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Metcalf Bottoms Trail



0.7 mile 1.1 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 126' 39 m
Descent: -25' -7 m
High: 1,782' 543 m
Low: 1,680' 512 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)


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Trail shared by David Hitchcock

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

David Hitchcock

Features River/Creek

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.


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

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.

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ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Flora & Fauna


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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
May 14, 2019
Ginnee Ginnee
Rocky and root but a great hike and my first solo! 1.2mi — 49h 47m
Apr 15, 2019
Charlie Shoemaker
Apr 4, 2019
Joshua B
Nov 10, 2018
Stephany Turner
Hike to cemetary 0.7mi
May 20, 2018
Chris Oldglory
May 19, 2017
Joey Dearduff

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 6 votes


in Elkmont


  3.3 from 6 votes
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in Elkmont


in North Carolina


9 Views Last Month
349 Since Sep 4, 2015



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
Little Greenbrier School and Cemetery.
Jan 21, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN


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