Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Cherokee with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hike! Very challenging ascent but worth while views when you get to the Bunion. Not well traveled so you won’t see too many other hikers until you get to the AT.

Hike this trail this weekend. Made a two night three day hike out our it staying at camp site 71 and Silers Bald. Day 2 was though with lots of elevation gain and pack that were heavy. But it was totally worth the time and effort. Love the fall and this hike!

Quaint and pretty, nothing mind blowing but it was quiet and peaceful

1 month ago

The Hyatt Ridge Trail part of the hike is a long incline and a bit grueling. I saw a few black bears around the top of the ridge where The Hyatt Ridge Trail and The Enloe Creek Trail meet, so that was pretty cool. I could see why considering that the trail was covered with acorns. Raven Fork is definitely the highlight of the whole experience. I fished down stream for about a mile and I must have caught 50 brookies and rainbows all together. The trail only crosses the creek at one point (the bridge), so I had to move downstream on the creek to get to the good spots. It was tough day, but a day well spent.

Took Forney Creek down, camp 70 was a great spot! The hike up to sliders bald and mount buckly was difficult but so worth it. The views are amazing. Great 2 days in the smokies!

Made a 3-night, 4-day loop of it.
Day 1 - Left from Clingman's Dome and stayed first night at #68. Pretty steep down with a few water crossings. Two sites to chose from at #68, both decent and right on the river.
Day 2 - Several river crossings, some waist high water and a little worrisome, but overall a beautiful hike. Stayed at #70.
Day 3 - Hiked up Jonas Creek Trail, to Welch Ridge to stay at Silers Bald shelter. Up-hill the whole way and makes for a long hike, but pretty good views the last few miles.
Day 4 - Hiked the AT out back to CD.

Decent hike, lots of roots and a few rocks. You are hiking along a ridge yet don’t have many views. Along the way you’ll find a lot of backpacker’s “pit stops”. I agree, you should continue onto the Charlie Bunion trail if you have the time.

It was a good trail, but I would not recommend it for anyone’s first time backpacking or camping. It had rained the few days prior to me and my gf doing it and the creeks were so full and crossing them was pretty dangerous. But overall a great trip. Plan for it to take 2-2.5 full days to complete the trail if it has rained recently.

I'm not sure what you have seen if you stop so early. Probably worth doing something else if you can't walk more than this, and if you can walk more, probably worth going to charlie bunion

The trail is well maintained, so expect to do this fairly quickly for a 21 miler (did it in about 8hours). It was cloudy and rainy, so that might have affected my experience, but I felt it was all that great. The best view points are at the begining, doing the whole loop is a bit excessive.

The trail is well maintained, so expect to do this fairly quickly for a 21 miler. I was cloudy and rainy, so that might have affected my experience, but I felt it was all that great. The best view points are at the begining, doing the whole loop is a bit excessive.

4 months ago

Hiked to camp 53. Quiet walk with some steep switchbacks near the trailhead. The camp was settled right on the creek.

5 months ago

Approach up Beech Gap is steep. Balsam Mt Trail is long and pleasant to the AT.

An absolutely beautiful loop. I love this area of the park.

5 months ago

This is one of my most favorite hikes in the smokies. The terrain is manageable if hailed from the top down. Through the whole trail from start to finish you will experience the vast wild flowers that the smokies are famous for. The trail was in excellent shape given the amount of rain it had a week before. Very few campers in the area.

we planned on hiking Andrew's Bald, but completely forgot the road to Clingmans Dome is closed until April. So we hiked Sweat Heifer instead. for someone who's not in the greatest of shape, it wasn't that bad. My ankles hurt more than anything. Parts of the trail were icy and muddy slush, which made things even more interesting haha. we took several pictures, so we made several short stops. Once we got to the split, we took a right and stopped at a small grassy area. it was the perfect place to sit down, have a snack, and relax. After seeing more pictures, I wish we would've continued down the trail a bit more. The views weren't spectacular, but seeing the smoke roll in and the parts you could look out were beautiful. this hike isn't too terribly bad, I'd recommend it to anyone, just have good shoes, and water. slow and steady wins the race!! happy hiking.

This trail is beautiful and offers amazing views! We did it yesterday, February 27 and there were still some ice sickles and icy patches on the ground as we got higher. I feel the rating of “moderate” is fair as it is relatively short, but has some rugged terrain where you’ll be navigating over rocks and tree roots.

Very challenging! Very beautiful! I want to do it again someday!!!

A decent weekend loop. The Forney Creek trail portion follows an old logging road, which is a little uninspiring if you’re backpacking. The creeks are pretty, and the terrain is nicely varied from the high ridge-top hiking along the AT to the hollows along Jonas Creek.

We loved this trail...we obtained a backcountry camping permit and stayed at halfway point....will definately do it again

A buddy and I overnighted this trail. Stayed at Kephart, don’t let the “moderate” rating fool you this is a tough trail. Sweet heifer creek trail is about 3.7 Miles with a roughly 2000 ft elevation change, not to mention several trees down over the trail. Kephart is a great little lodge with a decent size creek next to it down in the valley. We detoured a bit and went to the jump-off, it’s worth the .6 miles to see it.

Monday, November 06, 2017

I thought this was a beautiful trail. Did out and back and also went to the cemetery. Was about 6.5 miles total. I’d like to do this hike in the winter.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Very pretty and a good workout.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Great trail. Love having the water along side the trail. A little rocky in spots but worth it. Peaceful and not a lot of traffic.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

This trail was extremely difficult with a backpack straight up for over an hour then straight down for another 45 or so. The you tube video that guy made for fishing was awesome but he neglected to mention how tough it was coming in and out. I can't say I caught a ton of fish because I didn't so that would've made the trip much, much better. The area was beautiful and river was gold water, never seen anything like it.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

What a great trail! if you are looking for a good trail to prepare yourself for a multiweek trail hike, this is it. I would not advice anyone with minimal or intermediate experience to take on this trail. this trail will really test your limits and your gear to the fullist. Before you go out also check to see how much rainfall has come down the past week. the creeks you will cross will swell up even with the slightest rain. (You cross about 18 creeks in all I believe). Once you get to the last 8 miles your gonna be climbing straight up the whole time. stay hydrated and energized. all in all it was a awesome trail and very rewarding once you finish!

I want to give this loop 5 stars. We got rained on for 48 hours straight. The creeks swelled and made the crossings damn near impassible. Brutal boots off conditions in fast water. This hike tested my limits and my gear.

If they're calling for rain, do yourself a favor and reschedule this one.

Bradley Fork is one of our go to trails for a nice relaxing stroll along the creek year round. Chasteen Creek trail is a nice scenic hike as well, though once past the cascades it increases upwards to a pretty good workout before getting to Hughes Ridge Trail.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

What a great loop! We got to the parking lot around 12 noon and took a stroll to the DOME to enjoy the view and warm up our legs a little. There was still some some snow on the ground which made the first mile a little tricky but as soon as we really started to drop in elevation the snow was all gone. We continued to back country camp site 69 which was a great place to stay. We had multiple river crossing and were ready to stop by the time we reached camp. Camp 69 has a couple places to hang but we set up camp to the left close to the river. We used the fire ring and the area close to it to prepare meals and hang out. There are two bear bag hangs. The next day we continued down hill wth two or three more river crossings before reaching camp site 70. This would be a great place to stay if you have a tent and or get on the trail a little earlier than we did. From camp site 70 you will head UP HILL for most of the day. It was a brutal day but when we finally got to the ridge line it was all worth it. We finally intersected the AT with our shelter about 1.7 away and a little over 4 to the parking lot. When we got to the shelter it was VERY crowded and we decided to push it back to the car and get a Wendy's Frosty. We had a great time and this loop trail was physically challenging for my 16 year old daughter high school soccer player and my self but the one on one time with her was well worth it!

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