Explore the most popular horseback riding trails near Gatlinburg with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Awesome

Did the trail today starting up Little River trail to the Cucumber Gap, then down the Jakes Creek trail. Great variety of terrain but very manageable. The hike along the river was outstanding, with many Appalachian Tiger swallowtail butterflies. They were plentiful and swirled around us as well as many congregated on the ground. Then the Cucumber Gap trail was an up and over, but not too exerting. We actually encountered a full size bear on the trail. We kept our distance and were fine. The final leg passed through remnants of older log homes as we neared the end. We absolutely loved this trail loop!!

hiking
16 days ago

I did this hike on July 3, 2018. I really enjoyed the section up to the waterfall. The trail starts out wide and runs along the river. There are places where you can look into the river, or climb out onto the rocks within the river, but be careful because it can be slippery. As other reviewers stated, there are lots of roots and rocks to step over so I had to pay close attention to my steps. I'll also echo other reviewers in saying that you need to look up to see the waterfall otherwise you might miss it. I intended to complete the trail, but I ended up only going a mile or so past the waterfall because the bugs were starting to bother me, even with several re-applications of Deep Woods. Even with the bugs, it was a very enjoyable hike because I saw only a small handful of people, so pretty much the only thing I heard along the way was the sound of the river. I also saw a couple of deer, and many butterflies. It's worth noting that the road to the trailhead is gravel, and it's narrow in some sections so you may need to pull over to allow oncoming cars to pass.

hiking
16 days ago

Great hike. The log bridges make for some amazing photos.

great trail. starting on the little river trail section makes the elevation change be more gradual.

Beautiful hike with all of the rhododendrons in bloom! The beginning of the trail is a smooth gravel path, however about a mile in it gets pretty rocky so make sure you are wearing appropriate footwear. Also, pay attention when you go to cross a rocky stream because if up don’t look up, you’ll miss the waterfall.

Took the trail via Grotta Falls. The Falls were very awesome and I was able to hike underneath them to get to the other part of the trail. The first stretch was extremely busy but after the Falls there were much less people hiking to Brushy Mountain. The Mountain itself had some great views but it was extremely muddy. There were also lots of bees at the top of the mountain

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful hike.

Beautiful trail. It says easy but near the last mile it gets a little harder if you are just a beginner.

Fantastic hike! Even with thunder, lightning and hail!!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail. We completed the entire loop, starting with the more moderate hike through Cucumber Gap and ending along the river on Little River Trail. Hiked this in the rain and it was actually quite nice - a little muddy and some stream crossings, but overall very peaceful. Some tips if you would like to hike this loop: Waterproof boots! We got to the trailhead before 8am and it said the road was closed. After 8am we were able to enter. There are two parking lots right next to each other. If you want to hike along the stream first, park in the first lot. If you want to hike the more moderate part first, then park in the 2nd lot. If you do the full loop it will end in the lot that you likely did not park in, so you have to walk a little bit further. Finally, as we were finishing up the hike it was becoming very highly trafficked. Enjoy!

This trail is not easy, but it was lovely! We took it all the way to Mount LeConte to stay the night at the top, and it was a wonderful experience. If you’re going all the way to the top, we heard that it rained often, and when we went in July last year, it rained about 80% of our hike! Be sure to wear good hiking boots (with extra socks!) and bring a hiking pole, as the majority of the hike is uphill. This is the trail the llamas take to/from Mount LeConte, so you might pass some on your way up/down :) there was also a small waterfall about 1.5 miles in that was a nice resting stop! Overall, a beautiful hike and an AMAZING view at the top, if you choose to go the full 6.7 miles :)

hiking
1 month ago

Started this hike at 5:45 in the evening expecting an easy 2 hr hike. that is exactly what it was. slow, steady incline. keep left after the gravel ends. the fall will be on your left about a half mile past the elbow shaped log bridge. it's easy to pass by, so keep your eyes looking up to the left. the marker for the fall is a small stream that crosses the trail. you have to cross using rocks. we managed to hike 3/4 mile beyond the fall before we turned around. we still finished the hike in about 2 hrs 15 min. if your using an app, the fall is right at the 2 mile mark from the trail head. we saw a couple deer no more than 25 ft away while on the trail. beautiful hike. enjoy.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Not crowded. Road to trailhead is a little rough (for a minivan).

Great hike, beautiful river went up to husky gap. Plenty of fishing holes. It loops if you take Jacobs trail back but it's the next parking area over.

At the beginning, the trail is wide and easy. Some people come back without completing the loop. The second half of the loop has a couple of challenging creek crossings an the path becomes narrower. At some points, it is wide for just one person. The creek views and sounds are very nice. At the end of the loop there are very old houses where just the fireplaces stand. We enjoyed this easy to moderate trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike and some mother daughter time. We live nearby so will go again.

Nice trail. Loved the large footbridge. Made one mistake and kept hiking 1.5 after the waterfall. 6.88 total a bit much for an older guy.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! Did this with the wife on 5-11-18 and had a great time. The creek was next to the trail for the majority of the hike lending to the hike the wonderful sound of running water. The forest was so very lush and green this time of year as well adding to the overall experience. Not too crowded, plenty of solitude...

I started at the Rainbow Falls Trailhead and took the Trillium Gap Trail almost all the way to Mt LeConte before making the trek back to my car. This trail will definitely get your heart rate up! It is uphill 90-95% of the time. Starts out with just some small tree roots as obstacles, but you definitely have to work your way around/over large rocks and larger roots as you get closer to Grotto Falls. A walking stick (or two) is a must, as are good hiking shoes. There are a few small creeks to cross, but nothing deep or difficult. I was the only one on the trail from the trailhead until about a mile before the Falls, where there was a steady stream of people going to and from the Falls from a nearby parking lot. I did see two black bears and a handful of wild turkeys within the first two miles on the TG trail. Very little wildlife otherwise (besides tons of flies & mosquitos - bring bug repellant for sure!). It was my first time hiking, and even though I had physically prepared for it, I was definitely very sore the next day.

hiking
2 months ago

Trail was absolutely beautiful! Great place to enjoy Gods creation. It feels great if you go in the early morning but watch for snakes! Beautiful river and beautiful landscape!

We just did the first part, about 1+ mile in and turned around and went back. It’s very easy with just a slight upgrade on a wide, paved trail. You are no further than 30 yards from a beautiful babbling brook the entire time. Just beautiful.

crowded right now! April.

hiking
3 months ago

Wonderful hike. Snowed yesterday and there was still a dusting on the way up. Wild flowers were out in full on the way back down. Lots of roots and rocks on the trail along with two very large old growth trees that had fallen across the trail and had to be climbed over, manageable but they are BIG trees. Overall just a beautiful hike.

Moderate may be a conservative classification of this trail, but a great trail nonetheless. The trail is well marked. Between the trailhead and the Grotto Falls Trail, the trail is lightly trafficked. The Grotto Falls portion of the trail is highly trafficked. We were fortunate to arrive at the end of a cold snap, so there was still a lot of snow on our trail. It was a beautiful reminder of what nature offers.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trail, not too long and you’re rewarded by a beautiful waterfall at the end.

Check out our video of this hike here: https://youtu.be/YLY6yx6LmkQ

After driving 9 hours, we arrived in Gatlinburg TN. We dropped a car at the Big Creek Ranger station ending point and got a hotel in Gatlinburg for the night. The NOA in Gatlinburg has any last minute hiking supplies you might need. Then we took off for the Starting trail head at 6:30am the following day. Unfortunately we had to make this an overnight trip due to time (2 days, 1 night) which meant 16-17 mile days.

This hike starts at the New Found Gap Trailhead at about 5,000 feet. The Parking lot actually straddles the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. I was concerned during our Easter Weekend trip that the parking lot here would be jam packed, but at 7AM on good Friday the parking was almost completely empty. However, we did notice while driving up to Newfound Gap that the Alum Caves trailhead was pretty full of cars even early in the morning.

After snapping some pictures of the Appalachian Trail sign and the sunrise from the magnificent lookout over the mountians, we began our hike. The 1st four miles to Charlies Bunion had some ascent, but were not as tough as expected. Especially with fresh legs. There were also some great lookouts along the way with far reaching views of the mountains.

When we reached the Charlies Bunion junction, the side trail was very short (maybe 50 feet) and worth every step. We we finished taking in the sights and climbing up some of the short rock faces, we headed back to the AT on the same side trail. We found out that the Charlies Bunion side trail actually loops around to meet up with the AT a little further down so we could've continued on the side trail instead of backtracking the way we came in.

Over the next 12 miles to our shelter for the night (Tri Corner Knob) we noticed very little water along the trail. Each shelter has a reliable water source, but inbetween them there were only a few unreliable trickles of water. I would recommend re-filling if you are running low and near a shelter since most of the shelters are at least 5 miles or so apart and the hiking is strenuous.

Just before we reached Tri COrner Shelter there was a long ascent that was probably the most strenuous to us. This might've been due to being exhausted from already hiking 15 or so miles, but I think it would've been difficult either way. If I did it again, I would've made this a two nighter and stopped at Pecks Corner Shelter and then at Cosby Knob or Davenport Gap Shelter. Staying at Pecks the first night would've been just right for us, Tricorner the first night had us totally exhausted, and staying at Cosby Knob the first night would've been near suicide for our abilities.

Once at the Tri Corner Shelter, we encountered a full house. This was due to the time of year and the large number of AT thru hikers on the trail in early April. However, we had permits and were able to squeeze into the bunks. The shelter was so full that there were even some hikers sleeping on the floor. The thru hikers were mostly very nice and interesting to talk with. The shelter had a fire pit, water, and convenient bear cables to hang everyone's food bags (hanging the whole pack was not feasible with the number of people).

On day 2 we were first up in the shelter at 6:30am. We departed as quietly as possible and hit the trail at 7. From here to Cosby Knob there were some good elevation gains that were much easier to tackle after a good night sleep.

When we reached the junction with the low gap trail just after cosby knob, we had to decide if we wanted to continue on the AT and go over MT. Cammerer or take low gap and avoid some elevation. We opted to check out MT. Cammerer despite being tired and immeadiately discovered that we would have to work hard for the View at MT. Cammerer. The trail picks up in elevation right after the junction and was probably one of the most strenuous portion of the trail for us.

After stopping for a quick lunch, we continued to the MT. Cammerer trail junction at about the 26 mile mark and diverted to check out the old fire tower lookout at the end of the side trail. This side trail is a bit more of an investment than the Charlie's Bunion Side trail. The round trip is an additional 1.2 miles and it is not flat. The views at Mt. Cammerer are the gold at the end of the rainbow though. I think it was probably the best view of the trip. After returning to the appalachain trail its about another 6 miles to the Big Creek Ranger station where we dropped our car. And this section is almost completely downhill. It was so much descent, we were actually hoping for some ascent at a certain point as the steep descent is very hard on the toes and feet in general. However it was quick moving.

We made it back to our car at Big Creek after taking the Chesnut Branch Side trail (more direct route).

The best tips I can give after doing this hike is:

1. Do this a

3 months ago

One of the most beautiful wildflower trails in April. Little river trial is gorgeous anytime, it is minimal grade following Little River for most of the hike.

Trail was pretty with blooming trillium. However, this trail runs along with the road which made it very noisy.

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