Explore the most popular hiking 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 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
1 month 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

it was a beautiful hike first couple of miles are straight up great for the heart rate!!! really a wonderful all around 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

Awesome hike with a beautiful and interesting peak. Was cool to be able to hang out in the Lookout Tower and learn a little bit about fire watchers. Although it is a 11 mile hike with 3000 feet of gain, the trail is mostly smooth and comfortable so the hike doesn’t seem so strenuous.

Hiked this yesterday 31-Jan-2018. Difficult trail definitely worth the hike. Took me 3 hours out and 2 hours back. I'm out of shape though, ha! There are 2 ways to get here. I took the low gap trail.

I decided to do this hike early on 12/31 to catch the sunrise over the mountains. I started early and was able to get to the top at the fire lookout right after the sun rose. The hike was beautiful and was a great challenge, especially in the switchbacks. I cannot wait to do this hike again and share it with my family. There was some ice on the AT heading towards the lookout but nothing too troubling since the trail widened out at that point as well. A great hike to spend some time on and share with others.

The beginning of the trail was nice and relaxing as you follow the creek. Once you get to the stretch of the Appalachian trail, the climb begins to become quite challenging. It is steep and relentless providing a workout to say the least. When you reach the next fork, the hike levels out for the most part (at least in comparison to the Appalachian stretch). If you are hiking this trail in the winter the snow can start to pile up and the wind can begin to become piercing (at least it did when I was here). The trail leading to the tower is straight forward enough and once you reach the tower at the peak, the views will blow you away. Overall, the trail was definitely not for the timid, but the payoff is well worth the struggle.

Very nice quiet, serene trail...we hiked on New Years Day and encountered 10 other couples... the ground was snow covered and the waterfall was mostly frozen, but very beautiful! Moderate in difficulty, in my opinion.

our first winter hike! first people on the trail and it was beautiful in the snow

I intended to go up to the fire tower and back but made it up in good time so I took the AT to the low cammerer trail back down (extra 5 miles or so but very gently declined). Views at the fire tower were gorgeous. Weather varies from snow and cold to sun & lush plants. Nice diversity that way. Switchbacks up are tough but doable. Had the trail to myself most of the day - only passed a handful of people. Very pretty and good workout.

I loved this hike, the challenge of it, and the views! I would definitely recommend ♥

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