Little River Trail to Little River Upper Falls and Grouse Creek Campground

easy 136 reviews

Little River Trail to Little River Upper Falls and Grouse Creek Campground is a 12.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 12.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,213 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly





nature trips


bird watching





wild flowers




no dogs

A nice wide flat road that narrows to a true trail as the crowds thin. Plenty of fishing opportunities avaialble up the trail. Backcountry campsites 21 and 24 are generally available year round by reservation.

Tremendous water flow today in the Little River. Hiked up to Husky Gap Trail junction & back.

22 days ago

Very fun and beautiful trail. Very relaxing to walk next to the river. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Solid trail if you have a kid. We took our 14 month old in a carrier but brought her out to walk here and there. I would not say this is stroller accessible unless you have a hiking stroller or one with durable wheels.

recorded Recording - Oct 19, 02:50 PM

4 months ago

Came here to hike with my husband for our 1 year wedding anniversary. We will be back.

7 months ago

This is a great easy trail for kids. We (myself and a 5 year old and 11 year old) hiked out to campsite 21 and back - a nice wide trail and plenty of fun break spots. The camp site was a little messy- people had obviously not hiked out trash.

Mon Feb 11 2019

This was more of a dirt road walk than a hiking trail. I prefer a narrower trail. Scenic creek view.

mountain biking
Tue Nov 27 2018

Set out to ride my mt bike on this trail, got about 1 mile in and was stopped by a lady that worked for the forest service. She informed me that there are only 2 trails in all the Great Smoky Mt National Park that available for mt bikers...Gatlinburg Trail & Oconaluftee River Trail. Trail head was not marked at all stating no mt bikes although it does state that on I would suggest All Trails remove mt biking in the filter section for all trails in National Parks!

Mon Nov 26 2018

There are a few amazing back country sites along the trail. The trail is very flat and well traveled with many spots to stop and enjoy the Little River however there is not much other than that.

Sun Nov 25 2018

You can shorten this trail and turn around at the bridge and waterfall (which would be about 2.5 miles). Beautiful walk along the river and all flat. We chose to continue on Little River to Cucumber Gap and then back on Jake’s Trail. Made for a nice 6 mile hike.

Sat Nov 10 2018

My wife and I hiked this trail and it has to be one of our favorites. The roar of the mountain streams and the beautiful foliage was amazing. The area of Elkmont was awesome. It is a must for anyone who loves to hike.

Thu Oct 11 2018

This was a wonderful trail for my family with kids ages 5-15. The trail was easy to walk, beautiful, and not too crowded. We even saw a bear cross the path and go across the river. Pretty views of the river and forest scenery. We only walked a mile or two in this time, but can’t wait to do a longer hike next time

Thu Sep 13 2018

My wife and I started on the trail and then switched back when we reached Jakes Trail. Saw a mother bear and her cub about 25 yards off of the trail. Gave her plenty of room and proceeded on the trail. Little River Trail was easy but Jakes Trail was more difficult due to the climb and recent rains.

Tue Jul 31 2018

We backpacked out to campsite 30 for an overnight trip. Trail was very pretty and easy but closer to 7 miles each way. Campsite 30 has A LOT of honey bees buzzing around. Within minutes of putting our bags down, there were probably 10 crawling over them. They are docile and we didn’t get stung at all but expect them to be landing on you and all of your stuff if you stay there. Overall a good trail and trip.

Thu Jul 19 2018

It's an easy hike, but it's a nice one.

Tue Jun 26 2018

Loved the hike. Our favorite was the areas along The Little River. Once away from that area the bugs were horrible and the trails were “closing in”, I assume from lack of use. We stopped on the return and had our lunch and soaked our feet in the part of the day.

Sat May 19 2018

I go here by myself at least twice a year just to get in the river after a good sweat.

Sat Mar 03 2018

Beautiful Trail. The elevation gain is very gradual.

Wed Sep 06 2017

This is a great hike; hiked here twice. Saw a black bear and her cub. There is a slight elevation (it is hardly noticeable). Nice scenery.

Thu Aug 24 2017

Loved this hike

Wed Mar 15 2017

I hiked this trail on March 13th and camped at campsite 30. The actual distance from the trail head to campsite 30 is 6.8 miles. At campsite 24 begins three river crossings that you will get wet. The one just before campsite 30 you will definitely get wet. I can't speak for campsites 21 and 24. But campsite 30 is hard packed gravel and no place to hang a hammock as far as I could tell. You will definitely need a free standing tent if you choose to camp at this site. The actual trail was easy, with no views except of the river.

Sat Nov 19 2016

Little River Trail Hike Type: Out & Back Total Distance: 12.87 Miles Difficulty: Easy/ Moderate (due to distance) Did this hike on Friday (11/18/16) during one of the worse droughts in the park's history. The water level in the Little River was extremely low. There were still some Fall colors in the trees though. The trail is about as flat as it can be for being in the mountains. The elevation gain is very gentle, and the trail is well maintained. There are a few blow downs past the intersection with the Goshen Prong trail, but you can easily get around them. Once the the trail goes by Backcountry Campsite 24, it get a bit hard to find at times. This was mainly due to the amount of leaves on the ground and lack of traffic

Mon Sep 26 2016

*Facilities at the Elkmont Campgrounds before you reach the parking area* This trail has it's challenges, but the first half is relatively easy going. Once you reach past the Goshen Prong junction, is when the creek hops will get VERY challenging, and when water is much higher, can be dangerous/treacherous. Cross these creeks, if going to campsite 30, with extreme care!! The water levels have been very low, due to the fact we've not had much they were more just boulder/rock hops, than wading pools. But when rains have fallen, and the levels are high, be prepared to get wet. of the date that this review was written, there is a VERY large yellow jackets nest, just to the upper right of the camp/fire pit, just off the base of the tree. There were TONS of them....we stayed away to take our break, and we were left alone/not stung. Just be cautious before running around the site, looking for a place to camp, or relax. The photos I will post will show the levels of the water, at the time of this review. Other than these few points, the trail was very easy to navigate and hike. Steady, gentle incline, not very strenuous at all. Campsite 24 and 30 look to be very nice spots to lay your head, if you are making a several day hiking trip, or just an overnighter.

Fri Sep 02 2016

Great trail... Fishing was good.

Sat Aug 20 2016

The distance of the trail is longer than the maps or signs indicate. While the sign at the trailhead indicates that it is 3.4 miles to Goshen prong trail at Goshen prong trail The sign indicates that it is 4 miles back to the trailhead. From Goshen prong trail on to campsite 30 the trail gets narrow and steeper. There are several places where crossing the stream can be very treacherous. August was definitely not the time to hike the full distance.

Thu Jul 07 2016

It was amazing love the views that we saw I was able to get into water and it was cold

Tue Jul 05 2016

Hiked this nice trail yesterday and stayed the night at campsite 24. Overall a nice walk in the woods but if you plan on staying at campsite 24, its over run with honeybees that try to make your pack their own hive

Tue Jun 14 2016

Beautiful. You can make this trail easy or more difficult based on distance. Nice trail. I have seen turkey, a baby ringed neck snake and bear on this trail.

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