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A wildflower, waterfall, creek, and historic settlement trail that ends at Campsite #31.

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Out and Back

3,403' 1,037 m


1,897' 578 m


1,506' 459 m


1,506' 459 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (10°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Family Friendly A waterfall, creek, lots of wildflowers in the spring, and the remains of the old Greenbrier Cove settlement make this a great trip for kids to explore a variety of things that make the Smokies great.

Closed if the Greenbrier Road is gated. For park road conditions, information can be found at twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps or by calling (865) 436-1200 and dialing extension 2, 2.


The combination of wildflowers, a small waterfall, and the remains of an old settlement highlight many of the great things about the Smokies. While you probably won't be alone on the trail, you'll definitely have plenty to see.


The trailhead is located 4.1 miles down the Greenbrier Road. Park on the traffic loop and look for the gate and trail sign.

This trail starts in Greenbrier and climbs 1500 feet over 3.6 miles to Campsite #31. Go past the gate on the old road and start climbing through Greenbrier Cove, an old settlement within in the park. At mile .4, you'll see the foundation and walls of several homes. At mile .7, you'll cross a sturdy bridge over Long Branch. Once you go over the bridge, a set of stairs on the right lead up to the Ownby Cemetery and an old car that was left behind when the park took over the land. A little further up the trail, you enter Porters Flat where Brushy Mountain Trail intersects our trail. As you go off to the left, the trail narrows and follows Porters Creek. At mile 1.5, you come to a log crossing.

Once you cross the log, you enter a different environment, full of trees and flowers that bloom in the spring. As you move upward following the trail, you'll encounter various varieties of wildflowers, one of the reasons that this is a popular route among wildflower enthusiasts in the spring. The trail climbs high above the creek, which is now on your right, until it levels out at mile 1.8. Off to the left, visitors will pass a 40' waterfall named Fern Falls. A small side trail leads up to the falls, where a large fallen tree makes a good place to sit, relax, and possibly have some lunch. From here, Porters Creek Trail continues to climb until mile 3.6, where you see the signpost for Campsite #31. There is a spring there for you to get water from, and the campsite is just ahead of you.

Once you have reached Campsite 31, you can take a break, have a snack, and then start your journey back to your car. There aren't many trails that intersect with this trail, so going back the way you came is your only real option.

Flora & Fauna

In April and May, wildflowers can be seen throughout the way to the end of this trail. There are over 30-40 different species. There are a great variety of ferns in the area as well.

Bears frequent the campsite, so be on the lookout.


Shared By:

David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 20 votes


in Greenbrier


  4.2 from 20 votes
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in Greenbrier


15 Views Last Month
3,538 Since Sep 4, 2015
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Looking up through the trees covered in snow and frost while on the Porters Creek Trail.
Feb 13, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Fern Branch Falls about half way up Porters Creek Trail.
Sep 10, 2021 near Gatlinburg, TN
Porters Creek is a welcome companion along the trail.
Apr 19, 2017 near Gatlinburg, TN
Campsite 31 marker at the end of Porters Creek Trail.
Sep 10, 2021 near Gatlinburg, TN
Porters Creek Trailhead is well signed, so you shouldn't have much trouble finding the trail.
Apr 19, 2017 near Gatlinburg, TN
Campsite #31, near the Porters Creek Trail, covered in the snow.
Feb 13, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN



Current Trail Conditions

Minor Issues 90 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Feb 25, 2024
Shaun Blom
More a meandering than a hike, but the kids had fun 5mi
Jan 10, 2024
Jesse Parker
Jul 3, 2023
Brian L
Just to waterfall with Tisha, Tara, Suz 4mi
Nov 28, 2022
Zack Henderson
Sep 28, 2021
Bruce Hall
11h 13m
Jan 6, 2021
Jim M
Oct 19, 2020
Audrey Zhang
Jul 2, 2020
Christine Albrecht
Closed completely Road washed out

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