Hiking Project Logo

A great day hike (looping back on Caldwell Fork Trail) full of streams and lush forests.

Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key





Point to Point

3,680' 1,122 m


2,720' 829 m


1,063' 324 m


734' 224 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (16°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

All campsites must be registered with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park also closes secondary roads on a seasonal schedule due to snow. Schedules can be found here.

Backcountry rules and regulations can be found here.


This is a very popular loop when combined with Caldwell Fork Trail, bringing the total hiking distance to 7.6 miles. It's important to note that portions of this trail can become rather muddy, and there are several small footbridges for stream crossings.

To access this trail, hikers will leave the Cataloochee Ranger Station parking area and make their way onto Caldwell Fork Trail, crossing a small footbridge across Panther Creek. In 0.8 miles, hikers will eventually come to the trailhead of Boogerman Trail.

The trail is named after Robert "Booger" Palmer, who sold his land (over 250 acres) to the national park in 1929 for over $5,375. The remains of his old settlement can still be found along the trail.

Half a mile in, hikers will make their way up the ridge and find a lovely view of the Cataloochee Divide. There will be another view of the divide about two miles into the trail as it follows the ridge.

A little over three miles, hikers will find an old stone wall that may have been part of the old settlements.

There's a creek near the end of the trail that may require some rock-hopping, depending on the water levels. The trail ends at 4.1 miles. To complete the loop, turn right and hike the 2.8 miles back to the parking area.

Flora & Fauna

The Smokies are home to more than 1,600 species of plants, most of which produce an abundance of flowers in the spring. These species include mountain laurel, rhododendron, azalea, and many others. Spring wildflowers peak from early April through late May. To learn more about the plants of the Smokies and even get a trees and shrubs checklist, visit the park's website.

As for local fauna, black bears are common in the area, along with white-tailed deer and 31 species of salamanders.

Birdwatchers can spot a variety of species, notably the northern flicker (Colaptes auratus) and red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus).

For more information on black bears, refer to this webpage.


Shared By:

Max Willner

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 11 votes


in Cataloochee


  4.2 from 11 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Trail Rankings


in Cataloochee


in North Carolina


20 Views Last Month
2,747 Since Sep 4, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult



Creek near the end of the Boogerman Trail.
Dec 17, 2015 near Cove Creek, NC
Old growth Tulip Poplar on the Boogerman Trail.
Dec 17, 2015 near Cove Creek, NC
Stone wall at former homestead on the Boogerman Trail.
Dec 17, 2015 near Cove Creek, NC
Creek crossing on Boogerman Trail.
Jun 16, 2016 near Cove Creek, NC


Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Oct 23, 2021
Erin Marasco
Aug 9, 2021
Although trails were muddier than last time (April) the water was lower. We explored a spur off the main trail which led to a small cemetery
Apr 14, 2021
Hailey Evanski
11 river crossings 10mi — 5h 00m
Apr 9, 2021
What a wonderful day: we did the loop. Sighted a pileated woodpecker, noted a lot of elk pellets and coyote scat. The horse fords threw me off a bit. 7.6mi
Jun 30, 2020
Angie Boone
7.9mi — 11h 02m
Jun 13, 2019
B Huhn
Apr 21, 2019
Kari Dianich
Started Caldwell Fork on the way to loop around via Boogerman, but stream crossing at mile 1-2 on Caldwell Fork was too high, swift & cold. Backtrackd 3mi — 12h 00m

Join the Community

Create your FREE account today!
Already have an account? Login to close this notice.

Get Started