Explore the most popular forest 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.

This was an amazing morning hike! we started at 7:30 am in the morning and were done in about 3 hrs. We enjoyed the peace and serenity on the trail, met only two hikers at the very beginning and then maybe 10 more heading up while we were on our way back. Definitely a moderate hike with a great walk in nature. The waterfall is more for views than for taking a dip, but the gurgling creek stayed with us almost all the way till the Albright Grove trail loop started.

The fire tower view was worth all the blood, sweat, and tears of backpacking that climb. We stayed at site 38 on the 4th of July and watched the fireworks displays in the surrounding areas from the fire tower. Worth every step.

5 days ago

Great hike! Rained most of the way up which kept the bugs away. We didn’t have much of a view, but the overlook was neat. I found the difficulty to be way less than Warriors Passage, Lead Cove to Bote Mountain, and even Silers Bald. And they are rated moderate. Totally recommend this trail!

Very well-kept forest trail. Of interest were an old hand-built cabin and nice waterfalls. Ending the hike at the falls (about 2.9 miles in) would be a good choice for anyone tired at that point.

Beautiful trail. I did this with a 1st time hiker, although he said it was difficult he really enjoyed it. There are a few switch backs and the trail can be somewhat steep at times, the majority of the trail is very shaded. Not too many water sources so bring enough just in case one of the streams has dried up. I highly recommend packing a lunch so that you can really enjoy the fire tower and its beautiful views! A bit of a boulder scramble to make it to the firehouse, but the 360 degree views are amazing! At one point the trail was so dense with fog that visibility was roughly 30 ft. It was really cool and I highly recommend it.

We have done this trail a couple times and find it to be a good hike. When the trail is less crowded (April instead of July), you might come across some deer that will trail along parallel to you for a bit. You also might see a snake or two near the trail.

We really enjoyed this trail. I wanted to see some old growth trees and this trail did not disappoint. Including the Albright Grove trail this is a 7.5 mile hike. The first couple miles are on a gravel road so the incline is not too bad.

Very fun hike. Was a little foggy when we arrived but still worth it. Met a few very cool people on the AT and hiked with them for a few miles.

Absolutely beautiful trial from the beginning. The sound of the creek throughout is nice. Felt like we were on Tom Sawyer's Island in Disneyland because it was so clean and perfect. Nice footbridges crossing the water when needed. A butterfly landed on my shoulder and took a ride for about 15 minutes. The waterfall was very nice as well. Plenty of room to splash around and cool off. Had a picnic on the rocks at the bottom of the falls before heading back. Easy hike all the way. Didn't see any bears but we did spot a squirrel!

The trailhead holds maybe 5 cars so not many hikers here. My wife and I took to the adventure not knowing what to expect. The first mile is an old road. More of a walk thru the woods than a hike.The trees are pretty though. At .7 miles Willis Baxter cabin is on your right and it really is a quaint lonely forlorn cabin from long ago. Very nice inside. Pleasantly surprised. Shortly after that the road turns into a trail and continues uphill for another 2 miles when you round the corner to an extremely beautiful creek. And the foot bridge crossing it is spectacular. Lots of cascades and mini waterfalls here. The sound of the river is roaring and we decided to stop here for our picnic lunch. This was the unexpected highlight of this trip. After lunch we continued up a short trek to the Albright Grove loop. The first part was like entering Jurassic Park minus the Dinosaurs but lots of pretty birdsong made this a magical side trip. Lots of ferns and other plant life not seen on the main trail. The back half of the loop was overgrown on the trail but still was nice. The biggest tree in the Smokey's was at the end of the loop but it's long dead and the top is gone but still was cool to see. After the Grove it was all downhill back to the car. We got rained on a little the last half mile but overall was a very nice hike. About 3.5 hours total with our lunch break.

horseback riding
1 month 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
3 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.

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