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blueBlack Jakes Creek AT Loop

  4.4 ( 9 ) Favorite

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24.5 mile 39.4 kilometer loop


Ascent: 4,600' 1,402 m
Descent: -4,600' -1,402 m
High: 5,746' 1,751 m
Low: 2,309' 704 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)


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Trail shared by Brian Carpenter

A challenging, yet breathtaking 2-day loop with many highlights.

Brian Carpenter

Features Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


This loop is a challenging 2-day route that takes you past an old community, then up to some great views from the Appalachian Trail and back down, all while passing some beautiful cascading creeks.

Need to Know

Make sure to make backcountry camping reservation as the sites in the area tend to fill up.


Start at the Jakes Creek Trail Trailhead parking area just past the Elkmont Campground. Start along the Jakes Creek Trail for .3 miles and turn left onto Cucumber Gap Trail. This trail steadily climbs for a little over a mile before descending back onto the Little River Trail.

Stay on Little River Trail for 1.3 miles until you cross Lost Creek by bridge. There is a nice large log to take a small break before starting up the long climb of Goshen Prong Trail. Make a right at Goshen Prong Trail. A creek flows to your right and after a mile you can see some beautiful cascades. Around the 3.2-mile mark, you'll reach campsite #23 which makes for a nice place to take a small rest. From here the trail begins to climb from about 3200' to 5700'.

Around the 5-mile mark there is a stream which will become your last water source until you reach the AT. Just past the stream is a small cave. Eventually, the Goshen Prong Trail ends at the Appalachian Trail. From here, turn right. Double Spring Gap shelter is .6 mile and makes for a great stopping point for the day. From the right turn that you just made, you'll reach Silers Bald which is marked by a marker on top of a rock. The shelter is located about .25 miles from here.

The AT continues along the top of the mountains never dropping you too far below the ridge line. Around the 3-mile mark, you'll turn right on Miry Ridge Trail and start a long descent of about 5 miles until you reach Jake's Gap.

From here jump on Jakes Creek Trail for a quick and easy 3.3 miles back to the trailhead.


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Mar 23, 2019
Scott Basford
Took this loop in reverse order and made it a single day hike and really enjoyed it; if you go by the signed mileage, it's 26 miles, not 24.5. 26mi — 10h 14m
Oct 20, 2018
Matt Milburn
Oct 4, 2018
Danny Landry
Great hike. Did 7 miles late on Weds & camped at #23. Nice campsite next to the river. Moderate climb 4.4 mile to the AT. AT section was great. 24.5mi — 8h 30m
Jul 28, 2018
Jason Rupert
Our write up is here: https://youtu.be/SIvK-tFnnc0 Enjoy!!! 24.5mi
Apr 28, 2018
Ed Galyon
Mar 29, 2018
Stephen Brellenthin
Jun 12, 2017
Chris Rea
Thunderstorms every day. Misty and cool. Intense hiking to rewarding views on the AT.
May 27, 2017
Ronnie Baker

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 9 votes


in Elkmont


  4.4 from 9 votes
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I did this hike a couple of weeks ago, although I took it in the reverse order, and I made it a long day-hike. Miry Ridge and Goshen Prong Trails, in particular, don't seem to get a whole lot of traffic, and I thought they were both really excellent trails: Miry Ridge for pleasant ridge walking from the junction with Lynn Camp Prong trail to the A.T., Goshen Prong for attractive forest scenes nearer to the A.T. and equally attractive creekside hiking over the lower 2/3 of the trail. One thing I wanted to mention, though: if you go my the signed mileage at the trailheads and junctions, this total distance of the hike adds up to 26 miles *not* 24.5: Jakes Creek - Cucumber Gap [0.7} > Cucumber Gap - Little River [2.4] > Little River - Goshen Prong [1.4] > Goshen Prong - A.T. [7.7] > A.T. - Miry Ridge [5.2] > Miry Ridge - Jakes Creek [5.0] > Jakes Creek - parking lot [3.6]...add those numbers and you get 26 miles. Now, I don't know if maybe the signed mileages are off, but I doubt they are off by 1.5 mile, so just keep that in mind if you're doing this in one day. Mar 31, 2019

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