Features: Fall Colors — Wildflowers
Family Friendly: This is an easy trail and offers historic buildings in Little Greenbrier and at the Walker Sisters Cabin for children to explore.
Dogs: No Dogs
From the Townsend "Y" take the Little River Road 7.4 miles to reach the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area. Turn left, drive across the one-lane bridge and then turn right onto Little Greenbrier Road roughly .4 miles later. The parking area for the Little Brier Gap Trailhead is less than a half-mile up the narrow gravel road and is next to the historic Little Greenbrier School.
From the Sugarlands Visitor Center, drive 10 miles to Metcalfe Bottoms.
The Little Brier Gap Trail starts in the old mountain community known as Little Greenbrier. The school and cemetery remain today, offering a glimpse of what life was like in the community. The wide path was an old road that follows the stream, Little Brier Branch toward Cove Mountain. It's an easy hike with a log footbridge allowing you easy passage across the creek.
At 1.1 miles, there is a side trail that leads to the Walker Sisters Place. An old house, corn crib, and springhouse make up the homestead where the 5 Walker sisters lived as the national park was created. The Walker sisters gained fame after the Saturday Evening Post wrote an article on them, prompting visitors to flood into the area.
Once you return to the trail, it begins to narrow as it climbs a little more steeply now toward Little Brier Gap .3 miles away. The creek follows the trail for a little while longer as you pass by tulip trees, white oak, maple, and beech trees. At the end of the trail, you encounter the Little Greenbrier Trail
. From here, you can look into Wears Valley. You can either return to your car via the path you came or continue exploring on the Little Greenbrier Trail
. Going to the left (west) takes you back to Wear Cove Road while going right (east) will take you to the Laurel Falls Trail
The trail is relatively popular, although most people turn around at the Walker Sisters Cabin. This trail offers more of a history lesson about the park instead of sweeping views. The best view is at Little Brier Gap, where you get to look into Wears Valley.