Porters Creek Trail

EASY 235 reviews

Porters Creek Trail is a 7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,512 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Wooded hike along Porters Creek, old cemetery, historic farm site, waterfall The drive to the trailhead is nearly as nice as the hike. Once at the trailhead you will begin up a gradual incline along a wide gravel path. The trail is in a heavily wooded area, with Porters Creek on your left. This hike provides a cool respite on even the hottest of days. At about the 0.6 mile point, there is a series of rock walls and old building foundations from an old settlement. At the 0.75 mile point, is the old cemetery. Take the time to pay your respects to these early settlers. The gravel pathway continues to the 1.0 mile point, where a short spur trail leads to the Historic Farm Site. You will find John Messer's cantilevered barn built in 1875. Past the barn is the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club Cabin, built in 1934-36. The gravel path ends here. To continue on to the waterfall, take the left trail along Porters Creek. This well marked trail continues its gradual ascent for an additional 1 mile to the base of the waterfall.

hiking
7 days ago

Very nice trail. We saw very few people on our hike. The old farmhouse and cemetery were awesome, as was the old hiking lodge. Debris and fallen trees along the way, I cleared out what I could but I'm only one man and I didn't have a chainsaw. Beautiful photography opportunities if you take your time along the river and explore.

19 days ago

Really nice trail running along the creek the entire length to campground 31. There’s about a mile section at the beginning that is a wide, gravel path suitable for anyone. At a mile there is an old farm area with a couple of restored/preserved buildings. Kind of cool to walk around.

After that the trail narrows a bit, crosses the creek a couple of times, and begins a moderate climb that you will need to get used to. It isn’t difficult, but continuous. On the way down the rocks and roots will make you be aware of where you step so I’d say this falls a little between moderate and easy.

I’m the fall you will have great looks at the creek at almost every turn. There was a lot of rain recently so it made for a really high water level. I’d almost give this 5 stars but I think I’m the summer it would be less enjoyable because the leaves would obstruct the views, and in the spring I’d bet the trail is wet. Anyway, it was a really nice day

https://m.facebook.com/groups/843929262369616?ref=bookmarks

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with 2 kids, ages 9 and 4. The river was beautiful!

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike on a sunny day. Beautiful river and bridges. Waterfall was set off the trail a bit and in my opinion not the highlight. Trailhead easy to find and an interesting drive.

hiking
2 months ago

What a fun and absolutely beautiful trail! We hiked about 3.5 miles of it with our 3&5 year olds and they did great. Back is much quicker than up. Lots of places to climb splash and explore!

hiking
4 months ago

Pleasant hike for everyone!

5 months ago

great trail and a lot to see. loved the old farm house and barn.

5 months ago

This hike was beautiful!

5 months ago

This is a great trail. Starts out along the river, cross a nice bridge, and come across the falls. When we went it had rained heavy for days before. I've never seen the river so angry and the falls flowing so well. The river had to be nonstop class 5 rapids. very impressive

hiking
5 months ago

Great Easy Trail. Plenty of scenic creek views.

5 months ago

Awesome

hiking
6 months ago

I did this hike on July 3, 2018. I really enjoyed the section up to the waterfall. The trail starts out wide and runs along the river. There are places where you can look into the river, or climb out onto the rocks within the river, but be careful because it can be slippery. As other reviewers stated, there are lots of roots and rocks to step over so I had to pay close attention to my steps. I'll also echo other reviewers in saying that you need to look up to see the waterfall otherwise you might miss it. I intended to complete the trail, but I ended up only going a mile or so past the waterfall because the bugs were starting to bother me, even with several re-applications of Deep Woods. Even with the bugs, it was a very enjoyable hike because I saw only a small handful of people, so pretty much the only thing I heard along the way was the sound of the river. I also saw a couple of deer, and many butterflies. It's worth noting that the road to the trailhead is gravel, and it's narrow in some sections so you may need to pull over to allow oncoming cars to pass.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike. The log bridges make for some amazing photos.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful hike with all of the rhododendrons in bloom! The beginning of the trail is a smooth gravel path, however about a mile in it gets pretty rocky so make sure you are wearing appropriate footwear. Also, pay attention when you go to cross a rocky stream because if up don’t look up, you’ll miss the waterfall.

7 months ago

Beautiful trail. It says easy but near the last mile it gets a little harder if you are just a beginner.

hiking
7 months ago

Started this hike at 5:45 in the evening expecting an easy 2 hr hike. that is exactly what it was. slow, steady incline. keep left after the gravel ends. the fall will be on your left about a half mile past the elbow shaped log bridge. it's easy to pass by, so keep your eyes looking up to the left. the marker for the fall is a small stream that crosses the trail. you have to cross using rocks. we managed to hike 3/4 mile beyond the fall before we turned around. we still finished the hike in about 2 hrs 15 min. if your using an app, the fall is right at the 2 mile mark from the trail head. we saw a couple deer no more than 25 ft away while on the trail. beautiful hike. enjoy.

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail. Not crowded. Road to trailhead is a little rough (for a minivan).

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike and some mother daughter time. We live nearby so will go again.

7 months ago

Nice trail. Loved the large footbridge. Made one mistake and kept hiking 1.5 after the waterfall. 6.88 total a bit much for an older guy.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike! Did this with the wife on 5-11-18 and had a great time. The creek was next to the trail for the majority of the hike lending to the hike the wonderful sound of running water. The forest was so very lush and green this time of year as well adding to the overall experience. Not too crowded, plenty of solitude...

hiking
8 months ago

Trail was absolutely beautiful! Great place to enjoy Gods creation. It feels great if you go in the early morning but watch for snakes! Beautiful river and beautiful landscape!

8 months ago

crowded right now! April.

hiking
9 months ago

Wonderful hike. Snowed yesterday and there was still a dusting on the way up. Wild flowers were out in full on the way back down. Lots of roots and rocks on the trail along with two very large old growth trees that had fallen across the trail and had to be climbed over, manageable but they are BIG trees. Overall just a beautiful hike.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice trail, not too long and you’re rewarded by a beautiful waterfall at the end.

9 months ago

One of our favorites. 4/12/18, many flower species emerging ....wild ginger around Fern Branch falls, etc, etc...now’s a good time for this trail. Suggest taking your Smokies wildflower book to reduce identification frustration.

9 months ago

A lot of punch in a day hike. Homestead, cemetery, river crossings, variety of plant life, and a great waterfall to boot. If you want to see lots in a 2 hr. roundtrip hike (to falls) this is a great choice.

hiking
9 months ago

AWESOME trail! Probably one of the best trails I've done. Pretty easy hike, not a lot of hills, but is rocky at points. Follows the creek the whole way which is beautiful. Very cool bridge crossing over the creek and an amazing waterfall about 1.5 miles after the gravel road splits. We climbed up to the top of the waterfall for some pictures.

9 months ago

Easy hike to a great waterfall with my three daughters! We could stop and have a snack on a rock while watching the waterfall.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice easy trail. Once you get past the old settlement a mile or so in, the visitors really taper off.

hiking
10 months ago

This was a pretty great trail. We just wanted to go see the waterfall. The first mile of the trail is a gravel road. At this mile, there’s an area where you can walk and go see an old farmhouse. We then continued walking on the trail for about a 1.5 miles and there was this gorgeous waterfall. We decided to turn around at that point because from my understanding, the trail went to a campsite. After the first mile the terrain of the trail got rocky and rooty. And the entire trail is uphill, but not too steep.

Load More