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Lead Cove and Finley Cane Trail is a 6.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Townsend, Tennessee that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, bird watching, and horses and is best used from March until November. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Length 6.7 mi Elevation gain 1,466 ft Route type Loop

Hiking

Horseback riding

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Muddy

No dogs

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (64)
Photos (187)
Recordings (51)
Completed (111)
Jimmy Reagan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 03 2020
Great!

It was a beautiful but warm day. For that reason I didn't see any wildlife. Still, the woods were beautiful today. Though this was a busy holiday weekend, this trail provided much solitude. In fact, on the Turkeypen Ridge Trail portion of the loop, which was recently maintenanced and looked particularly great, I didn't even see one person. A shout out to the crew that did that trail work! With the upper side of the loop going from Findlay Cane to Turkeypen Ridge through a tunnel under Laurel Creek road even that part of the hike had a sense of solitude. There's a little up and down to this loop but it's probably one of the easier eight mile hikes you can do in the Smokies.

Chris Hubert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 14 2020
Hiking

This was a decent trail. Nature was pretty nice, lot’s of previous horse traffic and all that comes with it. No wildlife to speak of.

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Peggy Reiling
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu May 21 2020
Hiking

Nice trail. We did clockwise but agree counter clockwise would be a bit easier on the knees during the decent.

Jason Reiling “cricket”
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu May 21 2020
Hiking

Very nice trail. Anywhere other than smokies and this would approach 5 stars. Somewhat remote, not heavily trafficked, not too difficult

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Vince Gibson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Nov 16 2019
HikingRocky

Everyone is right, go counter clockwise, the elevation gain lasts about 1.8 miles then it’s down hill about 2.5 to that easily missed left turn onto the un-marked Finley Cane. This trail back out is marked West Prong Trail and will take you back out to the road and where you parked. Pretty tough heading up, but pretty good views through some light trees once you’re up on top. Some light snow still on the ground, but the trail was completely clear.

jj cook
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Nov 10 2019
Hiking

We also walked counterclockwise. You get all of the elevation over with right away. Finley cave had more scenic views, and I would skip the detour to Spence Field if I hiked it again. There’s no clear space for great views. We really liked Finley, lots of old growth, no people, lots of evidence of bears (didn’t see any) and would hike it again.

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C Wynne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Sep 20 2019
Hiking

This is a Post Script: as stated we did this hike counterclockwise. we thought we were on Finley Cane coming back down. However we came to a fork, one trail wide going straight and another to the left which was narrow and covered with leaves. The parl trail sign was very deceiving to us. if it wasnt for the two parl employees we happened upon right st that junction, we would have gone straight and ended up at the Tremont Institute. So please, make that left into the narrow trail. That will take you back to the road where you've parked your vehicle.

C Wynne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Sep 19 2019
Hiking

Took us 5 hours total to complete loop. Went counterclockwise as others advised. I would classify this a high moderate trail. Would not repeat, as there are too many other trails to complete. Covered trail the whole way. Very few spots to view the surrounding mountains, but the few spots were very pretty, clouds rolling through. If you want a good leg workout, these two trails won't disappoint.

Rachel Black
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 21 2019
Hiking

great loop. moderate to difficult. I did it clockwise but I'd advise doing it counterclockwise!

View Rachel's Recording
A V
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 13 2019
Hiking

Great trail with beautiful forests and some nice views along Bote Mountain trail at the top despite the tree cover. Would be really great in the fall and winter. I recommend doing it counter clockwise to get the hardest part out of the way first. It’s 2 miles of pretty tough up hill climbing but the rest of the way is basically down hill. Bring lots of water during the hotter months.

Ron Doeppner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 01 2019
Hiking

Great hike. First day of June with good weather, no rain and mostly sunny skies. We chose to do the loop counter clockwise to get the climb out of the way before it got hot it was a steady 1600 foot climb spread over two miles. After that it is all either level or down hill Encountered quite a few muddy spots plus a few bears, none of which were a problem.

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Neil Soule
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Mar 24 2019

A great moderate hike that's easy to get to. Nice water features throughout, and some goods views when you get on top of the ridge. Lightly trafficked too.

Jennifer P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Nov 11 2018
Hiking

A true moderate hike but few rocks and roots. Was probably the best I’ve done all week. We saw a turkey also on the trail

Victoria Blum
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Sep 02 2018
Hiking

This was a nice hike. It started out slow but once we started gaining altitude it got more interesting.

Mike L.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 20 2018

This loop is more moderate than hard. Really enjoyed it though. Walked around a bend on Lead Cove and a doe was in the middle of the trail. It must be accustomed to hikers because it slowly ambled off the trail so I could pass. Bote Mountain had a fairly large blow down that was not any fun to climb over.

Michelle Ingram-Sanders
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Mar 15 2018

This was a hard hike, but it was my fault for overlooking the hard rating when I meant to choose a moderate hike. FWIW, my Apple Watch says it was a 7.38 mile hike.

JEFF PEARCE
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Mar 08 2017
Hiking

Great short hike with lots to see. I hiked counter clockwise Lead Cove to Bote Mountain to Finely Cane. I found water readily available along most of the route. There are several creek crossings and loose, rocky areas so be prepared. Just past the intersection of Bote Mountain and Lead Cove, oddly enough I heard an eastern screech owl calling multiple times in broad daylight. A first for me! There are several grape thickets that should bring bears to the area during grape season. Additionally, table mountain pine is present along the route. Look for the serotinous cones. I saw one eastern wild turkey, and 5 turkey vultures. I heard a red shouldered hawk around the area of Devil's Nest Creek.

Krystal Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Sep 21 2015
Hiking

Went from Finley Cane, to Bote Mountain, back down Lead Cove. Beautiful ridge line walk. Some steep incline.

Tony Parnell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 24 2015
Hiking

The specific hike we took included a portion of FInley Cane, Bote Mtn and Lead Cove. It was a really great hike given the diversity of the trails. Finley Cane was in great shape, easy grade and some fabulous mushrooms! One bear was spotted. We then intersected with Bote Mtn Trail which was about a 2.5 pull up a reasonably step grade, not sure but prob a ~1000 ft elevation gain in about 2.5 miles. Came across 2 very large Timber Rattlers...these Timbers are amazing in their girth..big snakes!! We then returned to the trailhead via Lead Cove Trail. Some really beautiful old growth forestation at the higher elevation of Lead Cove...this was a steep trail, it would surely be makred strenuous if we were coming up trail. Overall, this set of trails presents a great opportunity to see the diversity of the Smokies and take in some really interesting wildlife.

Nick Parker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Sep 05 2014

Late august trip. Lots of bear sign. Very peaceful.

Mike Depew
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Jun 20 2013
Hiking

Much better hikes in the smokies, but if you just want a hike thought the woods for some peaceful solitude, this may be the hike for you. Only ran into 2 other people on the 3 hr hike.

Jerry T
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Apr 06 2013
Hiking

This trail was okay but we have hiked much better trails. Going up wasn't bad but coming old road was very rocky and eroded which made for a seemingly long hike.

Tiffany B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 23 2020
Hiking
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David C.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 23 2020
Hiking
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Rick Michelfelder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 10 2020
Hiking
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Darlene Parton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Mar 09 2020
Hiking
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John McManus
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Dec 29 2019
Hiking
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Reese Graham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Dec 19 2019
Hiking
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Richard Tawadros
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Dec 19 2019
Hiking
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Richard Tawadros
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Dec 18 2019
Hiking
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