as well.

We poked around the rocks for a while and continued up another 0.2 miles and found a fork to the right that pointed to the E.E. McCarter Grave yard (N35 42.8741' W83 24.7909').

Followed the trail to the right about a quarter mile and ended up in a cool little grave yard in a clearing in the dense woods (N35 42.9349' W83 24.9586'). Well worth the side trip!

We backed out to the main trail and continued along another 0.7 miles and came to the Injun Creek camp site and just beyond it is a trail marker that points ahead and also to the right (N35 42.3816' W83 25.2440') . The downloadable track pointed to the right so off we went.

After about a half mile up the ridge we noted we were going away from the loop track we downloaded. We backtracked to where the trail and track crossed (N35 42.4752' W83 25.3809') and there was a huge downed tree there and thick brush in the direction of the d/l track. I suspect that once this tree fell, no one continued on the track and it has really overgrown. We didn't feel like bushwacking it so we went back down the ridge and to the camp site and had a snack and a rest.

While there, we met up with another hiker (who was looking for 2 missing members of their party that got separated) and he told us that the wrecked steam engine was just a bit further up the main trail so off we went. About a third of a mile straight on from the signpost we found the engine in the creek (N35 42.0775' W83 25.2975') . Also well worth the trip! After playing around the engine, we hiked straight out (about 2.4 miles back down the trail). It was a great hike and would highly recommend it.

Back at the Ranger station, the missing hikers were just being reunited with their party; seems they continued on and came out a few miles down the road after scaring their party half to death. The Ranger was quick to point out not to separate on unfamiliar trails.

hiking
Friday, November 09, 2012

Nice hike. A few stream crosses but not difficult. Did a out and back was not aware it was a loop. Found this trail in a top trails book which had it as and out and back.

hiking
Sunday, June 24, 2012

We did this hike as a rest day after a long hike the day before. It was an easy hike with many shallow creek crossings. There was one tricky spot after a crossing finding which direction the trail heads. Once we reached the steam engine in the creek we were amazed at the great shape it was in. It is stamped "Made in Battle Creek Michigan" which was a treat for us since we live in Michigan. The hike was easy and passed many old home sites.

Eric and Karen

hiking
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wonderful trail. Once you get to the top & see that giant steam engine in the creek in the middle of the woods, it just amazes you. It's not rusted out or anything. Hike up to that spot, sit down for a snack & a rest and then head back. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Some good elevation changes, but nothing a moderately in shape person can't handle. Highly recommend it.

2 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

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