The Carolina Mountain Club (CMC) was organized to foster the enjoyment of the mountains
through hiking and to encourage the conservation of our natural resources. This
purpose is achieved primarily through an extensive schedule of hikes and a program of
trail building and maintenance.
George Vanderbilt was instrumental in founding the first forestry school in America when
he hired Carl Schenck to succeed Gifford Pinchot as manager of Vanderbilt's 100,000-acre
forest. Known today as the Cradle of Forestry in America, this national
historic site operated by the U.S. Forest Service is located about 20 miles southwest of
Asheville off U.S. Highway 276 in Pisgah National Forest. Visitors will find a
number of hiking trails in the area. Open April 20 through October.
5 miles. Trail head: Midway around the Cades Cove Loop Road
before you reach the Cable Mille area and visitors center.
6.5 miles round trip. Trail head: Maddron Bald trailhead 15 miles east of Gatlinburg
on Highway 321. Turn onto Baxter Road and stay to the right. Moderate
All-Access Nature Trail
0.5 mile. Trail head: 0.5 mile south of Sugarlands Visitor Center, Newfound
Gap Road. This trail offers a wheelchair accessible paved loop through a pretty
hemlock grove to a splashy mountain stream.
Alum Cave/ Mt. Le Conte
9.8 mile round trip. Trail head: signed parking area 6.8 miles south of Sugarlnads
Visitor Center on Newfound Gap Road (US 441). Good views from the Cliff Tops and
Myrtle Point. Strenuous difficulty.
3.6 miles round trip. Trail head: Upper end of Clingmans Dome Road. Take
the Forney Ridge Trail. The first mile is very rocky. Views from the bald are great
on clear days.
3.4 miles round trip. Trail head: Newfound Gap on US 441. Cross the road to
the Appalachian Trail. Fragrant spruce-fir forest and spring and summer wildflowers.
Appalachian Trail to Charlie's Bunion
4 miles. Trail head: Newfound Gap parking area. The 4 mile stretch offers spectacular
views in the Great Smokies. From the Park's south entrance, travel US 441N, 19 miles to
the Newfound Gap parking area. Follow the AT eastward from Newfound Gap.
Appalachian Trail to Indian Gap
3.4 miles. Trail head: Newfound Gap parking area. The 3.4 mile hike
proves an introduction to the Smokies high elevation spruce-fir forest.
Appalachian Trail to Wesser Bald
2 miles. Trail head: Wesser Gap. This scenic portion of the Appalachian Trail is perfect
for day hikes. From Franklin, take NC 28 north 10 miles turning left on SR 1365. Travel 7
miles to Wesser Gap parking area. Once on the trail, follow the white AT blazes 2 miles to
platform on Wesser Bald. The views are incredible.
Big Butt Trail
Trail Head: Blue Ridge Parkway North, to Balsam Gap Overlook. Trail starts at
the overlook parking area.
Big Indian Horse Trail
8 miles. Trail head: Big Indian Creek. The Standing Indian Recreation Area west of
Franklin offers many excellent hiking trails and lies in close proximity to the
Appalachian Trail. The Big Indian Trail is designated for both horseback riding and
hiking. There is a horse camp close by at Hurricane Creek. From Franklin, take US 64 west
10 miles, turning left on Wallace Gap Road. Drive 2 miles to USFS road 67 and turn right.
Big Indian Creek is 4.5 miles ahead on USFS 67, past the Standing Indian Camping
Big Snowbird Trail
12.7 miles. Trail head: Big Snowbird Road. The first 4 miles are recommended for day
hikes. From Robbinsville, take US 129 north 2 miles and turn left on Massey Branch Road.
Drive 3.4 miles on Massey Branch to stop sign and traffic island. Bear left and drive 12.8
miles to Robinson's Grocery, then .3 miles bearing sharply downhill to the left. Travel 1
mile to bridge span and turn right onto single lane gravel road just across the bridge.
Drive 6 miles until the road ends.
Steep. Trail head: Take the Blue Ridge Parkway South past Graveyard Fields.
Black Balsam is the next road to the right after passing Graveyard Fields. Trail
starts at parking area.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The nationās scenic highway is also the starting point for hiking trails that traverse
the Parkway. Popular spots include Craggy Gardens, Graveyard Fields and its beautiful
waterfalls, Mount Pisgah, and Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the
7.4 miles. Trail head: Caldwell Fork Trail at the Cataloochee Campground.
Enjoy a hike through old-growth forests. Moderate difficulty.
Bradley Forks Trail
5 miles. Trail head: Smokemont Campground. Actually an old road, it is now maintained as a
hiking and horse trail. It follows Bradley Forks, which offers excellent trout fishing.
From Cherokee, travel 6 miles north on 441 to Smokemont Campground.
8 miles round trip. Trail head: Parking area at Newfound Gap. Moderate
Chasteen Creek Falls
4 miles round trip. Trail head: Smokemont Campground. Take the Bradley
Fork Trail to the Chasteen Creek Trail
Chimney Tops Trail
4 miles. Trail head: Newfound Gap Road 6.7 miles south of Sugarlands Visitor Center.
1 mile round trip. Trail head: Parking area at the end of Clingmans Dome Road.
Moderate difficulty. Trail to observation tower is paved, but steep.
1.5 miles. Strenuous. Trail head: US 276 at the entrance to the Davidson
Coontree Loop Trail
3.7 miles round trip. Moderate. Trail head: Across road from Coontree Picnic
Area in Pisgah National Forest.
5.1 miles. Trail head: Park near the barricade at the start of Little River
Trail above Elkmont Campground. Enjoy spring wildflowers. Easy hike.
Deep Creek Trail
2 miles. Trail head: Deep Creek Camping Area. This shaded trail features 3 spectacular
waterfalls: Tom's Branch Falls, Juneywhank Falls, and Indian Creek Falls. From Bryson
City, take Depot Street north 3 miles following park service signs to Deep Creek Parking
0.8 mile round trip, strenuous hike. Take Blue Ridge Parkway to Milepost 423.
Trail head is located at the Devil's Courthouse Parking overlook.
Fire's Creek Area Trails
.3 mile to 5.4 miles. Trail head: Fire's Creek Recreation Area. Offers a number of
excellent trails, including a specially designated horse trail and horse camp. Cover Loop
is an easy .3 mile trail which is handicapped accessible. Other popular foot trails
include Leatherwood Loop Trail (.7 mile), Leatherwood Branch Access (3.5 miles), and Cover
Trail (5 miles). From Hayesville, take NC 1307 northeast 3 miles to NC 1300, then travel
west 5.7 miles to Forest Service Road 1344. Drive north 1.6 miles to Fire's Creek Parking
4 miles round trip. Trail head: Riverside trail from Sugarlands Visitor Center.
Dogs and Bikes are allowed. Easy hike.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Just an hour from Asheville, the nationās most visited national park offers a variety of
walking trails, quiet walks, and more vigorous hikes. Trail maps, and assistance are
available at the Park Visitor Centers. 423-436-5615
9 miles round trip. Trail head: Take one-way Parson Branch Road five miles to
Gregory Bald trailhead at Sams Gap. Strenuous difficulty.
Easy to moderate hike to beautiful waterfalls. Take Blue Ridge Parkway to Milepost
419. Trail head is located in the Graveyard Fields parking area.
3 miles round trip. Trail head: From the parkway in Gatlinburg, turn at traffic
light #8 and follow Airport Rd into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Take
roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail to the Trillium Gap trailhead at stop #5. Moderate
Hen Wallow Falls
4 1/2 miles. Trail head: From the parking entrance to Cosby Campground, take
the Gabes Mountain Trail. An old growth forest is located past the falls on Gabes
Indian Creek Falls
2 miles. Trail head: Deep Creek Trail just past the Deep Creek Campground
Jackrabbit Mountain Trail
2.5 miles. Trail head: Jackrabbit Recreation Area. Trail offers an excellent view of Lake
Chatuga and provides lake fishing access. From Hayesville, take US 64 east 6.2 miles,
turning right on NC 175 for 2.5 miles. Turn right on NC 1155 for .25 miles at Jackrabbit
Recreation Area sign.
Joyce Kilmer Memorial Trail
2 miles. Trail head: Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest Parking Lot. Joyce Kilmer Forest, the
last remenent of virgin forest in the southern Appalachians, offers a spectacular 2 mile
loop trail. From Robbinsville, take US 129 north 2 miles to Massey Branch Road and turn
left. Drive 3.4 miles on Massey Branch Road, turning right on SR 1127 at stop sign. Drive
10 miles on SR 1127 to Joyce Kilmer Entrance Drive. No camping or fires permitted.
Juney Whank Falls
0.6 mile. Trail head: End of Deep Creek Road
4 miles round trip. Trail head: 5 miles north of Smokemont Campground on
Newfound GAp Road (US 441) near the large footbridge. Easy hike through the remains
of an old CCC camp and Kephart Shelter.
2.6 miles round trip. Trail head: Between Sugarlands Visitor Center and Elkmont
Campground. Parking is limited. Easy hike.
Look Rock Tower
1 mile round trip. Trail head: Foothills parkway. Hard-surfaced trail to
observation tower. Moderate difficulty.
5 miles. Trail head: Balsam Lake Recreation Area. The Mallonee Trail provides barrier free
access with 3 wheelchair accessible fishing platforms located along the trail. From Sylva,
take NC 107 south to Tuckaseegee Post Office. Turn right onto NC 281 and drive 8.75 miles
to Little Canada. Turn left on Charlie's Creek Road and continue 6 miles to Balsam Lake
Maple Springs Observation Point
800 ft. Trail head: Maple Spring Observation Area. Maple Springs offers an unparalleled
view of the Great Smokies, especially during the fall color season. Continue 4.5 miles
past turn off of Joyce Kilmer Access Road to parking area.
Located in the Harmon's Den section of the North Carolina National Forest. This
trail is a short 1 mile hike to the bald, where the views are spectacular, especially in
the fall. Contact the Appalachian Ranger District French Broad office for more
Middle Prong Trail
2-3 miles round trip. Trail head: End of Tremont Rd. Moderate difficulty.
Closed in the winter.
Mountains To Sea Trail
8.75 miles. Trail head: Old Bald Ridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Highlands portion of
North Carolina's Mountains-To-Sea Trail traverses breath taking stands of old growth
forest, populated with deer, bear, and other wildlife. From Sylva, take US 23 north to the
Blue Ridge Parkway Entrance at Balsam Mountain turning left to access the Parkway. Turn
left from entrance ramp and continue to Old Bald Ridge. No designated parking, but Bearpen
Gap is a popular access point.
Various trails ranging from easy to strenuous. Mount Mitchell's peak, at 6,684 feet,
is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. On clear days, one can see for
miles. To access Mount Mitchell, take N.C. 128 off milepost 355 of the Blue Ridge
5.6 miles round trip. Trail head: Old NC 284 between Big Creek and Cataloochee.
The trail to the old fire tower is steep. Strenous difficulty.
Nantahala National Forest
Stretching between Waynesville and Murphy, you can see beautiful views from elevations and
high as 5,800 feet, or as low as 1,200.
Much of Western North Carolina is covered by national forest, making it a hikerās
paradise. For maps or information on great places to hike, call the National Forest
Oconaluftee River Trail
3 miles round trip. Trail head: Oconaluftee River between Oconaluftee Visitor Center
and Cherokee NC. Easy hike.
Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
Follows the Revolutionalry War route of Patriot fighters to the battle of Kings Mountain.
It originates in the Linville area of McDowell county.
Picken's Nose Trail
7 miles. Trail head: Ball Creek Road. Offers a spectacular view to the south from a sheer
rock face. From Franklin, take US 441 south approximately 7.5 miles, turning right on
Coweeta Road. Travel 3 miles on Coweeta Lab, until the pavement ends. Bear left on Ball
Creek Road, USFS 83. Travel 4 miles to parking area.
6-7 mile strenuous unmarked trail. 270-degree view of Cullowhee, Webster and Sylva
from the Pinnacle. From exit 85 in Sylva. East on 23/74 for 0.5 mi., left on
Steeple Rd, left on Skyland Dr. Travel 0.6 miles and turn right onto Fisher Creek
Rd., dead end at park entrance.
Porters Creek Trail
7.4 miles round trip. Trail head: Six miles east of Gatlinburg on Hwy 321.
Turn at the Greenbrier entrance to the park and follow the signs. Moderate
5 1/2 miles. Trail head: Rainbow Falls parking area. Cherokee Orchard
Road near Gatlinburg, TN
8 miles. Trail head: Highway 321 E. from Gatlinburg to the Greenbrier
entrance to the park. Follow Ramsey Cascades signs.
2.8 miles round trip. Trail head: Bull Gap, milepost 375 on the Blue Ridge
Parkway. Trail ends at the remnants of Dr. Chase P. Ambler's summer place, which was
built in the early 1900's. Some out buildings remain.
8 miles. Trail head: Parking area at the start of the Cades Cove Loop road.
Views of Cades Cove, mountain laurel blooms in May and good fall colors in October.
1.5 mile loop to 6,410 ft. summit. Take Blue Ridge Parkway to Milepost 431.
Trail head is located in the Haywood-Jackson overlook.
Shining Rock Trail
7 miles round trip. Strenuous. Trial head: Hwy. 276 to Big East Fork
6.8 miles round trip. Trail head: cross Fontana Dam and continue 0.6 miles to the
trailhead. Strenuous difficulty.
5.7 miles. Trail head: hikers parking area of the Smokemont campground. Enjoy
mountain streams and wildflowers. Moderate difficulty.
Spence Field / Russell Field Loop
13 miles round trip. Trail head: Cades Cove picnic area. Strenuous
Spruce-fir Self-guiding Nature Trail
0.5 mile round trip. Trail head: parking area on Clingmans Dome Road three
miles from the junction with the Newfound Gap Road. Closed in winter. Easy
Sugarlands Valley Trail
0.5 mile round trip. Trail head: 0.3 mile south of Sugarlands Visitor Center
on Newfound Gap Road (US 441). Easy hike.
Sutton Ridge (Overlook)
1.4 miles. Trail head: Cosby Picnic area. Take the Cosby Self-guiding
Nature Trail to the Lower Mt. Cammerer Trail. Views include Gabes Mountain and the
13.5 mile moderately strenuous hike alongside the Parkway. Enjoy breathtaking views
of Grandfather Mountain and the Lynn Cove Viaduct. Trail Head: Milepost 303.7
of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
This downtown self-guided walking tour traces the footsteps of Ashevilleās historic past.
The trail highlights the results of the economic boom between 1880-1930, when the railroad
came to the mountains and brought wealth and influence. Twenty seven "stations"
are highlighted in this continuous 1.6 mile loop, from churches and buildings to streets
and landmarks. Contact the Asheville Chamber of Commerce or stop by the Visitor Center for
a brochure when you are in town.
Walker Sisters Farmstead
1 mile. Trail head: Little Greenbrier School on spur road off Metcalf Bottoms
Road. Take the Little Brier Gap Trail. Follow the gravel road to the log
2.4 mile round trip. Steep hike. Enter Blue Ridge Parkway at Balsam Mountain.
Travel toward Great Smokey Mtn. National Park 0.8 miles. Parking area is on
the right. the 6,292 ft. peak gives a great view of the Great Smokey Mountain
Whiteside Mountain Trail
2 miles. Trail head: Whiteside Mountain Parking Area. The loop trail on Whiteside Mountain
features a view of the highest vertical drop in the eastern US at 750 feet. The mountain's
sheer rock faces are popular for rock climbing and rapelling. From Highlands, take Highway
64 east 5.3 miles and turn right on Whiteside Mountain Road. Drive 1 mile to parking area
Yellow Mountain Trail
4.8 miles. Trail head: Buck Creek Road. Traverses 3 of Highlands most scenic mountains.
Beautiful views and a diversity of plant life. From Highlands, take Highway 64 east 2.5
miles. Turn left onto Buck Creek Road, drive 2 miles to trail head on right at Cole