Explore the most popular birding 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.

horseback riding
6 days ago

Beautiful trail but got almost to the top riding horseback and came to a large downed tree. Mountain Laurel blooms beautiful.

Hiked up the Snake Den trail to the AT. The climb was difficult and it took nearly 3 hours to reach the AT. The first 2.3 mikes were refreshingly easy, the next 2.4 miles easy, but more rocky. The descent down the Low Gap trail was steep, but the trail in great shape (probably it was once a logging road).

It was a good workout. Took 7 hours.

A great hike if you're looking for a challenge. We began from Cosby camground and took the Low Gap Trail to the AT. This first stretch is completely uphill and a steep grade at times. The first bit follows the river and then crosses over a trickle before meeting up with the AT. This is the last water you'll have access to, so fill up and filter if needed. Bugs are relentless (or at least in the summer when I went) on this stretch to the AT intersection. Once you meet the AT, it levels off and you can quicken your pace, as it is a pretty simple hike to the Cammerer approach trail. The approach trail is a short hike up to the fire tower, with gorgeous views. Both sunset and sunrise can be viewed unobstructed from the tower and are truly gorgeous. On a Saturday in the Smokies, we saw a total of about 8 people and had the whole place to ourselves for the night. An awesome hike and great views, would definitely recommend to experienced hikers

It was a beautiful trail. The creeks and bridges were also incredible. We will definitely go again.

Great trail to do with kids. We had two 3 year olds and one 5 year old and they all enjoyed it. One mile was about the limit for the three year olds, so this was the perfect distance. The trail meanders around a stream that was beautiful. We did the trail on 7/1/18.

The kids loved this hike. It wasn’t too long or too short, had lovely streams to cross, and great plant life to look at.

It’s a steep ascent either way. The lower Cramerer trail is longer, I believe. Backcountry camped at spot 35 and then did the rest of the loop to the top the next day. Was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more to see on the way up to the top. A great reward waits for you though!

Easy beginning wide gravel road to moderate as the trail narrows. Not sure where they get 6.6 from. Signs are a bit confusing to this trail and that trail along the way. I’d say I probably did a good 8 miles in and out after crossing a nice rustic tree bridge over a rapids and hiking to another intersection with signs. I will return for sure. Only saw a few people. One jerk couple with a big German Shepherd (violation) that left a big load in the road. If it weren’t for the gnats, I would rate this a 5 star.

Great hike! It was fun crossing the streams and the water fall was beautiful. The terrain was of moderate difficulty. The rhododendron blooms were stunning.

This was the first hike we did in the Smoky Mountains. The first three miles are tough, as it’s just up, up, and more up. This is where most of the elevation gain occurs. After the first few miles the trail connects with the Appalachian Trail, which you then take to the Mount Cammerer lookout trail spur. The views from the lookout are spectacular and make the tough hike up worthwhile and rewarding. It’s also cool to go inside the lookout tower on top. This hike was very quiet and peaceful as well. We only saw a few people on our way up, and this was on a weekend in June.

One more thing of note: The bugs were bad on this hike. I get bothered easily by the constant buzzing and flying around my face, so I wore my Buff pretty much the whole hike. I didn’t notice the bugs being a problem on any other hikes in the park except this one.

Great day hike with a beautiful waterfall at the end. A few creek crossings and flooded with rhodendrons. Hiked this trail from Cosby Campground where we stayed. Pretty demanding first half of hike that is consistently uphill. Easy trek back down. Saw a large black rat snake about a mile in from Campground trailhead. Saw two sets of hikers our entire trip and had the falls to ourselves.

The hubs and I just hiked to the falls with our 3 year old and 10 year old girls. The way there is a pretty steady incline with neat log bridges to cross. We were hoping to see bears, but no luck this time. We passed a few friendly hikers and trail runners. While the path is not busy, it is well-marked. Very rocky and rooty, our preferred travel terrain. It took us about 3 hours in (with breaks for the kiddos) and 45 minutes out. I would recommend this trail to anyone interested in a challenging, yet very do-able hike.

Great trail! Not very traveled, which is nice. It is steep! You are going up hill all the way to the grove! Beautiful little waterfall to stop and get a snack. Some beautiful old growth trees. It is strenuous so be prepared!

Loved everything about this hike. Varied footing and winding trails, check. Varying grades, check. Beautiful foliage, check. Great tree cover, check. Sounds of the waterfall the entire hike and creeks along the way, check. The way up is obviously more of an ascent but the trail winds around the mountain making some lovely grade variations throughout the hike. The hike was very rocky and rooty, which I love but others in my group did not, so it may not be suitable for older people and small kids. The two 11 year olds in our group were fine and loved it. It was also a bit slippery (causing a few falls) but we went after a lot of rain so I don’t know what the norm is for this trail. I didn’t mind the mud, as I enjoy the challenge of calculating each step using roots, rocks, and tree branches to avoid it. And the best part, I only saw one other group in the trail. This trail is a best kept secret.

It is definitely worth the trip! The most beautiful view on the top!
Remember a worm shirt for the top, then you can enjoy the view a bit more!

Great trail. Saw the biggest trees in GSNP yet. It is a continual uphill hike but it’s gradual & not that steep. If just trees & plants bore you it’s not the trail for you, for us it was a beutiful hike for the day & a reminder that the GSNP is a rain forest.

Great hike out of Cosby Campground. Steady climbing all the way up Snake Den Ridge. Snake Den offered a few subtle views, but no stellar overlooks. It’s all steady down Maddron Bald which is a neat stretch that offers slightly better views. Albright Grove loop featured a lot of old growth and large trees. Gabe’s Mountain trail had some ups and downs but mostly easy hiking. Hen Wallow Falls was much larger than I anticipated, and a great place to have a snack. This is also the most crowded stretch as it is only 2.2 miles from the campground. My suunto ambit clocked the loop at 19.75 miles (including the walking through the campground and an additional 1.4 I added by going all the way up to the AT). Long for a day hike, but a great walk and much less crowded than the hikes in the more popular areas of the park. An early start afforded me the opportunity to spend the first 2 hours and 45 minutes (~7 miles) without seeing anyone.
Bottom line: nothing in this hike is overwhelmingly spectacular, but the climbing, the wide spectrum of vegetation and a waterfall allows this hike to truly embody the Smokies.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike out of Cosby Campground. Steady climbing all the way up. My suunto ambit clocked it 5.62 from the parking area to the junction with the AT. I made a loop back to the campground using Maddron’s Bald and Gabe’s Mountain trails totaling 19.75 miles (including the walking through the campground). Long for a day hike, but a great walk and much less crowded than the hikes in the more popular areas of the park. Able to see Maddrons Bald, Albright Grove and Hen Wallow Falls.

This trail is a great workout! The first part of the trail (Low Gap) was very steep with a lot of rocks (you definitely have to watch your step on the way down--lots of opportunities to misstep and trip). There were a lot of pretty wildflowers. It was neat to see all the thru-hikers once we got to the AT. We ate lunch at the top and enjoyed the view and learning about the fire lookout. We were glad we hiked this trail, but wouldn't do it again if we had limited time and could only pick one long hike. The views weren't as good as Mt. LeConte, and we thought this trail was just as or a little more strenuous.

Went after a cold front, it was like a winter wonderland
Absolutely beautiful, saw wild turkeys and deer
Not too strenuous, great hike

Nice falls. Not a lot of room if you go when the tourists flock to it. Gradual climb along the trail. Hardest part is the walk up the spur trail from the fall BUT not overwhelming. When there is not a lot of leaves on the trees you get good views of English Mtn & Mt Cammerer.

A great hike! Once the rhododendrons bloom it would be amazing to see. Waterfall at the end was perfect. Took us about an 70 minutes there and 50 minutes back, hiking with two tweens. Well marked with signs, except where there is a large tree bridge vs down a path toward the creek. You can go either way, it all meets back up on the path. Lots of parking just beyond the trail head.

Great look at virgin timber.

Amazing hike today. Views are unbelievable. Steady incline most of the way but well work the effort.

Cool hike to an epic waterfall

Beautiful hike! Steady incline up but great trail. Rained during the day, but the trail held up. The smell of the water hitting the rocks, wow.

Really liked this trail but if you go on the grove loop portion on the right there is a downed tree that makes it almost impossible to continue (we turned back).

We let some park rangers know at the visitors station who mentioned sending some folks up to help clear the way in the near future.

Steady climbing. 2:40 to the top with a much too heavy pack. We had the place to ourselves. Views near or on par with Leconte.

Was so far the hardest hike I’ve done, to me harder than Mount Leconte due to its pretty much straight up to the summit. Coming down was a little hard on knees.
Great views and worth it I feel accomplished for sure and would do again. Take snacks and plenty of water.
About 5 hours

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