Little Cataloochee Trail is a moderately difficult trail winding through historic homesteads and across creeks and rivers. Not far from Maggie Valley, Little Cataloochee Trail is popular with equestrians.
The old gravel road on Maddron Bald Trail gives way to a narrow forest trail about 2.3-miles from the trailhead as you enter a magnificent old-growth forest. The old trees reach to the sky and provide an amazing experience unlike any other in the park. You have almost arrived at Albright Grove Loop.
Oconaluftee River Trail is a short and easy hike with quick access from the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. In addition to hikers, dogs and bicycles are allowed. The open-air Mountain Farm Museum is an optional stop at the trailhead.
Smokemont Loop Trail is a beautiful hike with flowers, trees, and views. The summit provides great views of the surrounding mountains. Crossing the river requires a little dexterity and a smidgen of courage as the bridge is a single log, about 40 feet long and 2 feet wide. I read somewhere that it is the longest footbridge in the park.
Ramsey Cascades is the tallest waterfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park at 105 feet. The beautiful waterfall drops down rock outcroppings and gathers in a small pool. There are several places to get great photos with the waterfall in the background.
The hike to Kephart Shelter is 2.0 miles in each direction. Kephart Prong Trail parallels the Kephart Prong of the Oconaluftee River and is a nice place to enjoy the sites and sounds of the river. In addition, quite a few historical remnants remain from early 20th century buildings.
Charlies Bunion is a popular rock outcropping destination on the Appalachian Trail, primarily reached by experienced hikers. The hike is not especially strenuous, but a few drop-offs require careful attention. Our rating is moderate, although the second half of the trail is more strenuous.
Wildflowers are in abundance at the trailhead and along the first two miles of the trail. Some say that a spring hike on Porters Creek Trail is unequaled in the Smokies. The best time to see wildflowers is from April to May, although the trail is open year round.
Due to its close proximity to Bryson City and the Deep Creek Campground and picnic areas, this trail is popular with tubers and hikers alike. Beginning at Indian Creek Trail, equestrians also may use the trail.
The 1.7-mile hike listed here is but a taste of the Appalachian Trail. This section begins at the Newfound Gap parking area and ends at the Road Prong Trailhead (Indian Gap parking area).