The Brown Book (Hiking Trails of the Smokies) calls this “one of the finest short loops in the park (total loop 5.5 miles)” . Late April should be a good time for spring wildflowers. This hike will proceed at a slightly slower than usual pace to allow for viewing scenery and photography. We will start at the Little River trailhead past Elkmont Campground. The trail gains about 400 ft. in elevation over 2.4 miles. Shortly after passing Huskey Branch Cascades on a wide bridge, we will take a sharp right turn to join Cucumber Gap Trail. After about 0.2 mile we will again cross Huskey Branch, this time with no bridge. In normal conditions the stream can be rock hopped but if the water is high, we may have to wade. Cucumber Gap Trail gains about 500 ft in 1.4 miles the descends to join Jakes Creek Trail. Here we can turn right to proceed to the Jakes Creek Trailhead which is about .6 mile from the Little River Trailhead. If there is interest, we can instead turn left on Jakes Creek and go 0.5 mile to visit the Avent Cabin. This would add another 1 mile to our hike for a total of 6.5 miles. Be advised that “Park It Forward” is now in effect and a parking permit will be required for the cars parking at the trailhead. Meet at the former Food City location at 121 N Hall Rd in Alcoa to carpool. We will leave sharply at 8:00 a.m. please arrive a little earlier to organize riders. Round trip is 68 miles; at 10 cents per mile reimbursement to the driver is $6.80. Drive towards Elkmont Campground and just before the campground entrance turn left. Little River trailhead is 0.6 mile up the side road. If you choose to meet at the trailhead, be there at 9:00 a.m. to start. Parking is somewhat limited there so carpooling is encouraged. This hike is rated moderate.
Leader: Randy Mitchell
Leader contact information is included under Additional Information in the email you receive after registration.
Smoky Mountains Hiking Club
PO Box 51592
Knoxville, TN 37950-1592