Explore the best trails near Cosby with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Eric S. on Chestnut Branch Trail to Mount Cammerer
Challenging hike, and be very aware of water availability before you begin. I backpacked up this the last week of September in brutal heat/humidity during the drought that preceded the Gatlinburg fires and really paid for not carrying enough water.
It's just shy of three miles to the tower, with no break in the elevation gain to speak of. A couple glimpses of pretty views along the way, but mainly trudging through the trees until the big payoff at the tower itself.
The views are comparable to the best in the park (Mt. Leconte); however, it is also one of the more strenuous hikes. Be prepared for a steady incline for the entirety of the trek to the watch tower. Once there, the views are phenomenal!
We really enjoyed the hike. We walked to the falls which was small, but very peaceful. We were wondering if there were bigger falls farther along the trail? We walked further for a bit and didn't find it. We didn't have time to keep walking. Part of the trail had lots of trees cut down which wasn't very pretty and sad actually. I loved the bridges for crossing the water. It was a nice day hike.
Loved this trail!! Not an extremely difficult trail, I've just started hiking again and am a bit out of shape but I handled it well. Does have lots of rocks and stumps so pay attention. The falls were better than the pics showed, loved it will do it again
Well Low Gap trail isn't a joke.. it's a 2500 ft climb in about 2 miles once you actually get on the trail from the parking lot almost 3 considering parking location.. The views from Cammerer Lookout are by far the best I've seen in the park hands down. The least crowded too only 5 people on trail Jan 22 2016.. I'd say this is one of the most under rated hikes in the smoky mountains.. If you don't mind 11 mile out and backs for breathtaking 360 views.. make this your next hike!
Great hike! But no way is it 10.4 miles round trip. Try 12 miles up and back. The NPS trail signs add up to 6 miles one way. My iPhone health tracker said 13 miles round trip. Believe the NPS signage.
Outstanding views when you get to the Mt Cammerer FireTower - if it's a clear day (posted photos). Some views on hike up the trail, but nothing like those from that fire tower. Inspirational to see that old structure built wth stones hewn from the surrounding rock bed. Those guys on the old CCC crew worked very hard on this one.
I've gone up to this fire tower two other times using the Low Gap trail from Cosby and on the other side of the mountain using Low Gap Trail from the Big Creek Campground in GSMtns NP. Chestnut Branch is the best way, though longer than Low Gap from Cosby.
An amazing hike! I made it in November and the color of the leaves is breath-taking. If you're not a regular hiker, or a resident of a flat state like Florida (like me), definitely train for this one several months in advance. Your knees will thank you.
Low Gap - as the descriptions say, Low Gap is a relentless marathon of switchbacks and uphill work. It never seems to end. Thankfully, the isolation, beauty, and promise of the upcoming AT are enough to motivate!
AT to Mt. Cammerer - the uphill battle continues for awhile, but the views improve, especially in places where you can gaze into both Tennessee and North Carolina. I took some panoramic pictures here and they're some of the best shots I got.
Mt. Cammerer & Spur - The trail to the summit feels like a rockier extension of the AT, with some fun scrambling toward the end. On the summit, take as many pictures as you can and enjoy the crisp air. I met a pair of hikers who camped in the tower overnight - they were kind enough to share some hot chocolate with me while I iced my knees!