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A popular trail out of Cades Cove to the Appalachian Trail and the stunning views found there.

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Point to Point

3,752' 1,144 m


1,974' 602 m


1,778' 542 m


0' 0 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (15°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Views

Closed when the Laurel Creek Road is closed from the Townsend Y to Cades Cove. For park road conditions, information can be found at twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps or by calling (865) 436-1200 and dialing extension 2, 2.


The trailhead is at the end of the Cades Cove Picnic Area.

This trail provides easy access from the Cades Cove area to the Appalachian Trail (AT) and popular areas like Russell Field, Spence Field, Thunderhead, and Rocky Top. It's heavily traveled from spring into the fall before snow starts to make travel along the top of the mountains difficult.

The trail leaves the Cades Cove picnic area as an access road to the horse camp. At mile .2, the Crib Gap Trail intersects the trail from the left. You'll pass the horse camp, where people camp with their horses before going out on adventures. The trail enters a hemlock forest until you cross Anthony Creek for the first time at mile .6. The trail moves ahead through rhododendron forests until a log bridge crosses Anthony Creek again. After this crossing, the trail begins to climb in earnest as it leaves Anthony Creek behind and makes its way toward the Bote Mountain Trail.

A couple more stream crossings happen at mile 1.1 and mile 1.6, but there are bridges or logs making these easy to cross. The trail quickly comes to the Russell Field Trail junction, which goes off to the right and leads up to Russell Field on the Appalachian Trail (AT). The Anthony Creek trail continues straight ahead as it continues between Anthony Ridge and Cold Water Knob. The trail begins to narrow as it climbs to mile 2.0, where the final crossing of Anthony Creek happens. At mile marker 2.9, you reach Campsite #9, which has room for several small groups and plenty of water from Anthony Creek.

Leaving the campsite, the trail climbs steeply for about .6 mile until it reaches Bote Mountain. It's a strenuous climb, but also provides great views, especially in the winter. All of this area is second growth forest because it was logged before the area became a national park. The views are beginning to diminish, but you can get an idea of what it must have been like to look out towards Cades Cove far below where the trail works its way through the woods.

Once you arrive at the Bote Mountain Trail junction, you can go to the right and climb another 1.7 miles until you reach Spence Field. Here, you have some of the best views in the park.

You can return to your car via the Anthony Creek trail, or make your way from Spence Field to Russell Field, and then back down to where the Russell Field Trail meets the Anthony Creek Trail. Either way, this trip provides access to some of the best views in the park.

Flora & Fauna

Deer, bear, and various birds can be seen along the trail.

Partridgeberry, autumn coral root, and other flowers and plants can be found along the creeks and moist hollers that can be found in the areas around the trails.


Shared By:

David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 8 votes


in Cades Cove


  4.5 from 8 votes
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Trail Rankings


in Cades Cove


in North Carolina


36 Views Last Month
6,879 Since Sep 4, 2015



Camp 9 on Anthony Creek Trail. Good water beside campsite.
Oct 3, 2016 near Robbins…, NC
Fungi on the trail. Lovely autumn views!
Nov 5, 2018 near Wildwood, TN
One of the creek crossings that has to be navigated on the Anthony Creek Trail.
Feb 14, 2016 near Wildwood, TN
End of the trail. This is the trail junction at the Anthony Creek Trail.
Jan 30, 2016 near Wildwood, TN



Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 41 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Dec 10, 2022
John Zalesak
Great Trail. All uphill going in so yes not the easiest of trails but not super difficult. Just pace yourself and it will be fine. 7mi — 2h 49m
Sep 18, 2022
Holly Roberts
Apr 22, 2021
Jodi K
After a morning driving, looking forward to getting out for a hike 3.2mi — 11h 15m
Sep 14, 2020
Bob Smith
Mike and I did loop ascent 1600 feet Mike almost stepped on Timber Rattlesnake
Jul 27, 2020
Shaun Blom
Oct 24, 2019
Bob Smith
We did 11.5 miles on loop trail
Oct 11, 2019
Shaun Blom
May 26, 2019
Alex Most