“A great out and back hike on a steep two mile trail with unbelievable views.”
— Dolly McLean
Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This beautiful hike is about 4 miles roundtrip. The trail is steep in some places as you climb to the high point of 4840 ft., before descending back the way you came.
Start from the paved parking lot at the trailhead. If there is a tour bus, the trail will be crowded - if you want quiet, go in early winter. There is also a new sign with the trail description and route of the trail.
It is a 2 mile hike to the base of the rock. At the base of the rock, you can take a steep climb up the rock face - be careful as it is dangerous, especially in wet conditions. Climb at your own risk. However, you WILL enjoy the view from the top!
The trail begins at the low rock wall bordering the parking lot area. It descends to a bridge across the Walker Camp Prong of the Little Pigeon River. The trail then crosses several bridges along the mile to Beech Flats. The second and third bridge both cross the Road Prong and get you to Beech Flats Cove. This is the halfway mark of the trail.
At Beech Flats, the Chimney Tops Trail crosses the Road Prong Trail
that in turn leads to the Appalachian Trail at Indian Gap, 2.3 miles away. If you are going to Chimney Tops, you'll need to stay on the main trail that veers right into a creek valley on the north side of Sugarland Mountain.
Flora & Fauna
Mountain laurel white and pink flowers in May - June. Rhododendron, red spruce, hemlocks and yellow Buckeyes
There are many flowering trees and shrubs. There is Fraser Magnolia near the first bridge. Its blossoms are large, white and pretty hard to miss when in bloom in late April into early May. There is also a large variety of wildflowers. In spring Trillium and Hepatica. In summer, Joe-Pye weed, Bee-balm, and Jewelweed . Violets, Toothworts and Foamflowers also grow nearby.