Maddron Bald Trail

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Distance7.1mi
Elevation Gain3,935ft
Trailhead Elevation1,867ft
Top5,411ft
Elevation Min/Max1867/5411ft
Elevation Start/End1867/1867ft

Maddron Bald Trail

Maddron Bald Trail is a hiking trail in Cocke County, Tennessee. It is within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is 7.1 miles long and begins at 1,867 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 14.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,935 feet. The 29 (elevation 4,528 feet) camp site and the Maddron Bald ridge can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Snake Den Ridge Trail, Albright Grove Loop Trail, Gabes Mountain Trail and Old Settlers Trail.

Maddron Bald Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"For people who like trees, this may be the best backpacking trip in the park. Much of the hike passes through old-growth forest, including what many people believe to be the finest “virgin” woods in the park, at Albright Grove. Throw in a high and pretty waterfall, abundant spring wildflowers, and a heath bald, and you have a grand adventure ahead of you.

From the parking area, walk through the campground to Campsite B51. Snake Den Ridge Trail enters the forest directly opposite the campsite and climbs gradually along an old roadbed. Soon you pass Cosby Horse Trail, which comes in from the left. The
horse trail serves as a connector to Low Gap Trail. Stay to the right and continue climbing along the old roadbed. You soon pass an old graveyard on the right and shortly afterward reach an old turnaround. A side path on the right leads a few feet to a concrete slab and an overlook of Rock Creek."

"This is one of the best backpacking loops in the entire park! First, hike along the lower reaches of Gabes Mountain, passing Hen Wallow Falls and entering virgin woodland to camp at Sugar Cove. Next, head up Maddron Bald Trail, to Albright Grove, which contains some of the park’s largest trees. Camp along resonant high country Otter Creek. Surmount Maddron Bald, which sports awe inspiring views. Return via the rugged Snake Den Trail, where more vistas open on heath balds.

This destination is good year-round, though winter can be cold and harsh up high. The multiple creek crossings may be high in spring. High-elevation streamside camps are cool, even in summer. Fall offers low water and clear skies."

"This two-night trip is one of the best (if not the very best) backpacking loops in the entire park! Hike along the lower reaches of Gabes Mountain, passing Henwallow Falls, and enter virgin woodland to camp at Sugar Cove.

Then head up Maddron Bald Trail to Albright Grove, which contains some of the park’s largest trees. Camp along a resonant high-country creek near Maddron Bald, which sports awe-inspiring views both above and below. On the return trip down the rugged Snake Den Ridge Trail, a few more vistas open up on some smaller heath balds. This excursion presents the Smoky Mountains at their finest."

Maddron Bald Trail Reviews

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7/11/2008
Awsome hike. Site 34 is one of the best. Good sites with a stream. 29 is good too but beware the mice! Overall a wonderful 2 niter. Enjoy the falls and dont pass up the Albright loop. The virgin trees are the most awe inspiring!
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3/11/2006
Nice loop, although not without problems. We reached the first night's backcountry site around 11am, and decided to continue on. Upon reaching Polls Gap trail, we discovered that it was closed ("Closed due to unsafe conditions"), a closure not listed on the GSMNP website. We were forced to walk along the road and camp at Balsam Mountain campground. Continuing to hike along the road we reached the 2nd night's campsite before 11am, and continued on. The rest of the trail was downhill, and we easily finished it by the afternoon. Overall: Campsites badly spaced for even semi-serious hikers, and major trail closure results in badly designed loop. Do not recommend.
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Trail Information

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Nearby City
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Parks
Moderate
Skill Level
Camping
Additional Use
Wildflowers, Waterfalls, Views
Features

Activity Feed

Oct 2018