Trails & Hiking: List of Trails
Townsend, Blount County, Tennessee has many varied hiking trails designed to provide fun for the novice as well as offer a challenge to the experienced hiker. The trails listed are a some favorites on the "Peaceful Side of the Smokies" - Townsend, Tennessee. This is just a selection of a few nearby trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A more comprehensive hiking guide and the official National Park Service map of the Smokies can be found at the Towsend Visitor's Center.
Note: All Distances shown are round trip miles, either up and back or a loop. Please consult a map.
5.4 miles up and back
Start: Great Smoky Mountains Institute to Bote Mountain Trail
Features: Hardwood trees, creeks, and Walker Valley Cemetery
Caution: Stream crossings
5 miles up and back
Start: Trailhead exit at Cades Cove Loop Road (approximately 5.5 miles)
Features: Abram's Creek walkway and Abram's Falls
Caution: Slippery rocks around falls. Alternate route from Abram's Creek Ranger Station - 12 miles
Rich Mountain Loop (section)
1.5 miles (1-way)
Start: Cades Cove Loop Road to John Oliver Cabin
Features: Historical significance and the Oliver Cabin. Trail continues up Rich Mtn. and makes an 8 miles loop.
2.5 miles up and back
Start: Parking area on Little River Road, east of Elkmont
Features: Paved trail and Laurel Falls. Virgin forest lies beyond falls
Caution: Slippery rocks at falls
4.5 miles up and back
Start: Laurel Creek road (approximately 4 miles form Townsend "Y").
Features: Easy Trail, solitude, and wildflowers.
Cucumber Gap (Loop)
Start: Elkmont - Little River Trail to intersection with Cucumber Gap Trail.
Features: Beautiful river and easy family trail.
11 miles up and back
Start: Rich Mountain Road to Beard Cane Trail.
Features: Ace Gap, crossing of old railroad bed, Great Smoky Mountain National Park boundary and solitude
4.5 miles up and back
Start: Rich Mountain Road to Indian Grave Gap Trail.
Features: Solitude. Approx. 2,000 ft. to 3,600 ft. in 2.3 mi.
10 miles up and back
Start: Cades Cove on Anthony Creek Trail.
Features: Views of Cades Cove, Russell Field and backcountry shelter.
9 miles up and back
Start and Finish: Townsend "Y" to Schoolhouse Gap Trail.
Features: Convenient to Townsend and wildflowers.
Start: Tremont at Great Smoky Mountains Institute up to Buckeye Gap and down by Spruce Flats Falls.
Features: Beautiful view and hardwood forests.
9 miles (Moderate to somewhat Strenuous)
Start: Parsons Branch Road to Gregory Bald.
Features: Sheep Pen Gap and Gregory Bald. Incredible views of Cades Cove and flame azaleas in June.
Open - Ended: up and back
Start: Beyond Great Smoky Mountains Institute.
Features: Historical logging area, beautiful stream and cascades waterfall.
Start: Forge Creek Rd., Gregory Ridge Trailhead to Rich Gap.
Features: Old growth forest, Gregory Bald, beautiful scenery and flame azaleas (in June).
(1) Start from Cades Cove, Anthony Creek Trail - 11 miles.
(2) Start from Laurel Creek Road, Lead Cove - 10 miles.
Features: Bote Mountain Trail, spence Field and outstanding views.
Caution: Rocky, rutted trail to Spence.
From Spence Field. Hike 1.5 miles east on Appalachian Trail.
Features: Rocky top and panoramic views
Caution: Steep and strenuous trail.