Smokemont Loop Trail is a hiking trail in Swain County, North Carolina. It is within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is 3.8 miles long and begins at 2,203 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 7.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,856 feet. The Oconaluftee Ranger Station ranger station is near the trailhead. The Bradley Cemetery (elevation 2,297 feet) cemetery can be seen along the trail.
Smokemont Loop Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"This loop hike leads away from the popular Smokemont Campground along Bradley Fork, then upward along the southern reaches of Richland Mountain. The trail winds back down near the Oconaluftee River and past Bradley Cemetery, returning to the Smokemont campground.Start your loop hike on the Bradley Fork Trail, at the rear of the Smokemont campground. Pass an out-building, then a side road on your right leading to the water supply for the campground at mile 0.3. Open areas with thin forest cover indicate former homesites along the trail. At mile 1.0, cross a wide wooden bridge over Chasteen Creek, then come to the Chasteen Creek Trail junction. Press forward through the junction and come to the Smokemont Loop Trail junction at mile 1.6."
--Johnny Molloy, Day & Overnight Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Menasha Ridge Press).
"Since it starts from Smokemont Campground, this nature trail is a good choice for families who are camping. For those not staying at Smokemont and planning to drive to the trailhead, most any other short hike would be just as good, especially one of the many Quiet Walkways in the park. The park no longer publishes an interpretive guide for this nature trail.Smokemont Nature Trail crosses an overflow of Bradley Fork on a foot log, then crosses Bradley Fork and a split from the main stream. The trail loops just beyond the split. If you’re going right, you’ll climb rather steeply before descending back to Bradley Fork."
--Kevin Adams, Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Falcon Guides).
"One of the park’s steeper nature trails rises above Smokemont Campground, site of one of the Smokies’ biggest early twentieth-century logging operations. A few longer options include a loop and a very easy overnighter for beginner backpackers.
The Smokemont Nature Trail starts at a roadside sign and crosses three single log bridges that impart a deep woods Smokies feel. The second bridge spans lively, cacophonous Bradley Fork, and the third crosses a silent, lazy side flow that could almost be another creek in a completely different place. Beyond, the trail slams into a sharp hillside and splits, each side rising steeply to wrap around the knob above. Go right (north) and the trail undulates up along a very steep side hill overlooking the campground."
--Randy Johnson, Best Easy Day Hikes: Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 2nd Edition (Falcon Guides).
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