Gregory Ridge Trail is a hiking trail in Tennessee and North Carolina. It is within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is 4.8 miles long and begins at 1,941 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 9.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,870 feet. The Forge Creek Parking @ End parking is near the trailhead. There is also parking. The 12 (elevation 2,562 feet) camp site can be seen along the trail. The trail ends near the Rich Gap saddle.
Gregory Ridge Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"This hike is packed with features to satisfy even the most demanding hiker. On the way to Gregory Bald, world renowned for its wildflowers, pass along a mountain stream surrounded by old growth woodland and ascend a ridge, then pass historic Moore Spring, where an Appalachian Trail shelter once stood. It’s a steady climb to the bald but well worth it."
--Johnny Molloy, Day & Overnight Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Menasha Ridge Press).
"For every time of the year, there is a preferred hike in the Smokies. In the second half of June, this hike is the one. Excepting Roan Mountain (north of the park on the North Carolina–Tennessee border), there may be no finer destination in the entire southeastern United States than Gregory Bald during mid-to late June. Hundreds of azaleas grow on the bald, blooming in every imaginable color. You’ll see whites, reds, yellows, oranges, and every shade in between—even stark fuchsias that look almost electrified, like wet finger paint."
--Kevin Adams, Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Falcon Guides).
"This classic hike takes you to a signature Smokies’ destination. Follow Forge Creek past big trees in a deep valley then rise to Gregory Ridge, which leads to the state line. Take the Gregory Bald Trail to an open field with world-renowned wild azalea displays, berries in season, and a first-rate view of nearby Cades Cove, the state line ridge, and waves of mountains beyond.
Hike the trail in spring for streamside wildflowers and good views. June can be hazy, but that’s when the world-famous wild azaleas bloom. Come in July and early August for blueberries. Views once again become far-reaching when fall cold fronts clear the skies. Winter can be very windy and cold atop the open parts of Gregory Bald."
--Johnny Molloy, Top Trails: Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 2nd Edition (Wilderness Press).
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