Trail: Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail
Surface: Concrete Surface, Nearly Flat
Distance: 0.5 miles
Time: 25 minutes
Foot Traffic: Not Crowded
Restrooms: Sugarlands Visitor Center (backcountry regulations)
Highlights: Wheelchair Accessible, Chimneys, Historical
Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail Trailhead
From Sugarlands Visitor Center: Drive south on US 441 (Newfound Gap Road) for 0.4 miles and the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail trailhead is on the left. The parking area maintains five designated handicap parking spots and seven general use parking spots. You can purchase a trail brochure at the trailhead for .50 cents. Just drop your coins into the receptacle and take a copy.
Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail Description
Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail is a flat, concrete surface suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. The short distance makes it a quick hike of less than thirty minutes. Physically handicapped persons may enjoy the great outdoors on this trail if they cannot access traditional trails.
Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail Trailhead | Photo: ©Marc Bowman
Visible from the trail are several old chimneys and stone fences. These are left over from the Sugarlands settlement before the founding of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Feel free to explore the ruins and imagine life in the area prior to the park.
Chimney | Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail | Photo: ©Marc Bowman
We walked this trail on Sunday, 2 April 2017 and it was a nice experience. The concrete trail and the flat nature of the trail make this a very easy hike. While we walked the loop, a young man passed us a few times jogging in the opposite direction.
Beautiful Path | Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail | Photo: ©Ann Bowman
A family had strung a hammock on two trees between the river and the trail. A woman and her daughter relaxed in the hammock while a boy and his father explored nearby.
Two young men from North Carolina tried their hand at fly fishing and had two already in their bag.
Two Men Fly Fishing | Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail | Photo: ©Marc Bowman
Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail is more than we expected. A couple of chimneys, remnants from the earlier settlement, stand erect.
Chimney | Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail | Photo: ©Ann Bowman
A few stone walls from the original settlement remain in place, although they are not what they used to be.
Stone Fence | Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail | Photo: ©Marc Bowman
This trail is in the area of the 2016 Wildfires. Many trees are down and you can see the destruction, although it doesn’t look like fire damage. Nevertheless, this trail was a pleasure to visit. The canopy of trees gives plenty of shade and the distance is nice for an afternoon stroll.
Bench on Trail Next to River | Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail | Photo: ©Marc Bowman
Nearby Points of Interest
Fighting Creek Nature Trail is at the Sugarlands Visitor Center. The epicenter of mountain vacations, Gatlinburg, is five minutes away. In addition, Elkmont is a very popular historical area on Fighting Creek Gap Road.