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Brushy Mountain Trail

Difficult
 4.8 (5)

A strenuous climb through dense hardwood forests to spectacular views atop Brushy Mountain.


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Map Key

4.9

Miles

7.9

KM

Point to Point

4,905' 1,495 m

High

2,226' 678 m

Low

2,689' 820 m

Up

10' 3 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

20%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers

Description

From its beginning near the road turnaround, the Brushy Mountain Trail follows an easy course along the lower perimeter of Porters Flat. About a mile above the turnaround, the Brushy Mountain Trail veers away from Long Branch and soon encounters a faint path on the left that leads fifty feet to the old Mark Whaley homeplace and a fine spring that was once curiously known as the Fittified Spring.

A mile above the Fittified Spring, the Brushy Mountain Trail eases out of Porters Flat and into the Trillium Branch drainage, climbing steeply along a drier south-facing exposure where the hemlock-hardwood association yields to pine stands.

To reach the north-facing slope, the trail crosses Trillium Branch on slippery moss-covered rocks and climbs through an old-growth stand of eastern hemlocks. A half-mile above Trillium Branch, the trail executes a sharp switchback onto a boulder-strewn slope.

A little more than a mile above the switchback, the trail levels out into a spacious park-like setting astride Trillium Gap, nestled between Mount Le Conte and Brushy Mountain. Trillium Gap is forested with gnarled wind-agonized beech trees, and, except where paths have been worn, the ground in the gap is covered in lush grass.

In Trillium Gap, the Brushy Mountain Trail intersects its western counterpart, the Trillium Gap Trail, before turning right and continuing on to terminate on the dome-like summit of Brushy Mountain.

This content was contributed by author Ken Wise. For a comprehensive hiking guide to the Great Smoky Mountains and to see more by Ken, click here.

Flora & Fauna

Yellow poplar, black locust, hemlock, beech, yellow buckeye, white basswood, sugar maple, black cherry, spring beauties, squirrel corn, toothwort, Dutchman’s-breeches, and crimson bee-balm dominate the local area.

Contacts

Shared By:

Ken Wise

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 5 votes

#1

in Greenbrier

#1836

Overall
  4.8 from 5 votes
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Trail Rankings

#1

in Greenbrier

#1,836

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1,235 Since Jul 28, 2016
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Photos

Looking up from the Porters Creek Trail to the mountains above.
Feb 13, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Trillium Gap.
Sep 2, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
An old millstone speaks to Messer Barn's history.
Mar 14, 2017 near Gatlinburg, TN
Trillium Gap: Intersection of Trillium Gap Trail and Brushy Mountain Trail. Mt LeConte 3.6 miles/Roaring Fork Rd 2.8 miles
Sep 2, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN

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Check-Ins

Dec 7, 2019
Shaun Anon
Sep 2, 2019
Thomas Mcadorey
4.9mi — 7h 00m
Aug 17, 2019
TJ Wilson
Jul 2, 2019
Melissa Horning
Mostly uphill all the way out, but not a terribly strenuous climb. View at the end is nice, but not exactly worth the destination. Take more than a… 11.8mi — 6h 00m
Jan 7, 2019
Thomas Mcadorey
4.9mi
Jan 1, 2019
Luke Servedio
Nov 8, 2018
Lisa Yeh
May 20, 2018
John Keoni Cappiello
10mi