Boogerman Trail

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina

Elevation Gain2,245ft
Trailhead Elevation3,163ft
Elevation Min/Max2717/3690ft
Elevation Start/End3163/3144ft

Boogerman Trail

Boogerman Trail is a hiking trail in Haywood County, North Carolina. It is within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is 4.0 miles long and begins at 3,163 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 8.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,245 feet. The Carson-Messer Cemetery can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Carson-Messer Cemetery Access and Caldwell Fork Trail.

Boogerman Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"You might be a little wary of hiking a trail called “Boogerman,” but there’s no cause for alarm. Robert “Boogerman” Palmer, the former owner of much of the woodland
you hike through, supposedly received this nickname in school when he told his teacher he wanted to be the Boogerman when he grew up. (Another version says he told his teacher that his name was Boogerman.) Spooks or not, this hike is among the
finest in the park, with prolific spring wildflowers and some impressive trees, although the big hemlocks along the trail are now dead.

The hike begins with the crossing of Palmer Creek on a long, bouncy foot log, just upstream of its junction with Caldwell Fork to create Cataloochee Creek. The next 0.8 mile follows Caldwell Fork upstream. Cross the creek on a foot log and in a few yards come to the lower junction with Boogerman Trail.
Turn left onto Boogerman Trail and begin ascending moderately."

"A footlog crossing is an appropriate beginning for this hike; you’ll be quite familiar with them before this loop is over. But first, enjoy the beauty of huge trees, old homesites, and mountain streams on this fulfilling hike, whose trail name was the nickname of the man who owned the land, one Robert “Boogerman” Palmer.

There is quite a bit of up and down, and the trail makers, while using old roads, make a few twists and turns to take you by the biggest trees in the area."

"This trail is named for shy Robert “Boogerman” Palmer. When asked his name in school, he purportedly hid his face and said, “Boogerman.” It stuck for life.

This hike appropriately starts with a footlog crossing. You’ll be quite familiar with these narrow bridges before this loop is over. Along the way enjoy huge trees, homesites, and mountain streams. There is quite a bit of up and down, but the trail makers were simply visiting the biggest trees in the area.

Winter is a good time, since the elevations aren’t high and the lack of leaves allows views of big trees and historic homesites. Spring reveals copious wildflowers along Caldwell Fork. Summer could be warm. The trails are their driest in fall."

"This hike delivers national-park-level scenery on the east end of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Explore an assortment of pioneer homesites, old-growth trees, and mountain streams. And you will be very familiar with the streams, first heading up Caldwell Fork.

Turn up Palmer Branch to visit Robert “Boogerman” Palmer’s homestead. Pass big trees, then descend Snake Branch with more homesites, rich with relics and big trees, too. Hike back down Caldwell Fork, crossing it on numerous fun footlog bridges that enhance your looks at the crystalline Carolina stream."

Boogerman Trail Reviews

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One of the best trails in the park. I have been coming to the Great Smokies since I was a kid and I never tire of this beautiful park. The Boogerman is an adventure for sure and the old growth trees are big and beautiful. Although there are a ton of footbridges it is still a good idea to bring water shoes or sandals for the multiple creek crossings!
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A fun hike!
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The trail was wonderful! The weather was great! I loved all the footlogs and water features. I would definitely stay to the right when the loop splits... otherwise you end up with a very steep incline to hike. The incline going to the right is a little more gradual and not so intense. Beautiful hike... we will certainly do this again!

Boogerman Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Nearby City
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Skill Level
Additional Use
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 107 Park Headquarters Rd., Gatlinburg, TN 37738, (865) 436-1200,
Local Contacts
Great Smoky Mountains National Park; USGS Cove Creek Gap, Dellwood
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018