hiking
11 hours ago

Good trail not far from Cades Cove. A hefty incline the first 2 miles, more than 1000-foot elevation gain. Good workout! Beautiful views from the top through some trees at other mountains nearby. Watch your steps coming back because going downhill over rocks and roots with tired legs is always a challenge. :-) A couple of stream crossings but lots of rocks and very easy to navigate. Also, fellow hikers, always be on the lookout for bees before you put your pack down on a stump to relax. I set my pack down on a stump on the very top of the trail which intersects Bote Mountain trail, and very quickly, bees swarmed around me. Just keep your eyes open.

mountain biking
1 day ago

Weather perfect day! As always, it is car- heavy, but beautiful and fun nonetheless!

scenic driving
1 day ago

Our last day in TN after looking for bears all week not spotting any, we ventured to this scenic drive. We got stuck in traffic we didn’t understand for a good hour in the same spot in the woods. We creep along and realize the issue, a one year old cute bear was visiting cars on the road. We took our time the same as everyone else and got some great video and pictures (uploaded here). We loved it! It’s a highlight of our trip. Be patient and don’t feed the wildlife! Also, we saw people get out of their car when the bear was feet away. Please don’t do that!

hiking
3 days ago

This trail is out toward Townsend and Cades Cove so the day we went we only encountered one other couple on the trail. Peaceful with steep climbs in the beginning but then it levels off and downhill as you head toward the campsite. Considering all the recent rain the trail was pretty dry. We saw a bear about 1.8 miles in.

scenic driving
3 days ago

Black bears and mountains.

hiking
3 days ago

Hard to rate a trail anything but fabulous when a gorgeous black bear shares the trail unexpectedly about 20yds away. Was to be a rest day hike without excitement. She kicked up a notch.

scenic driving
4 days ago

Went for our first time 3 days ago. Was crowded but enjoyable. The last mile or so was horrendous and believe they should do more about people stopping on the road. Took two hours to get from Cades Cove to Gatlinburg. The scenes were beautiful and we saw 4 bears. I loved it. Just think a little more can be done about traffic.

hiking
7 days ago

Hiked this trail on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Arrived to the trailhead at approximately 8:30 AM. Throughout our hike we only saw two other people, which was a nice change of pace from the busy roads we encountered during the rest of the weekend. The grade of elevation gain/loss was moderate. We saw some great wildlife on this hike, including a black bear. Nice vistas were viewable through trees, but no panoramas. We completed this hike in 5 hours at a leisurely pace.

hiking
7 days ago

This is a must do for my husband and me when we visit the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. It is a motor trail with historic stops along the way. There are access points to trail heads within Cades Cove. There is usually wildlife to see. Today we saw a bear, several turkeys, and deer. You can be in and out within a few hours or spend the day.

hiking
blowdown
7 days ago

We hiked in 1.3 miles with kids. Gentle incline, wide trail. Beautiful stream the whole route. Hiked a little farther than the first waterfall (.8 in).

hiking
8 days ago

The day we went the trail was very quiet with very few people. Gradual accent and decent with not a lot of rocks or roots to stumble over. Campsite 18 toward the end is amazing.

Moderate trail. Lots of uphill, but it's a moderate ascent. There were some good lookout spots, but a lot of trees in May block some of the views. Overall, it's a nice hike!

hiking
8 days ago

Connector trail leading up to the AT eventually. Nice and quiet with not much traffic. Campsite 18 is great.

Nice trail. We did clockwise but agree counter clockwise would be a bit easier on the knees during the decent.

hiking
10 days ago

While we did not see a lot of wildlife it was still a cool drive with several places to stop and break- up the trip and see some of the area’s history.

Very nice trail. Anywhere other than smokies and this would approach 5 stars. Somewhat remote, not heavily trafficked, not too difficult

scenic driving
10 days ago

I appears like this drive and we usually see something interesting as long as we are early enough. Today was 3 bears, deer, and turkey

This is a great and difficult trail. Be warned — this hike is a 14 mile hike NOT 10.5. It requires good fitness, adequate water and I’d budget 6-9 hours. Views can’t be beat. Wear shoes with good ankle support because it’s rocky. The last mile before the summit is killer but the views are worth it.

Nice loop for views, wildflowers, wildlife. Steep in sections but mostly gradual incline. Less eroded than many park trails.

First hike of the 2020 season. Getting my legs back in shape. Clockwise direction puts technical sections (creekbed/rocks) on the uphill segment. I prefer that when I have the option. Take your break at the old fire tower concrete ruins. Short sharp uphill side trip a little over half way. Great view and great resting. Loved it!!

hiking
blowdown
15 days ago

This is a fun hike, but not too difficult. My wife and I finished in just under four hours with a fifteen minute lunch break at the top. The best views were at the old fire tower which is an unmarked slight left turn off of the Indian grave gap trail (going clockwise). We saw several bears right near the end of the hike.

hiking
15 days ago

Fairly easy trail. Saw a bear of to the side on the way back. Likely missed it in the way. Be bear aware this time of year but enjoy the stroll in the Smokies!

Beautiful wildlife like deer and bears. Seen from car with small children is best!

My second time doing this loop. I love all these trails. Very quiet. But if you add in the side trip to white oak sinks (amazing), the mileage is actually 11.5 miles for the loop

One of my favorite, most peaceful trails in the Smokies. i love this side of the Park.

hiking
blowdown
19 days ago

hiking
blowdown
20 days ago

We took this one from Laurel Creek Road to the junction with Bote Mountain. It was a nice walk up the mountain, there were a few views, but not much to see due to the spring foliage. Several large blow-downs.

Trail has a couple trees down over trail that had to be navigated. One section was very rocky, almost like a dried creek bed. We tacked on the small half mile loop Turkey Pen to extend it a little. Yes you can hear traffic in some areas but did not take away from the trail. It is not wheelchair or stroller accessible nor is it an easy hike. We had fun, enjoyed it and was sufficiently challenged.

Umm, If I could do it again, I wouldn’t! Don’t get me wrong, the views are very pretty, but nothing that you can’t see on a hike. We stopped a couple of times to look at an old house and a Church/Graveyard, but this was a top highlight of the trip that took 3 hours. The Last half mile took almost an hour. There were 2 bears high up in a tree. Almost every car stopped and got out, took pictures, and then looked for another 2 minutes. It’s a single lane road where you can’t drive past people. I get the fascination with the bears, but this ruined the trip for me.

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