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Top Trails: Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 2nd Edition
by Johnny Molloy (Wilderness Press)
Leave Elkmont and cruise up the ultra-attractive Little River valley, where the watercourse tumbles over huge boulders, forming large, clear pools that invite a dip in the cool mountain stream. Pass a tributary waterfall. Leave the Little River on an old railroad grade that gently climbs to a gap and then descends to Jakes Creek Valley, returning to Elkmont.
This is a great hike year-round. In spring, wildflowers abound along the Little River and Huskey Branch. Swimmers and sunbathers can enjoy the big waters of the Little River. Fall colors are vibrant along the streams and near Cucumber Gap. Solitude seekers will enjoy winter.
Day & Overnight Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
by Johnny Molloy (Menasha Ridge Press)
This is a great hike for those who want more of a woodland stroll than a lung-busting mountain climb. Head out from Elkmont and cruise up the ultra-attractive Little River Valley, where the watercourse tumbles over huge boulders, forming large, clear pools that invite you to take a dip in the cool mountain stream. Leave Little River for an old railroad grade that gently climbs to a gap then descends to Jakes Creek Valley, from where you return to Elkmont. Start your hike on the Little River Trail, which was moved back in the mid 1990s, after a flood washed out some of the upper section of the old road.
Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park
by Kevin Adams (Falcon Guides)
If you’re looking for an easy, relatively short, and interesting loop hike, it doesn’t get much better than this. It makes a wonderful day hike if you’re staying at Elkmont Campground—you don’t even have to drive to the trailhead, since the campground is so close. A little over 2 miles of this hike are along Little River on Little River Trail. Walk up the gravel road past the gate on Jakes Creek Trail. Climb fairly steeply to the junction with Cucumber Gap Trail, cutting sharply back to the left (east). Take Cucumber Gap Trail and make a long, gradual ascent through second-growth yellow poplar (tulip tree) and abundant spring wildflowers to Cucumber Gap.
This hike is really just an enjoyable walk by the river and then through the woods! Highly recommend this one.
A relatively easy trail. I walked it from the Cucumber Gap Trail to the Little river Trail, which put most of the elevation gain in the front part of the hike. The Little River Trail is a nice, wide, relatively flat stroll along the river. This made for a good afternoon loop hike.
Beautiful hike. This part of the park is beginning to become my favorite. This is a nice, easy hike. Great for families, although, rough going if you're thinking about a stroller - I wouldn't. But great for families who have children small enough to put in a backpack, or big enough to hike the whole way. It's more of a woodland stroll. This hike is very very refreshing, perfect on a spring day. We saw plenty of wildflowers, and really really enjoyed ourselves. This whole Jakes Creek, Meigs Mtn. area is just gorgeous!
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