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A moderate climb and descent past a number of historic buildings.

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Point to Point

3,774' 1,150 m


2,881' 878 m


1,163' 354 m


1,051' 320 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (14°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring


The Little Cataloochee Trail begins at a unassuming junction with the Pretty Hollow Gap Trail about a mile above the Cataloochee Road. The trail quickly starts into a climb; within 525 yards, it crosses the Little Davidson Branch and narrows to a singletrack.

Three hundred yards farther, the trail enters a stream-side course along Davidson Branch, following it into a deep shaded glen. From here, the route is frequently in Davidson Branch or negotiating seepages seeking the main stream. About a mile above the trailhead, an access path exits on the left and leads 665 yards to a cemetery of a single grave.

A hundred yards above the cemetery access, the trail enters a sharp turn to cross Davidson Creek, and then begins moving out of the glen. On the left, a conspicuous path leads a few feet to the ruins of an old log out-building.

When it leaves the homesite, the trail immediately enters into a steep climb that doesn’t end until reaching Davidson Gap. Noticeable on the left is a stone wall running parallel to the trail. On leaving Davidson Gap, the trail descends steeply along a newly constructed surface and shortly rounds a second wall.

Within a half-mile, the trail completes its descent and approaches the Daniel Cook Cabin. From the cabin, the trail widens to a road and begins an easy grade. It passes through stands of rhododendron and into open fields being reclaimed by second-growth forests. Old chestnut fence posts line the fields on both sides. Pieces of household effects, old washtubs and buckets, and stone retaining walls dot the landscape.

Less than a half-mile beyond the cabin, the trail reaches the Little Cataloochee Missionary Baptist Church standing prominently on a knoll of bare ground. When it leaves the church, the trail descends about a half-mile to Ola, a bottomland. On the left in the flat of the bottomland, the trail approaches a spring lined with a rock wall.

At the lower end of Ola, the trail crosses Little Cataloochee Creek on a bridge and begins climbing out of the bottomland. A quarter-mile beyond the stream crossing, a road exits on the left seventy-five yards to the Jim Hannah Cabin.

After passing the access to the cabin, the trail reaches a gravel road that circles around the mountain 260 yards to intersect with the Long Bunk Trail exiting to the left. The Little Cataloochee Trail continues along the gravel track for another mile before rising to terminate at an intersection with a larger gravel road.

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

Along the Davidson Branch, the trail follows into a deep, deep glen of red and sugar maples, yellow poplars, American beeches, yellow birches, and Carolina silverbells shade a dense understory of rhododendron.


Shared By:

Ken Wise

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 7 votes


in Cataloochee


  4.1 from 7 votes
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Trail Rankings


in Cataloochee


in North Carolina


7 Views Last Month
3,718 Since Aug 2, 2016
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David Cook cabin
Aug 28, 2018 near Cove Creek, NC
Daniel Cook Cabin
Jul 21, 2017 near Cove Creek, NC
Little Cataloochee Baptist Church
Jul 21, 2017 near Cove Creek, NC
Apple House
Jul 21, 2017 near Cove Creek, NC
Hannah Cabin
Jul 21, 2017 near Cove Creek, NC
Little guy was right off the trail. It was during the fall shuffle so he didn't have time for us. Just kept on eating...
Jan 4, 2018 near Cove Creek, NC



Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Nov 27, 2020
A.L. Cantrell
A beautiful day for a hike. During my three hour hike, I only passed one group of hikers. 5.4mi — 3h 00m
Aug 15, 2020
Tesha Raines
Dec 24, 2019
Kimberly Roberts
Apr 24, 2019
Jeremy Mason
From Long Bunk to the Valley. Saw a bear .2 before reaching the gap. Burned areas along the entire length of the trail, due to a prescribed burn. 4.4mi
Apr 11, 2019
buddy beavers
Aug 27, 2018
Rick Sullivan
Some mud. Two well preserved cabins and the church were interesting to see. Road back to car at trailhead made easy walking to finish a 3-day trip! 5.4mi
Jun 15, 2018
Kassie Clawson
Oct 27, 2017
Elizabeth Owen

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