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Metcalf Bottoms Trail


A trail along the Little Brier Branch to Little Greenbrier School.

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Out and Back

1,768' 539 m


1,683' 513 m


112' 34 m


111' 34 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (5°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Historical Significance · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly Moderate grades and a manageable length make this trail a viable option for families with children. Kids will enjoy exploring the school building on trail.

Closed when the Little River Road is closed from the Townsend Y to Sugarlands Visitor Center or the Wears Cove Road is closed. For park road conditions, information can be found at twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps or by calling (865) 436-1200 and dialing extension 2, 2.


An easy, history-filled hike that can begin or end with a picnic. Enjoy rolling hills and typical Great Smoky Mountains vegetation on this well-marked, creek-side path.


The trailhead starts in the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area. Park in the picnic area before making your way across the bridge crossing the Little River, and then the trail takes off to the right.

This trail wanders through the Metcalf Bottoms area and evidence of the past can be found around every turn. As the trail leaves the picnic area, a pile of rocks off to the left are evidence of an old homesite. The trail reaches the top of a small hill, enters a rhododendron tunnel and starts to follow the Little Brier Branch. The trail is pretty much level at this point making for a pleasant journey through the woods. Several creek crossings are easily traversed by foot logs and the trail finally climbs up a small slope to arrive at the Little Greenbrier School.

Once you have explored the school building and the cemetery that is up the hill from the school, the trail returns to the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area. If you want to continue exploring the area, you can take the Little Brier Gap

History & Background

The Little Greenbrier School was constructed by the community and opened on January 1, 1882. The whole community chipped in to build the school. William Abbott donated the land, Ephariam Ogle the logs for the wall, Billie Ogle the shingles, and several other members helped contribute to the construction the school. Because it was a community building, it was used as a church for a while and other community functions. The school remained open until 1936 when the area was incorporated into the National Park.


Shared By:

David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

  3.6 from 7 votes


in Elkmont


  3.6 from 7 votes
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11 Views Last Month
925 Since Sep 4, 2015



Greenbrier School
Mar 10, 2020 near Gatlinburg, TN
The Little Greenbriar School, church, and graveyard serve as a reminder to a time passed in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Mar 1, 2017 near Gatlinburg, TN
Cemetery next to the Little Greenbrier School.
Jan 21, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
A true black board in the Greenbrier School
Mar 10, 2020 near Gatlinburg, TN
Student Perspective inside the Greenbrier School
Mar 10, 2020 near Gatlinburg, TN
Watch out for bears!
Mar 10, 2020 near Gatlinburg, TN



Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Minor Issues 85 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In


Jun 30, 2021
Brook Stewart
Didn't hike, but enjoyed the picnic area playing on the river
Oct 19, 2020
Brett Wolfley
Short and easy
Oct 18, 2020
Jessamine Hippensteel
Jul 3, 2020
Andrew Bingham
With Dad Alex Philip Opa Jimmy Kelli Lilly
Jun 28, 2020
Colleen Gebauer
Jun 28, 2020
Brooke Walczak
Combined with trail to walker cabin. Met Alf bottoms was awesome for kids. Fun bridges and creeks.
Aug 31, 2019
DeAnna Trent
Went to the sisters cabin. Seen a turkey and a wide variety of mushrooms. 4.7mi
Jun 11, 2019
Shawnee Reller
At schoolhouse go up past fenced area to access trail to cabin 0.7mi