Smokemont Loop Trail
ElevationAscent: 1,342' 409 m
Descent: -1,104' -336 m
High: 3,536' 1,078 m
Low: 2,201' 671 m
GradeAvg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)
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“A steady climb and descent along an old roadbed through dense, diverse forests.”— Ken Wise
The climb continues through a pine heath and into a dry-ridge mix of pignut hickories, yellow poplars, and scarlet and chestnut oaks. A noticeably level plot of grass shaded by a grove of eastern hemlock heralds a quarter-mile approach to a ridgeline where the trail switchbacks right to begin a steep descent to Bradley Fork. From the ridgeline, Thomas Divide can be seen ranging along the far side of the Oconaluftee River Valley.
A mile below the switchback, the trail eases into a bottomland that was once cleared for farmland. At a footlog over a feeder stream, the Smokemont Loop Trail turns upstream along Bradley Fork and proceeds 120 yards to cross on a long springy footlog. Twenty-five yards above the footlog, the Smokemont!Loop Trail terminates into the Bradley Fork Trail.
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.
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Land Manager: NPS - Great Smoky Mountains National Park