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BMT: Segment 23c (Newton Bald 
to US 441 at Smokemont)



4.8 mile 7.7 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 0' 0 m
Descent: -2,848' -868 m
High: 5,048' 1,539 m
Low: 2,200' 671 m


Avg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 21% (12°)


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Trail shared by Richard Harris

The section of the Benton MacKaye Trail from Newton Bald to US 441.

Richard Harris

Features Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors

Section Of

Need to Know

For more information, visit the Benton MacKaye Trail Association's website.


Points of Interest along this section: This section of the trail covers from the Newton Bald Campsite along the Newton Bald Trail down to US 441 at Smokemont Campground Bridge Parking Lot.

Newton Bald was named for the Newton family who lived in the area. Newton Bald was not a natural bald, but was made so by the Newtons by deadening the trees through girdling so their livestock would have a place to graze. The bald has returned to its natural state and is no longer "bald".

Trail Description:This trail is all steeply downhill or uphill, depending on your direction. From the Newton Bald Campsite #52 at mile 249.9, continue on the Newton Bald Trail around the edge of the mountain top to the intersection with the Mingus Creek Trail at mile 250.0. Turn left, staying on the Newton Bald Trail and soon start heading steeply downhill following the crest of a ridge most of the way. At mile 252.2, water is available at a stream crossing. Finally US 441, the Newfound Gap Road, is reached at mile 254.7. Cross Route 441 at the Smokemont Bridge. The developed campsite area is up the road to the left. The BMT goes straight ahead to the Primitive Baptist Church. Seasonally, it is possible to get a bus from the Smokemont Bridge to either Cherokee or Gatlingburg. Call Cherokee Transit at 866-388-6071 to make arrangements.

Campsites: Camping is available at the Newton Bald Campsite #52 at mile 249.9 and at the class A park campground at Smokemont at mile 254.9. Reservations are highly recommended for the Smokemont Campground, which is only open seasonally, and may be reserved online atrecreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777. A phone for contacting the Backcountry Reservations Desk is available in the campground at the ranger station.

Water Sources: Water is available at the Newton Bald Campsite #52 at mile 249.9, halfway down the mountain at a stream crossing at mile 252.2, and at the Smokemont Campground. The first two need treating, but the water in the campground is potable.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Flora & Fauna


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The trail can appear to be lost in the leaves in the fall.  The leaves are dry up on the ridgelines.
Nov 25, 2017 near Cherokee, NC