Rough Fork Trail Professional Review and Guide
"This is a terrific loop hike located in the remote Cataloochee Cove section of the park. It offers several things such as a historical structure to explore, two opportunities for camping, and lots of solitude. The first mile follows the old roadbed along Rough Fork, crossing it three times on narrow foot logs and arriving at a clearing. Here stands Steve Woody Place, a well-preserved homesite open for exploration. The house and springhouse are all that remain from several structures that once stood here."
--Kevin Adams, Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Falcon Guides).
We just hiked Rough Fork and it was lovely. Be sure to visit the historic homes and buildings in the area near the trail head.
We back packed from the trail head of caldwell fork on cove creek road. Over all the trail is only moderately steep - and probably only to a flatlander from Florida. Lots of opportunities for wild life viewing. Saw several elk and deer as well. Wild flowers are starting to bloom and lots of butterflies. Speaking of flies - in the afternoon there were literally swarms of flies - did not bite just got on everything - will upload some pics. As the evening progressed the flies just dissapeared only to return in the heat of the next day.
We camped at sites #40 and #39 the next day. At campsite 40 the park has cut down numerous trees - debri is everywhere, still a very nice site by a pristine creek and several of the stumps were large enough to make a nice tables and chairs.
camp site #39 is quite hilly, and looked as though no one had used it in quite a while. there were several nice spots to choose from, for me the only drawback was it was too close to the trail. #40 you could miss if you weren't looking,
Follow the trail from caldwell fork turning right on rough fork trail toward the main road. There are several old buildings from the original settlers in the area. A few houses, school house and church. Great history hike - must have been heart breaking to have the park system take the land for a national park.
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