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Maddron Bald Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.5 (8)

This trail has creek crossings, rich forests and awesome views from Maddron Bald.


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Map Key

7.4

Miles

11.9

KM

Point to Point

5,410' 1,649 m

High

1,872' 571 m

Low

3,544' 1,080 m

Up

5' 2 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Wildflowers · Wildlife

All campsites must be registered with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park also closes secondary roads on a seasonal schedule due to snow. Schedules can be found here.

Backcountry rules and regulations can be found here.

Description

The trailhead is on Laurel Springs Road, just off of Highway 321. It's a 7.4 mile trail that ends at Snake Den Ridge Trail.

The first couple of miles of this trail are pretty relaxed, and they follow a creek. In less than a mile, hikers will find a small cabin that was built in the late 1800s. In about a mile, there's a creek crossing before coming to a junction with Gabes Mountain Trail to the left and Old Settlers Trail to the right.

Continuing onwards, hikers will pass a row of boulders and then ascend a ridge where they will come to a fork that will allow you to take Albright Grove Loop Trail before continuing back on to Maddron Bald Trail. Albright Grove Loop Trail is 0.6 miles; should hikers choose to skip this trail, it's 0.3 miles before they pass the other end of the small loop.

From here, the trail gradually ascends. The trail will cross Otter Creek, just next to Campsite #29. Some (but not all) of the campsites are a little rocky, and not ideal for tent stakes. It's not far from here to Maddron Bald, where you can get a wonderful panoramic view of the Smokies.

After that, it's less than a mile before hikers reach Snake Den Ridge Trail, where they can either turn right towards the Appalachian Trail (AT) or left for a lengthy hike back towards the Cosby Campground.

Flora & Fauna

The Smokies are home to more than 1,600 species of plants, most of which produce an abundance of flowers in the spring. These species include mountain laurel, rhododendron, azalea, and many others. Spring wildflowers peak from early April through late May. To learn more about the plants of the Smokies and even get a trees and shrubs checklist, visit the park's website.

As for local fauna, black bears are common in the area, along with white-tailed deer and 31 species of salamanders.

Birdwatchers can spot a variety of species, notably the northern flicker (Colaptes auratus) and red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus).

For more information on black bears, refer to this webpage.

Contacts

Shared By:

Max Willner

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 8 votes

#8

in Cosby

#19768

Overall
  3.5 from 8 votes
5 Star
13%
4 Star
38%
3 Star
38%
2 Star
13%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#8

in Cosby

#395

in North Carolina

#19,768

Overall
37 Views Last Month
1,998 Since Sep 4, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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Check-Ins

Oct 4, 2020
Ryan Russell
7.3mi
Sep 10, 2020
Cm Schnet
cool old cabin a short hike in. interesting fact. the cabin was built from a single chestnut tree.
Jun 19, 2020
Dan Baker
May 25, 2020
buddy beavers
nice trail 3 creek crossing big trees nice views it rained heavy the last 3 miles out — 8h 00m
Mar 8, 2020
Cliff Burgess
Nov 29, 2019
Cleighgo Hike
Nov 23, 2019
Leighanne B
Jul 14, 2019
Brian Carpenter
A little overgrown in spots, but good, challenging hike. 14.5mi — 8h 00m