Rich Mountain Loop Trail

MODERATE 28 reviews

Rich Mountain Loop Trail is a 8.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Townsend, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
8.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2076 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

old growth

no dogs

Rich Mountain Loop Trail is a great way to enjoy Cades Cove without the crowds. The trail starts at the beginning of the Loop Road, skirts the edge of some fields before reaching the John Oliver Cabin. It then climbs toward the crest of Rich Mountain then continues on to Indian Grave Gap Trail and Crooked Arm Ridge Trail. Its a good place to see deer and the occasional black bear.

horseback riding
2 days ago

hiking
29 days ago

Great hike all together. I parked at the top of Rich Mountain and entered the trailhead from the top location. The parking area can be accessed from both Townsend or Caves Cove. Be prepared for a continuous incline/decline throughout the hike loop . I was looking forward to seeing Crooked Arm Cascades while on the trail but it was pretty much dry and non existent due to the lack of rain.

2 months ago

Good tough clime but a very enjoyable hike.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

horseback riding
4 months ago

horseback riding
4 months ago

Poor view and too much poop. The actual hike is pretty but not worth the trouble.

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

7 months ago

We hiked the trail on a counterclockwise loop. We saw deer, ground squirrel, gray squirrel. We also heard turkey and owl and saw evidence of bear and raccoon. The hike is amazing. It is only moderate in difficulty and the views of Townsend and Cades Cove are fantastic.

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful colors, very dry, such a nice hike across the ridge, not many hikers

hiking
11 months ago

**Facilities are at the Cades Cove Campgrounds**

Hiked October 27, 2016
I absolutely loved this hike. This loop is totally underrated. I choose to trek it clockwise....I didn't feel like taking on Crooked Arm Ridge, up hill.
You will pass by John Oliver's cabin, built in 1818, which is a treat to have a little structural history thrown in to the hike. As much as I REALLY wanted to see a bear (I mean, it IS Cades Cove, and they are everywhere)...much to my dismay, I did not. Tons of squirrels, but zero bears.
Up on Indian Grave Gap, you will see an unmarked trail heading to your left (if you're hiking clockwise)...this will take you up to the spot where three cement blocks are all that remains of the old Rich Mountain fire tower. Keep an eye out to your left, on this little trail, and you will see a cistern, all that's left of a cabin that sat in that area used by the fire tower watchmen.
The fall colors are popping....and it's a gorgeous trail to view them with.

11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Great fall hike with views of Cades Cove to the south

hiking
Sunday, July 31, 2016

hiking
Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Not my favorite trail: the views in spring are few and far between, and after all the hype around the wildflowers I was disappointed at how few there were on the trail (keep in mind it's been unseasonably cool this month, and the flowers that were there were amazing).

Still this was a strenuous but nice hike. Wanna see the old fire tower next time (was too tired to go the short-but-steep trail to it), but Oliver Cabin is pretty cool. Plus there was so much wildlife out: saw 3 deer grazing on the trail itself, and a turkey adjacent to the trailhead. Plus found a baby black bear as I was leaving. Overall might not be something I hike often, but I will do it again