Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Chadwell Gap Trail is a 5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ewing, Virginia that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and horses and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1,811 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash



horseback riding

nature trips






17 days ago

Enjoyed this trail but definitely was harder than we expected! Firstly, the trail does measure out closer to 6 miles total (3 in, 3 out). Also, as some of the other reviews state, it starts getting fairly difficult about 1.5 miles in. Some of the uphill is very rocks and it can be challenging, but with a few breaks and extra time, it shouldn’t be an issue. The trail also leads to the ridge trail. From there, you can gain access to other destinations you may want to visit. There is a small overlook, but I generally view this trail as more of an access route to other trails. Pictures of the view posted!

1 month ago

I caught this hike back in December and really loved it. It is a nice steep ascent that really works you out. The pay off is a really good overlook at the top with an awesome view. You won’t have to travel as far to white rocks and the hike is not as much elevation. An awesome place to go only an hour and a half north of Knoxville. You can spare yourself a lot of traffic and misery going to the Smokies. The picture of the cave is not correct and it is from Sand Cave.

8 months ago

I love this trail. I have completed this trail numerous times and it’s always just as rewarding as the first time. It gets rough around a mile and a half in, but the rock formations and the view at the top makes it well worth it. If you continue on this trip into Hensley Settlement you won’t be disappointed. All the trails that attach to this one are very rewarding as well.

Thu Jun 13 2019

The trail started out good. We knew the trail was going to be a hard one, but was told it would be marked. We hiked 1.2 without any trouble. When we got to a road left was a private road , right took you back down. Called ranger station and they said bare to right . We went right, left, up , and down, but we could not find a trace of the trail. Did not feel safe going any futher. We did let ranger station know so they would not send anyone else up there.

Fri Mar 29 2019

Great trail, well maintained. Quite steep in places but worth the work.

Mon Sep 17 2018

Well worn trail but distances are incorrect. All trails says 3.7 out and back. The sign at the parking lot says 2.5 miles to the summit. GPS reading was 3 miles one way and the sign at the top going down said 2.8. First mile was easy but the last 2 miles gained over 2000 ft of elevation making it a strenuous hike. Its another 1.1 miles to Hensley Settlement and about another mile wandering around in the settlement. All in all it’s almost 10 miles round trip.

Thu Jan 18 2018

Awesome way to get to Hensley Settlement and Sand Cave. Good trail head parking and plenty of space. Beautiful hike up with great views but WOW better save this one for Leg day! It is a smoker the last bit. But worth every step.

Sat Nov 04 2017

This was a difficult and entertaining hike. But I was bummed out to find that the cave and waterfall that are advertised are not on this hike. That is the Sand Cave and White Rock Trail.

Sun Oct 08 2017

Hensley settlement is pretty neat to see, there are probably easier ways to get there though. This trail is very steep. My ears popped twice on the way up!

Mon Jul 17 2017

Steep and very rocky trail that is one of several approach trails to the crest of the Cumberland mountain. Chadwell Gap is not my favorite approach, I enjoy Ewing and Lewis Hollow much more. However, Chadwell allows the best access to Hensley Settlement and Martins Fork.

Sat Jun 24 2017

This trail is pretty tough. fast elevation climb, horse usage, and very steep terrain. The beauty from above is well worth the climb!

Sun Apr 23 2017

It's a shame that you can't use martins fork cabin anymore. A lot of people don't know about the stoneface rock formation as you get to top of chadwell gap trail. I posted a picture of it from back in the 80s. It is still visible if you know where to look.

Mon Apr 10 2017

The elevation Change makes this much harder than you think.

Tue Feb 07 2017

This trail is fairly short, but because of the elevation change it was fairly challenging. there aren't any blazes marking the path but it's worn and not too hard to follow even at night. I hiked in at 8 or so at night and made it to Martin's Fork cabin around midnight. Most likely would go faster during daylight hours. the rest of the park is beautiful but there aren't many interesting features on this specific trail.

Thu Oct 20 2016

It is a rough hike but spent the day at the Hensley Settlement so it was worth it. I've also done it just up to the top and back which only gives you the gratification of completion, which is still worth it.

Fri Sep 02 2016

Hard trail with little payoff. Me and my dog took about four hours to hike to the top and back, starting from the Chadwell Gap parking lot. It's a nice hike until you get to the old foundation right at the foot of the mountain, and then it's straight uphill from there. The trail is rough. Lots of big rocks. The rock formations and cuts in the rock are cool. I was hoping for a big payoff--a great view from the top. Spent about 20 minutes at the summit looking for a view and couldn't see anything through the trees. Disappointed, we hiked back down. Down was harder on my knees than up because of the steep grade, but it was much less strenuous. I probably won't do it again.

Tue Jul 12 2016

We enjoyed several sites along the way to the Sand Cave. We saw deer, smaller cave, incredible rock formations.Downside is the sign was missing at the bottom of the trail and we missed the left to the Sand Cave. We put it in reverse and finally found the cave - a little confusing but definitely worth seeing at least once. Parts of trail were overgrown with briars and the loose rocks were problematic coming down the trail - slipped multiple times - luckily didn't wipe out. Hiked a total of 13.9 miles. Beware of the gnats & horse flies!!

Sun Apr 17 2016

started at chadwell gap parking lot and hiked to the Hensley Settlement it was hard uphill hike but very beautiful. the rock formation above you, the beautiful flowers, the views of the valley below makes it worth the effort. did not see any water crossing. We did not see any hikers on the way up but encountered few groups on the way down. the trip definitely worth repeating.

Mon Apr 11 2016

We started at the Chadwell Gap trailhead and hiked to the Hensley Settlement. The trail is well marked. We only saw one other hiker the whole day. This hike was a challenge. Our group included a range of ages and skill level from 50's to 12yrs. We started early and used most of the day to hike and explore. I will definitely go back to try out the other trails that are connected.

Mon Dec 14 2015

hiked for second time December 11 2015 with my husband Jeff. temperature in upper sixty's and VERY foggy. the fog was a first for me...made fir some interesting photos but could not see anything from atop white rocks! the water fall at the sand cave was awesome...I liked it better with sun shining on it but the mist was different! challenging on our older knees but worth the time.

Sun Jul 12 2015

I am not a fan of this trail. It is very difficult for sure but it is also very rocky with loose golfball & baseball sized rocks. This makes for a tough assent and decent. There are no views from the top or along the trail. Gibson Gap is a much better choice in my opinion and it is equal in challenge. Note: This review is for the Chadwell Gap Trial ONLY, once you reach the Ridge Trail at the top of the mountain Hensley Settlement and White Rocks are awesome with amazing views! BTW, the description speaks of a waterfall, I didn't see a waterfall, maybe I was going during the wrong time of year.

Fri May 29 2015

OMG....I thought this trail was very challening! begins flat but then after about one mile became quite steep. Loved the dripping water fall at the cave indentions. surprised at all the rocks and clifts. great views. finally made it to the settlement. so lush and green and wonder they very seldom came down from the mountain....they had to climb back up! Beautiful photo ops.

Mon May 18 2015

Awesome hike, I have hiked this trail twice and plan on going again this week. very strenuous but so rewarding!

Sun Nov 24 2013

I have hiked this area several times and make the loop from white Rocks to Sand Cave every time very worth your time and effort.

Tue Feb 19 2013

strenuous hike, especially with a backpack, but gorgeous view and many sights to see. couldn't be more peaceful. definitely a must hike! some portions of the trail you are even aloud to ride on horseback.

Wed Jan 09 2013

very rough hike but very rewarding also.

recorded Recording - May 30, 10:45 AM

1 month ago

6 months ago

10 months ago

10 months ago

Showing results 1 - 30 of 36