Turn right at the sign and drive 4-miles to the trailhead at the end of Greenbrier Road. If you want views of a little bit of everything, Porters Creek is the perfect hike for you. Roughly two-thirds of a mile from the trailhead several old stone walls will appear on your right. before using any information on this site. The Porters Creek Trail is a 3.7 mile trail to backcountry campsite 31. Looks like no work is being done to restore the damage caused by high water wash outs. 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. Drive 6 miles and turn right into Greenbrier (look for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance sign on the right). There are several old buildings along the trail you can explore. Cemetery is not being maintained. 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. This old road follows Porters Creek with a gentle upward grade, and for the first half mile the stream is easily accessible. It will not accommodate large vehicl… Members of the club were permitted to use the cabin as an overnight facility until 1981. main road to trailhead is washed out. That's what keeps it nice! Andrews Bald We have not bitten single mosquito bite and water was so clean. The first mile is a gravel road, with the lively creek on one side and the remains of old settlements on the other. 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. 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. The gravel pathway continues to the 1.0 mile point, where a short spur trail leads to the Historic Farm Site. Porters Creek Trail. For the first mile, you’ll walk along a gravel trail where yellow trillium line the sides. We had a great time hiking to the waterfall today! 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 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. This is a nice wooded hike along Porters Creek with an old cemetery, historic farm site, and a waterfall. It should look amazing soon! 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. The first mile of the Porters Creek Trail is an old gravel road that runs through a forest along the banks of Porters Creek. Porter's Creek Trail. Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To continue along the Porters Creek Trail hikers should turn left here as well. The river roars constantly along the remaining 2 miles. The first mile of the trail … 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. I can verify the bridge is out. Porters Creek Trail. This well marked trail continues its gradual ascent for an additional 1 mile to the base of the waterfall. As you can see here, the Porter's Creek Trail follows what used to be an old roadway. To continue towards Fern Branch Falls you should veer left at this junction. 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. Porters Creek is a great trail for all ages and offers spectacular views of the park. 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. The trailhead is located at the end of Greenbrier Road on the Tennessee side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The forest floor was literally carpeted with bloodroot, hepaticas, white fringed phacelia, violets, white trilliums and many other varieties during our late-March hike. While the wildflowers are only in full bloom seasonally, we strongly recommend this hike anytime during the year, so enjoy! Round Trip Length: 4 miles Location: Parking along Greenbriar Road, near Greenbriar Picnic Area and Cosby. Bridge is out as of 5/31/2020 at 2 miles. Loved it!! Once at the trailhead you will begin up a gradual incline along a wide gravel path. At the 0.75 mile point, is the old cemetery. 5. The Creek. Past the barn is the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club Cabin, built in 1934-36. Drive east on highway 321 from Gatlinburg. We hiked Rocky Top/Thunderhead the day before, so this was perfect. Directions to Porters Creek Trail: Starting at light #3 in Gatlinburg or the junction of 441 and 321, turn to travel eastbound on 321. At 2.5 miles, the trail curves left as you pass a confluence of Porters Creek with a major tributary. Distance: 4 miles round trip. 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. Continue straight ahead at this junction to reach the Porters Creek Trailhead. Hikers will then walk another hundred feet or so to arrive at the Brushy Mountain Trail junction. Roundtrip, the hike to Laurel Falls and back is 2.3 miles in total length. For the first mile, Porters Creek Trail is a gravel road. one mile walk to the trailhead. From here, Porters Creek Trail continues to climb until mile 3.6, where you see the signpost for Campsite #31. Porters Creek Trail Quick Guide. Went with my family including my 10 month old grandson. Porters Creek Trail is a 3.7-mile out-and-back trail that ends at Backcountry Campsite 31 in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Large portion of road damaged. To continue on to the waterfall, take the left trail along Porters Creek. You will find John Messer's cantilevered barn built in 1875. This road led up into the Porter's Creek community which existed here before the National Park was formed. pictures attached. Er führt entlang eines Flusses, durch schönen Wald und es … Turn right onto Greenbrier Road, until the road makes a "Y" at the bridge. 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 Little Greenbriar access road is closed as well because there’s a huge hole in it. Hike through the serene woodland to this magnificent waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Several blowdowns obstructed the paht, but those will likely be cleared by the end of April 2020 when the NPS performs annual trail maintenance. The waterfall at the end makes it all worth it, though. Porters Creek Trail is the perfect trail for a simple hike through fall foliage. Horses are also able to use this trail. 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. Roundtrip length: 8 miles. The entire length of the trail follows Porters Creek, a tributary of the Little Pigeon River. 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. To reach the trailhead from the junction of 441 and 321 in Gatlinburg (Light 3), turn to travel eastbound on 321. This road turns into a gravel road after a short distance. Length: 2.0 miles Rating: Easy/Moderate. This trail is very good for beginners. 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. Off to the left, visitors will pass a 40' waterfall named Fern Falls. Porters Creek Trail. Please read this Disclaimer / Privacy Policy Porters Creek Trail is a 4 mile round trip hike out to Fern Branch Falls and back. The old gravel road finally turns into a dirt footpath at this point. At the 1.0 mile mark, the trail splits twice in short succession. 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. The drive to the trailhead is nearly as nice as the hike. It was past this bridge that we began seeing a profusion of wildflowers. Roughly one mile from the trailhead, after crossing over a footbridge, hikers will reach a fork in the road. There are also a few historical buildings located along the trail. Porters Creek Trail. Quarantine has not been kind to this road and trail. Getting in to parking lot could be challenge to some drivers just like other trails. It looks like there was a huge flood that really tore things up. Great trail - a perfect mix of historical sights, tumultuous & clear mountain creeks, and a unique waterfall. Review of Greenbrier Picnic Area. IMPORTANT: Greenbrier Road is a narrow paved road that eventually turns into a gravel road. 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. Te Araroa is NZ's walk of a lifetime. Although this particular hike ends at this point, the trail continues on for another 1.7 miles to reach Backcountry Campsite 31. 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. 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. At 1.6 miles hikers will cross a second footbridge. If you want to see wildflowers in the spring and enjoy walking through the woods, you should go on Porters Creek Trail. Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 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. @ document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); HikingintheSmokys.com. Be warned, the road to the trailhead is poorly maintained and may give your small cars some trouble. BEAUTIFUL FOREST WALK. Here’s a photo from our visit during the weekend of April 13th, 2014: The Greenbrier section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hidden gem that is frequented by locals and experienced area tourists alike. From here, an ancient manway continues up to the Sawteeth near Charlie's Bunion... but I have yet to tackle such a momunmental path. 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 . You’ll also be able to see Porters Creek while you walk. In March and April, the first 1.5 miles of this hike offers stunning views of wildflowers. 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. This hike provides a cool respite on even the hottest of days. Currently closed about a mile before the trailhead. DA BREEEDGE IS OUUUTTT (said in Arnold voice). Lots of Fringed Phacelia and a few Dutchman’s Breeches. About 1.7 miles into the hike you'll encounter Fern Branch Falls. A Great Smoky Mountains National Parkentrance sign is on the right side of the road. Beyond, the trail climbs alongside the creek through an Eden of old-growth forest. Usually this cascade is a silent, near-missable screen of white water running down a wall of distant rocks. Porters Creek Trail. During my visit I encountered two different group outings of at least 15 people. 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! The river runs along the side of the trail making it a beautiful and scenic trail. Yes, and it's free! The Porters Creek Trail offers a little bit of everything. on the trail. A rather gradual, peaceful hike tucked between Porters Mountain and Brushy Mountain, the trail is a picturesque uphill stroll along a river valley. 4. 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 … We carried him over the bridge. 3 miles if you count the extra mile you have to hike where the road at the entrance to the trailhead is out. On the bright side, saw almost no other hikers which is always delightful! Was gonna take my 7 yo on first overnight hiking trip but came up a little short. Located near Greenbrier, Porters Creek Trail is one of the best Smoky Mountain hikes to go on to avoid crowds. The Porters Creek Trail is a 7-mile trail that is moderately hiked and fairly moderate when it comes to difficulty. It's usually not very crowded from the length of the trail. Setup a car shuttle and hike this mile one-way route from east to west. 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. Is there a Porters Creek trail map? The roundtrip length is 4 miles, and it is considered easy to moderate. also the road is closed about a mile short of where the trail head is located. Good thing too. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, horses, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. 4. The path meanders through a lush forest of moss covered trees and rocks as it follows along the banks of Porters Creek. During high water flows this can be a fairly spectacular waterfall. The wide pathway enables groups to stay together. The Greenbrier area, which is at a lower elevation and remains open all year long, provides a great winter option when higher ele… Wildflowers are just beginning to show. The. It’s quite rocky but smaller rocks and pretty easy for my three year old to travel. 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. It is full of history and beautiful scenery. Porters Creek Trail. In the spring, there are hundreds of wildflowers along the trail. Note that there are many safe paths to the foot of the falls for great pictures. A photographer's paradise today. Follow the creek as you enjoy spectacular views of the forest. 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. 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! Porters Creek. snaky but beautiful in the spring. The trail is famous for an abundance of wild flowers that literally blanket the forest floor all around the trail in early April. The Porters Creek trailhead is located in Greenbrier Cove. 2. Thus, I back tracked about a half mile and visited an old settlers barn and home, which was great. Reviewed August 3, 2015 . You’ll cross footbridges farther down the trail, and near the end, there’s a 60-foot-tall waterfall called Fern Branch Falls. Directions: Take Highway 321 east of Gatlinburg, TN to the Greenbrier entrance to the park. 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. The 60-foot Fern Branch Falls drop off towards the left of the Porters Creek trail as you reach the end of your hike. So it’s an extra mile to the trailhead which is no bigs. 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. The trail was muddy and somewhat slippery. Visitors should also note that you’ll be traveling in bear country on this hike. Follow the signs to the Porters Creek trailhead. 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 These are remnants from the Elbert Cantrell farmstead, who settled in the Porters Creek community in the early 1900s. The length of the trail is 3.7 miles (5.9 km) or 8,148 steps. The parking area for the trail will be almost another mile from this junction. All along this first section, numerous short side trails take you closer to the beautiful Porter’s Creek. 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. Located just beyond the footbridgrabout 1.5 miles and before Fern Falls. 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. 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. 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. The gravel path ends here. Porters Creek Trail. It goes thru so many different areas of forest and is about a 4-1/2 mile hike one way. How long does it take to hike the Porters Creek Trail? The trail makes a great hike any time of … At about the 0.6 mile point, there is a series of rock walls and old building foundations from an old settlement. There's also a cabin on this site that was built by the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club in the mid-1930s. The 3000km route stretches from Cape Reinga in the north of New Zealand to Bluff in the south. But on the day I hiked, it was a roaring faucet that spilled down the gully over the trail. The hike along the Porters Creek Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains begins from the Porters Creek Trailhead in Greenbrier. 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. Copyright From Route 321 drive 3.1 miles to a fork in the road. There’s really no safe way to cross the water, so we were super disappointed. 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. 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. 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. This beautiful trail is great at any time of year and located just 6 miles east of Gatlinburg. You'll also begin to notice some much larger old-growth trees as you proceed further upstream. (off road, bump, narrow road) This trail is worth to visit though. 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. The trail conditions are excellent and you will traverse through a variety of Northwest scenery. Nice moderate trail. The first mile of the hike is on a gravel road that meanders along the banks of Porters Creek. If you cross, be prepared to wait out the weather for possibly days. Porters creek trail. Follow Porters Creek Road (gravel) to the trailhead. Trail Location: Sugarlands Visitor Center Roundtrip Length: 3.9 Miles Trail Difficulty Rating: 4.37 (easy) GPS Coordinates for Trailhead: 35.68579 -83.53677 . Roundtrip length: 4 miles. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, horses, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. What is the length of the Porters Creek Trail? Sad to see such a beautiful area being ignored. Plan to use up the whole day for this hike! Be sure and stay awhile there, don't get in a hurry, just enjoy it! This is where you will want to rest up for the hike back, and snap some photos. Trail Features: Waterfall, History, Wildflowers, Stream: Trail Location: Greenbrier: Roundtrip Length: 4.0 Miles: Total Elevation Gain: 699 Feet: Avg. 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. This is the only way In or out, to my knowledge. Take the time to pay your respects to these early settlers. The trailhead (200 ft) is ~4.5 miles from Porter and is across the road from Porter Creek Campground. Apparently they had crossed the creek before a rain storm and returned to find a raging river. Lovely trail and we had a great time. The problem is that the bridge that goes over the treacherous river before getting to the falls is destroyed. The cascades are something to see and enjoy a lunch at. Very easy fun hike. All rights reserved. I then hiked the Brushy Mountain trail for a few miles, which I really enjoyed, but it’s uphill. Fringed phacelia was in full bloom and looked like a fairy land. Great Smoky Mountain National Park - 865-436-1200. Porters Creek Trail to Fern Branch Falls . A few downed trees but nothing too serious. This is a beautiful hike, and not too strenuous for families or beginners. Porters Creek. 6. You can also do out-and-back hikes of any length. I chose to hike Porters Creek after an intense wind and rainstorm, so what I got was part trail, part stream! 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 ist ein 7 Meilen langer, stark besuchter Hin- und Rückweg in der Nähe von Gatlinburg, Tennessee. one of the best hiking trails in the park. Lots of buds on Trilliums. The roundtrip length is 5 miles, and the hiking trail in the Smoky Mountains is considered moderate. It reaches a stretch of the Appalachian Trail and leads to a tower with major views. To go on to the Greenbrier entrance to the trailhead which is always delightful mile! 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