Schoolhouse Gap Trail is a 4.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Townsend, Tennessee that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and horses and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 4.7 miles Elevation Gain: 597 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

running

views

wild flowers

no dogs

hiking
6 days ago

This trail is shady and perfect for families with small children. Wear shoes you don't mind getting dirty because although the trial is gravely and wide, there are parts that are a bit muddy at the beginning if there has been a recent rain. I wore chacos and washed off in the creek along the trail at the first part. Kids would love the creek! I went when it was raining a bit and the rain did not come through tree cover. Some others saw a bear after the first trail signs about 1/2 way in but I did not.

hiking
20 days ago

The condition of this trail was very good. However, not the most exciting trail. No mountain views, but some wildflowers. Would be really pretty if the rhododendron were bloomed.

hiking
22 days ago

5-star for families and those with young kiddos - the stream and wide, gravelly path are great.

hiking
blowdown
5 months ago

muddy
5 months ago

We picked this because we needed a short quiet hike on an unexpected nice day. Due to heavy rain the day before the lower portions were really muddy. This is just a nice, peaceful trail. Nothing exciting, but if you like a quiet walk in the woods this is an easy trail.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Nice wide trail, frequented by horses. Nothing exciting to see but a very peaceful hike.

hiking
10 months ago

Easy trail, beautiful vegetation such as wild flowers and ferns. We took our time and came across interesting insects. It was a nice stroll to get unplugged and spend family time.

hiking
10 months ago

Easy for me, my wife and my three kids 11, 8 and 7. no school house on this trail. little creek at the beginning and you end at gravel road pretty much in the yard of a renters cabin. so a very underwelming end.

hiking
muddy
11 months ago

Fri May 24 2019

We tried this trail 3 times, first time we turned around maybe halfway to TurkeyPen Trail due to bear activity. The 2nd time just a few days later we took the trail to the WhiteOak Sinks and had to turn around because we couldn't cross the creek, water was really high and no foot bridge. so the 3rd time 2 days later we were able to cross and continue down to the sinks area and walked to the closed cave. We never got to any falls, could hear them though. Having said all this, the trail to the sinks was not an easy one, too many tree roots, very overgrown and no wildflowers at all. To say the least this was a disappointment on so many levels.

hiking
Sat Apr 06 2019

We turned onto Laurel Creek trail at the first trail signs about a mile in, thinking we would find White Oak trail, where there are supposed to be lots of wildflowers this time of year. Turns out, we actually should have kept going a few yards further for White Oak. We didn’t see a lot of wildflowers during this hike, but the trail was very peaceful, and not very busy for a Saturday! Went about 4 miles total, out and back. Steady incline, easy returning, the kids enjoyed it, but got a little bored.

hiking
Sun Jan 27 2019

Nice walk however no schoolhouse on this trail, just a residence with a hammock at the end. Trail is relatively smooth and wide. It is an old road that was supposed to connect Schoolhouse Gap to Bote Mountain Trail and ultimately Spence Field.

hiking
Tue Sep 11 2018

Decent trail overall but nothing amazing on our trip. We took our 3 and 4 year old and they did fine. Nice neighborhood at the end of the trail. Probably gorgeous in the spring.

Sat Aug 25 2018

This trail is a great next step up from dead easy trails. A little bit of elevation gain, but not relentless. It follows a lovely creek, then veers away into forests that change as you increase elevation. Note that as of this writing, there is a claim of bear activity that has the spur trail to White Oaks Sinks area ... in reality, it is BOAR that are the problem right now. We did observe some evidence of boar digging along side of the trail. Note that generally this trail is a really good all seasons trail.

hiking
Tue May 01 2018

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer This is one of the best wildflower trails in the Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s relatively long and has some significant elevation gain (at least from the perspective of a 60+ hiker). But it’s worth it. I’ve counted at least two dozen species along the trail and there are probably more. The highlights are both pink and yellow Ladyslippers and the rare Shooting Star If you want to see Ladyslippers go the first week of May. If you want the see a meadow full of Blue Phlox go in mid-April. The wildflower show is generally over by mid-May.

hiking
Tue Feb 20 2018

Loved this hike. It was the first one of our season and perfect for a 62 year old female! About 1.5 hours walking time. Nothing partifularly beautiful but a stream and at the end a campsite that we sat at. Elevation wasn't too bad. Very quiet when we went at about noon but lots in the parking lot and starting the hik on our return.

hiking
Sun Jan 21 2018

Nice wide trail.

hiking
Wed Jun 28 2017

This is a perfect trail for a nice walk in the woods. Very Kid friendly and fun to go in the creek.

hiking
Sun Jan 01 2017

This trail is a nice walk thru the mountains. This is a great walk for families with toddlers/young children. There is nothing spectacular about the trail but it is pleasant and easy to navigate. The vegetation is very pretty and the presence of bears is everywhere.

hiking
Sun Dec 25 2016

Was a relatively easy hike with almost nothing at the end. Best part was when we arrived and got out of the car, a buck approached the parking lot and I was able to snap a few photos.

hiking
Mon Nov 07 2016

This was a great trail for a mid-afternoon hike. The views were somewhat blocked by foliage. But it was very peaceful.

hiking
Fri Nov 04 2016

Easy hike to park boundary with some nice views, though as another commenter said, winter would allow larger vistas. The Whiteoak Sink area is currently posted as off-limits for hikers to reduce bat habitat disturbance and I suppose an attempt to limit the spread of bat white-nose syndrome. See this link: https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/news/wns-whiteoak-sink-closure.htm, though apparently the trail closure has been extended beyond the original March 2016 to include this fall and winter.

Sun Oct 09 2016

Hiked this trail October 9, 2016. Nice trail - I think it would be a better winter hike so you can see the views without trees in the way.

hiking
Wed Aug 17 2016

This trail was great for hiking with a preschooler and a toddler. They loved walking down to the water to watch it flow and throw pebbles in to see a splash. There were plenty of opportunities to see fish, dragonflies, butterflies and flowers.

Tue Jun 07 2016

School House Gap is a relatively easy hike. Shared with horseback riding.

hiking
Sat Nov 07 2015

Rainy afternoon in the fall

hiking
Fri Oct 23 2015

Good trail, easy to traverse. We went to the end ant took Chestnut Ridge to the right. It was a smaller trail with great views.

hiking
Fri Aug 21 2015

Nice hike. Beautiful in the spring with all the wildflowers!

cross country skiing
Thu Jun 11 2015

The mountain laurel was in full bloom. Loved it! Great for the whole family.

hiking
Mon Apr 07 2014

This trail is very easy and just meh. I knew going into it that there is no big payoff (it ends at a picnic table and someone's private residence). I was looking for something quick on last minute. The trail is very wide, runs a long a small creek for part of the way. No spectacular views or gorgeous wildlife. It is about 5 miles round trip and great for beginners. It's not a terrible hike. I just would rather hike to somewhere like Abrams or Spruce Flats and see an amazing waterfall.

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