Porters Creek Trail

EASY 222 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
1512 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
3 days ago

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

4 days 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
6 days 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
10 days 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!

1 month ago

crowded right now! April.

hiking
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

1 month 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.

1 month 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
1 month 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.

1 month 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
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 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.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful day on this trail. Flowers are beginning to show.

hiking
2 months ago

Good relatively easy trail. Uphill all the way there! The old rock fences and graveyard were neat as well. We stumbled upon it while looking for a different trail (that AllTrails sent us to the wrong place for) and once we saw the waterfall we didn’t realize it was the actual one we were seeking and we ended up hiking further to the end of the trail at campsite 31. Thankful there were people there to let us know because we hadn’t known anything of it.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike along the river

2 months ago

I enjoy the history, the wildflowers, and waterfall. One of my favorite hikes to share with less experienced hikers to show some of what the area has to offer

hiking
2 months ago

Nicely wooded hike along Porters Creek, which is relatively scenic. Easily accessible trailhead. A slow relatively easy uphill hike. Keep in mind that it is relatively well-trafficked, especially on the weekends. If you are looking for a hike of solitude, you may want to look elsewhere or try this on a weekday. The waterfall is maybe a little underwhelming, but still beautiful!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful trail with great river views and interesting historic sights. A nice, slow climb with a great, accessible waterfall at the end. Loved every minute of it.

hiking
4 months ago

Chose this hike for easy access in winter and it didn’t fail. The drive in is gorgeous. The hike is a very scenic and enjoyable hike, the Falls was awesome and not so much traffic that we was able to spend some quiet time at the falls.
Great hike and very much recommend for all skill levels.

hiking
4 months ago

December 29. 2017. Beautiful trail. Some snow on sides of trail. Seen 4 deer on the return trip. Looking forward to hiking in spring.

hiking
6 months ago

this hike wasn't originally in my itinerary but since newfound gap road was closed due to snow/ice conditions, this is a great alternative!

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail! Even seen a black bear during the hike!

hiking
6 months ago

Nice trail in the trees by a creek and small waterfall. Don’t expect big open views but it is still a nice one to do. We hiked to the waterfall and climbed up to the top to relax for a drink before heading back.

backpacking
7 months ago

If you’re in search of breathtaking views, look elsewhere. If you’re in search of an awesome nature trail/walk in the woods that is moderately strenuous, this is it!

7 months ago

Nice easy trail with old structures, old forests, creeks and waterfalls. Not overcrowded. It snowed on us while hiking.

7 months ago

Great and interesting trail. However, I would say the sight seeing stops at the bridge going across the creek. A little further up was the waterfall but there is no water for it to be a "fall" more like a trickle. The historic sites are worth seeing on this trail!

8 months ago

Very enjoyable trail. Beautiful.

hiking
9 months ago

What a fantastic family hike! We hiked to the falls with a 16yo, 7yo, and 21 month old in tow. The falls we're beautiful by the main trail, but do yourself the favor of finding a way up to get closer to them. The bridge over the creek was awesome and the water was fast.(tons of rain the previous few days) We didn't make it to the settlement, but did find the small graveyard from turn of the century.

hiking
9 months ago

Great foot bridges, Thank you park service! We hiked to the campsite at the 3.7 point, I think there wasn't much to see after the waterfall.

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