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Lead Cove Trail

Intermediate
 3.3 (6)

An easy trail that provides access to the Bote Mountain Trail and Spence Field along the AT.


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Map Key

1.8

Miles

2.9

KM

Point to Point

3,015' 919 m

High

1,833' 559 m

Low

1,183' 360 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (7°)

17%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildflowers

Family Friendly While this trail may prove too difficult for younger children, it still provides a viable option for families with older kids.

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

Description

The trailhead is on the Laurel Creek Road on the way to Cades Cove, 5.6 miles from the Townsend "Y." Parking is on both sides of the road, with the trailhead being on the left side of the road.

This trail provides the shortest hike to Spence Field via the Bote Mountain Trail. While it covers 1.8 miles, the trail gains 1200 feet of elevation in a steady climb toward Bote Mountain Trail. Following the Sugar Cove Prong, there are a couple easy rock hop creek crossings at the start of the trail. Hiking under hemlock, tuliptree, and other hardwoods, you'll pass the ruins of a homestead, as evidenced by the remains of a foundation and chimney.

Roughly 3/4 miles into the hike, the trail moves away from the creek and begins climbing more steeply toward the Bote Mountain Trail. The trail narrows as you wind around the ridges in this area. When you emerge on the wider Bote Mountain Trail, you can turn right and head up the Bote Mountain Trail to the Appalachian Trail, which provides easy access to the popular Spence Field area.

You can return to your car via the same trail you came up or turn left on Bote Mountain Trail and hike down to the Finley Cane Trail, and return to your car via that trail.

Flora & Fauna

Deer, bears, squirrels. Great wildflowers and trees can be found surrounding parts of this trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 6 votes

#8

in Tremont

#22642

Overall
  3.3 from 6 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
67%
2 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#8

in Tremont

#460

in North Carolina

#22,642

Overall
11 Views Last Month
899 Since Sep 4, 2015
Intermediate

17%
0%
50%
33%
0%
0%

Photos

Lead Cove Trail as the sun begins to set.
Jan 22, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
The trail narrows as you approach the intersection with Bote Mountain Trail.
Jan 22, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN

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Check-Ins

May 10, 2021
Bryan Wilks
Nice trail with steady climb outside a couple of flat spots that ran for maybe 50 yards. Crested Dwarf Iris. Squawroot / Bear Corn. Trillium. 1.8mi — 1h 15m
Aug 17, 2019
Crystal Lane
Jan 21, 2019
Rodney Kirkpatrick
Jan 12, 2019
Shaun Anon
Dec 15, 2018
Kevin O'Toole
Jun 1, 2018
Aaron Aiken
May 31, 2018
buddy beavers
Jun 16, 2017
Ethan Patterson