While the wildflowers are only in full bloom seasonally, we strongly recommend this hike anytime during the year, so enjoy! Wildflowers are just beginning to show. Turn right onto Greenbrier Road, until the road makes a "Y" at the bridge. The bridge over Porters Creek, located about 1.3 miles after the entrance, is washed out and I was unable to find a safe crossing. The wide pathway enables groups to stay together. IMPORTANT: Greenbrier Road is a narrow paved road that eventually turns into a gravel road. Porters Creek Trail ist ein 7 Meilen langer, stark besuchter Hin- und Rückweg in der Nähe von Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It is full of history and beautiful scenery. There's also a cabin on this site that was built by the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club in the mid-1930s. During high water flows this can be a fairly spectacular waterfall. Reviewed August 3, 2015 . The trailhead is located at the end of Greenbrier Road on the Tennessee side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Good thing too. What is the length of the Porters Creek Trail? The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, horses, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Round Trip Length: 4 miles; Location: Greenbrier area (near Gatlinburg, TN) Located right outside of Gatlinburg, the Greenbrier area of the Great Smoky Mountains is a beautiful area to explore! I chose to hike Porters Creek after an intense wind and rainstorm, so what I got was part trail, part stream! A short hike of roughly 250 yards will take you to the John Messer farm site, which includes a cantilevered barn that was built by John Whaley around 1875. The gravel pathway continues to the 1.0 mile point, where a short spur trail leads to the Historic Farm Site. The Porter’s Creek trail stays close to the named creek the entire hike, only leaving it briefly and never out of earshot of the roaring water. You will find John Messer's cantilevered barn built in 1875. Elev Gain / Mile: 350 Feet: Highest Elevation: 2642 Feet: Trail Difficulty Rating: 5.4 (moderate) Parking Lot Latitude: 35.69696: Parking Lot Longitude-83.38773 There are also a few historical buildings located along the trail. Porters Creek Trail. Porters Creek Trail. At 2.5 miles, the trail curves left as you pass a confluence of Porters Creek with a major tributary. 6. Porters Creek Trail is a 7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. It should look amazing soon! Te Araroa is NZ's walk of a lifetime. So it’s an extra mile to the trailhead which is no bigs. After a mile, and a short detour to Messer's barn, the trail continues (to the left, or you'll end up on Brushy Mountain), gets a bit rockier and heavily rooted, but continues along and across the creek (on what used to called the "Scary Bridge," but is not so bad really), past Fern Branch Falls, up to campsite 31. You'll also begin to notice some much larger old-growth trees as you proceed further upstream. Like the Kephart Prong Trail, Porters Creek has historical remnants of those who lived in the area before the park was created and established including the Ownby Cemetery. Very easy fun hike. Thus, I back tracked about a half mile and visited an old settlers barn and home, which was great. The Greenbrier area, which is at a lower elevation and remains open all year long, provides a great winter option when higher ele… Although this particular hike ends at this point, the trail continues on for another 1.7 miles to reach Backcountry Campsite 31. The trail conditions are excellent and you will traverse through a variety of Northwest scenery. Andrews Bald The roundtrip length is 5 miles, and the hiking trail in the Smoky Mountains is considered moderate. On my post-rainy day hike, parts of the trail were a creek as well, as water trickled down Porter Mountain toward the river below. Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From here, an ancient manway continues up to the Sawteeth near Charlie's Bunion... but I have yet to tackle such a momunmental path. The forest floor was literally carpeted with bloodroot, hepaticas, white fringed phacelia, violets, white trilliums and many other varieties during our late-March hike. The path meanders through a lush forest of moss covered trees and rocks as it follows along the banks of Porters Creek. This road turns into a gravel road after a short distance. A photographer's paradise today. Porters Creek Trail is a 3.7-mile out-and-back trail that ends at Backcountry Campsite 31 in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Take the time to pay your respects to these early settlers. A small side trail leads up to the falls, where a large fallen tree makes a good place to sit, relax, and possibly have some lunch. Drive east on highway 321 from Gatlinburg. The Porters Creek Trail offers a little bit of everything. Maybe someday.... Baskins Creek Falls Trail to Greenbrier Cove, Mount LeConte via Trillium Gap Loop Trail, Mount LeConte and Rainbow Falls via The Bullhead Trail, Trillium Gap, Grotto Falls, Brushy Mountain, Bull Head Trail Loop, Grapeyard Ridge Trail to Campsite 32 Via Roaring Fork. Trail Location: Sugarlands Visitor Center Roundtrip Length: 3.9 Miles Trail Difficulty Rating: 4.37 (easy) GPS Coordinates for Trailhead: 35.68579 -83.53677 . When the trail reaches Campsite #31, you'll be faced with either a quick hop over the water, or a mildly frustrating crossing, depending on recent rains. The first mile is a gravel road, with the lively creek on one side and the remains of old settlements on the other. Also on your right, just past the stone walls, is the Ownby Cemetery, which also dates back to the early part of the 20th century. Porters Creek Trail Quick Guide. How long does it take to hike the Porters Creek Trail? At roughly 2 miles hikers will arrive at the 60-foot Fern Branch Falls, which drops off the ridge on the left side of the trail. Loved it!! The river roars constantly along the remaining 2 miles. These are remnants from the Elbert Cantrell farmstead, who settled in the Porters Creek community in the early 1900s. The spur trail on the right leads to an historic farm site. The trail is in a heavily wooded area, with Porters Creek on your left. It goes thru so many different areas of forest and is about a 4-1/2 mile hike one way. Looks like no work is being done to restore the damage caused by high water wash outs. From Gatlinburg: At traffic light #3, take East Parkway (US 321-N) 6-miles to Greenbrier Road, just before the Little Pigeon River Bridge. The hike is well worth it though – Laurel Falls is very photogenic, and is widely considered to be one of the best waterfall hikes in the Smokies. To reach the trailhead from the junction of 441 and 321 in Gatlinburg (Light 3), turn to travel eastbound on 321. 5. 2. To continue towards Fern Branch Falls you should veer left at this junction. But on the day I hiked, it was a roaring faucet that spilled down the gully over the trail. Great Smoky Mountain National Park - 865-436-1200. Porters Creek is a great trail for all ages and offers spectacular views of the park. Large portion of road damaged. one mile walk to the trailhead. Follow Porters Creek Road (gravel) to the trailhead. This is where you will want to rest up for the hike back, and snap some photos. The gravel path ends here. Bridge is out as of 5/31/2020 at 2 miles. If you want to see wildflowers in the spring and enjoy walking through the woods, you should go on Porters Creek Trail. I then hiked the Brushy Mountain trail for a few miles, which I really enjoyed, but it’s uphill. I can verify the bridge is out. The first mile of the Porters Creek Trail is an old gravel road that runs through a forest along the banks of Porters Creek. This trail is very good for beginners. @ document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); HikingintheSmokys.com. I hiked it in February, so there were no wildflowers, just mossy rocks and rhododendrons, but everyone says it's a beautiful hike for flowers. Porters Creek. At 1.6 miles hikers will cross a second footbridge. Porters Creek Trail. In the spring, there are hundreds of wildflowers along the trail. Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The parking area for the trail will be almost another mile from this junction. Follow the creek as you enjoy spectacular views of the forest. To continue along the Porters Creek Trail hikers should turn left here as well. This is the only way In or out, to my knowledge. Was gonna take my 7 yo on first overnight hiking trip but came up a little short. Members of the club were permitted to use the cabin as an overnight facility until 1981. The Porters Creek Trail begins with the an easy hike on the Brushy Mountain Trail, until you reach a new trail sign to complete the hike to Porters Creek. For the first mile, you’ll walk along a gravel trail where yellow trillium line the sides. Lovely trail and we had a great time. Continue straight ahead at this junction to reach the Porters Creek Trailhead. That's what keeps it nice! Is there a Porters Creek trail map? Usually this cascade is a silent, near-missable screen of white water running down a wall of distant rocks. We have an entire post full of all our best tips for hiking with kids and this one with all the best hiking gear for kids . Lots of Fringed Phacelia and a few Dutchman’s Breeches. Note that there are many safe paths to the foot of the falls for great pictures. (off road, bump, narrow road) This trail is worth to visit though. The Ramsey Cascades is a difficult, 8-mile hike that can be popular with fly fishers, but the length and difficulty of the hike make it a good spot for some isolated hiking. About 1.7 miles into the hike you'll encounter Fern Branch Falls. Copyright Cemetery is not being maintained. This is a nice wooded hike along Porters Creek with an old cemetery, historic farm site, and a waterfall. Visitors should also note that you’ll be traveling in bear country on this hike. Roundtrip length: 4 miles. On the bright side, saw almost no other hikers which is always delightful! Horses are also able to use this trail. The length of the trail is 3.7 miles (5.9 km) or 8,148 steps. The 3000km route stretches from Cape Reinga in the north of New Zealand to Bluff in the south. Several blowdowns obstructed the paht, but those will likely be cleared by the end of April 2020 when the NPS performs annual trail maintenance. Porter's Creek Trail (4-1-17) As the month of April dawns, spring once again slowly begins to spread its green blanket over the Southern Appalachians. The problem is that the bridge that goes over the treacherous river before getting to the falls is destroyed. You’ll cross footbridges farther down the trail, and near the end, there’s a 60-foot-tall waterfall called Fern Branch Falls. The mountain laurel that dominated at the lower elevations is now gone, and holes in the canopy allow sunlight to reach the floor, creating a grassy understory that features lots of … Lots of buds on Trilliums. Distance: 4 miles round trip. Round Trip Length: 4 miles Location: Parking along Greenbriar Road, near Greenbriar Picnic Area and Cosby. The Porters Creek Trail features beautiful scenery, so be sure to bring your camera along and capture some of the most spectacular photos of your vacation! This beautiful trail is great at any time of year and located just 6 miles east of Gatlinburg. It's usually not very crowded from the length of the trail. Turn right at the sign and drive 4-miles to the trailhead at the end of Greenbrier Road. on the trail. Porters Creek Trail. Sad to see such a beautiful area being ignored. DA BREEEDGE IS OUUUTTT (said in Arnold voice). During my visit I encountered two different group outings of at least 15 people. The trail was muddy and somewhat slippery. The. Almost always within sight and sound of the singing Porters Creek, the trail gently ascends toward the Smokies divide until it terminates at Campsite #31. update as of August 27th, the trail is being worked on by park staff, they advised us along with others they would rather not have anyone on the trail at this time, so we chose a different trail. This is a beautiful hike, and not too strenuous for families or beginners. Er führt entlang eines Flusses, durch schönen Wald und es … Starting in late March more and more photos start popping up on my social media feeds and inevitably I catch the wildflower bug as I do every year. Went with my family including my 10 month old grandson. Once at the trailhead you will begin up a gradual incline along a wide gravel path. The river runs along the side of the trail making it a beautiful and scenic trail. We had a great time hiking to the waterfall today! You’ll also be able to see Porters Creek while you walk. Follow the signs to the Porters Creek trailhead. We have not bitten single mosquito bite and water was so clean. The drive to the trailhead is nearly as nice as the hike. A few downed trees but nothing too serious. Nice moderate trail. 4. Length: 2.0 miles Rating: Easy/Moderate. This old road follows Porters Creek with a gentle upward grade, and for the first half mile the stream is easily accessible. Quarantine has not been kind to this road and trail. Porters Creek Trail is the perfect trail for a simple hike through fall foliage. Porters Creek Trail. At the 0.75 mile point, is the old cemetery. I’m sure the park service will get it fixed eventually, just sad we didn’t see the falls today while trying to avoid the crowds at the more popular trails. In right conditions the creek can be crossed (which was confirmed by the group of four people standing on the other side stranded.). Porters Creek Trail to Fern Branch Falls . The Little Greenbriar access road is closed as well because there’s a huge hole in it. Porters Creek Trail is a 4 mile round trip hike out to Fern Branch Falls and back. If you cross, be prepared to wait out the weather for possibly days. snaky but beautiful in the spring. Porters Creek Trail. Directions to Porters Creek Trail: Starting at light #3 in Gatlinburg or the junction of 441 and 321, turn to travel eastbound on 321. Review of Greenbrier Picnic Area. As you can see here, the Porter's Creek Trail follows what used to be an old roadway. Roundtrip, the hike to Laurel Falls and back is 2.3 miles in total length. Porters Creek. Off to the left, visitors will pass a 40' waterfall named Fern Falls. At about the 0.6 mile point, there is a series of rock walls and old building foundations from an old settlement. Currently closed about a mile before the trailhead. Be sure and stay awhile there, don't get in a hurry, just enjoy it! The Greenbrier section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hidden gem that is frequented by locals and experienced area tourists alike. It will not accommodate large vehicl… The Porters Creek trailhead is located in Greenbrier Cove. The cascades are something to see and enjoy a lunch at. The hike along the Porters Creek Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains begins from the Porters Creek Trailhead in Greenbrier. one of the best hiking trails in the park. Getting in to parking lot could be challenge to some drivers just like other trails. The Porters Creek Trail is a 3.7 mile trail to backcountry campsite 31. We passed quite a few people who only hiked the 1 mile round trip Brushy Mountain Trail, but I’d recommend carrying on to complete Porters Creek Trail. There’s really no safe way to cross the water, so we were super disappointed. Plan to use up the whole day for this hike! For the first mile, Porters Creek Trail is a gravel road. This hike provides a cool respite on even the hottest of days. It reaches a stretch of the Appalachian Trail and leads to a tower with major views. also the road is closed about a mile short of where the trail head is located. Porters Creek Trail. It looks like there was a huge flood that really tore things up. Roughly one mile from the trailhead, after crossing over a footbridge, hikers will reach a fork in the road. Length: 4.5 mile, round trip Time: 3 hours, including time to see the many historical points of interest Difficulty: Easy with a few moderate hills to climb. In March and April, the first 1.5 miles of this hike offers stunning views of wildflowers. The 60-foot Fern Branch Falls drop off towards the left of the Porters Creek trail as you reach the end of your hike. This road led up into the Porter's Creek community which existed here before the National Park was formed. Located just beyond the footbridgrabout 1.5 miles and before Fern Falls. Beyond, the trail climbs alongside the creek through an Eden of old-growth forest. Past the barn is the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club Cabin, built in 1934-36. Porters Creek Trail On our second day, the forecast was for light rain all day, so rather than seek out some mountain views, we elected to do a family-friendly hike in the forest. main road to trailhead is washed out. The Porters Creek Trail is a 7-mile trail that is moderately hiked and fairly moderate when it comes to difficulty. Trail Description: The first mile of this hike to Brushy Mountain follows the Porters Creek Trail, which is actually an old gravel road along this stretch of trail. Be warned, the road to the trailhead is poorly maintained and may give your small cars some trouble. The old gravel road finally turns into a dirt footpath at this point. 3 miles if you count the extra mile you have to hike where the road at the entrance to the trailhead is out. We hiked Rocky Top/Thunderhead the day before, so this was perfect. Yes, and it's free! 4. The trailhead (200 ft) is ~4.5 miles from Porter and is across the road from Porter Creek Campground. Please read this Disclaimer / Privacy Policy Roughly two-thirds of a mile from the trailhead several old stone walls will appear on your right. The trail is famous for an abundance of wild flowers that literally blanket the forest floor all around the trail in early April. Apparently they had crossed the creek before a rain storm and returned to find a raging river. It’s quite rocky but smaller rocks and pretty easy for my three year old to travel. The first mile of the Porters Creek Trail is actually an old gravel road, which meanders through a lush forest of moss covered trees and rocks as it follows along the banks of Porters Creek. The entire length of the trail follows Porters Creek, a tributary of the Little Pigeon River. Setup a car shuttle and hike this mile one-way route from east to west. The first mile of the hike is on a gravel road that meanders along the banks of Porters Creek. Porters Creek. Bridge is still out as of 6/18 over Porter's creek it is crossable if you don't kind getting wet, I would recommend entering the water behind the first large boulder on the far right. Fringed phacelia was in full bloom and looked like a fairy land. The trail makes a great hike any time of … Hike through the serene woodland to this magnificent waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. before using any information on this site. Hikers will then walk another hundred feet or so to arrive at the Brushy Mountain Trail junction. Porters Creek Trail is a 7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. Porters creek trail. If you want views of a little bit of everything, Porters Creek is the perfect hike for you. A rather gradual, peaceful hike tucked between Porters Mountain and Brushy Mountain, the trail is a picturesque uphill stroll along a river valley. We carried him over the bridge. Drive 6 miles and turn right into Greenbrier (look for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance sign on the right). Here’s a photo from our visit during the weekend of April 13th, 2014: This well marked trail continues its gradual ascent for an additional 1 mile to the base of the waterfall. It was past this bridge that we began seeing a profusion of wildflowers. The Creek. Great trail - a perfect mix of historical sights, tumultuous & clear mountain creeks, and a unique waterfall. All along this first section, numerous short side trails take you closer to the beautiful Porter’s Creek. Roundtrip length: 8 miles. You can also do out-and-back hikes of any length. All rights reserved. There are several old buildings along the trail you can explore. Directions: Take Highway 321 east of Gatlinburg, TN to the Greenbrier entrance to the park. The waterfall at the end makes it all worth it, though. As the season progresses into April and May you'll be able to find yellow trillium, toothwort, wild geranium, May-apple, dwarf ginseng, blue phlox, baneberry, foam flower, halberd-leaved violets, woodland bluets and Jack-in-the-pulpits along this route as well. Located near Greenbrier, Porters Creek Trail is one of the best Smoky Mountain hikes to go on to avoid crowds. From here, Porters Creek Trail continues to climb until mile 3.6, where you see the signpost for Campsite #31. A person in good physical health can hike the trail in 2.0 hours in one direction and in 1.5 hours in the opposite direction. Trail Features: Waterfall, History, Wildflowers, Stream: Trail Location: Greenbrier: Roundtrip Length: 4.0 Miles: Total Elevation Gain: 699 Feet: Avg. At the 1.0 mile mark, the trail splits twice in short succession. During busy season, this less traveled section of the park offers a serene escape located a mere six miles away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Gatlinburg. The first mile of the trail … The roundtrip length is 4 miles, and it is considered easy to moderate. If you happen to have the opportunity to hike this trail during the spring you'll likely be treated to an absolutely awesome display of yellow trillium near the trailhead. A Great Smoky Mountains National Parkentrance sign is on the right side of the road. Porter's Creek Trail. While this a great option for a hike at any time of the year, the Porters Creek Trail is also an excellent choice when snow makes foot travel difficult in the higher elevations, or when it forces the closure of roads throughout other parts of the park. We’ve hiked it during the peak of spring wildflowers, as well as in the snow, and both of those hikes have been our favorites in the Smokies. BEAUTIFUL FOREST WALK. pictures attached. From Route 321 drive 3.1 miles to a fork in the road. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, horses, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. 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