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.

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.

1 month ago

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

2 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.

2 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.

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.

Very pretty and a good workout.

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!

We walked to the cemetery from the 1800s. It is about 2.5 miles steady up the hill from the parking lot and a nice hike through the woods. We found it fascinating to see a cemetery in the middle of the forest. The trail is pretty wide all the way to where it splits to the cemetery than it becomes a more narrow path.

Make sure you visit the old mill as well. It's just across the creek before you get into the trail.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Didn't complete the entire duration but this section of the Nat Park is hands down my favorite.

Friday, February 24, 2017

this was my first time in the great smokies. the first 3 or so miles of this hike are pretty mellow, with beautiful river crossings and awesome scenery. as we got to the 4th mile, we ran into some pretty gnarly ridges, but it was nothing we couldn't handle. we camped at site 59 and hung out for two nights, beautiful site next to deep creek. overall, it was a nice and tranquil hike, but it was more intense that we thought it would be. I would rank this a moderate hike.

Friday, October 21, 2016

I just took the trail the short distance to, and a little past, Mingus Mill. It is great for families and just down the road from the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. I would like to complete the hike to Newton Bald on a return visit.

fun over all and amazing views to be seen

truly beyond experience/expert level. even as an experienced hiker this will test your endurance.

trail running
Monday, October 10, 2016

Did an 2.5 out and back trail run here, planned to go the whole route, but came across a bear so, I turned back. Fun trail, but lots of large rocks making up the trail's path so, it was really hard to open up and run fast. But, I had a great time with this one. Certainly plan to hit it up again next time I'm in the area. Also, Cherokee is a great little town to see!

Saturday, June 04, 2016

This trail was in the middle of no where basically. What it doesn't state in the description is that it takes 1.9 miles to hike to the actual trail,which is mostly walked upon by horses. (A lot of manure to maneuver around) It is an incline much of the way,as we turned around due to rain and just too dense of an area. This trail is actually a little over 6 miles instead of 3,round trip.

Load More