Rocky Top via Lead Cove

Townsend, Tennessee 37882

Rocky Top via Lead Cove

Rocky Top via Lead Cove Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This hike is the epitome of the old adage, “You reap what you sow.” You will burn a lot of calories on this climb with views as good as they come. Travel Lead Cove to intersect Bote Mountain Trail. Join the Appalachian Trail (AT), passing through Spence Field, climbing farther still to the storied Rocky Top.

This hike covers a lot of ecological zones as it climbs and therefore offers year-round beauty. Practically speaking, the warmer season will avail snow-free conditions up high. Fall and spring will have clear skies and the best vistas."

More Rocky Top via Lead Cove Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best of the Appalachian Trail Day Hikes (Menasha Ridge Press)
Leonard M. Adkins & Victoria and Frank Logue
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"A steep hike up from Lead Cove leads to one of the finest views along the A.T. in the Great Smoky Mountains. The 360° view is all the more impressive because you should have few, if any, people to share it with. Of course, solitude in a popular national park comes at a price. In this case, that price is the steep, but beautiful, climb, which also takes you through high Spence Field. For hardy hikers, this is a hike not to miss. From the trailhead at Laurel Creek Road, ascend on Lead Cove Trail for 1.7 miles to a junction with the Bote Mountain Trail at Sandy Gap. Turn right following Bote Mountain Trail as it climbs to its junction with Anthony Creek trail in another 1.2 miles. Continue on Bote Mountain Trail and in 0.7 mile pass through a long tunnel of rhododendron. Reach Spence Field in 1.0 mile (at mile 4.6 of the hike)." Read more
Day & Overnight Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Menasha Ridge Press)
Johnny Molloy
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"This hike is the epitome of the old adage, “You reap what you sow.” You will burn a lot of calories on the climb to your destination, but the view is as good as views get. Leave the lowlands via Lead Cove Trail to intersect Bote Mountain Trail up to the Appalachian Trail, pass through Spence Field, and climb farther still to the storied Rocky Top. Leave Laurel Creek Road behind and step into history on the Lead Cove Trail, for what is a hike in the Smokies without a little history? Lead Cove derived its name from the ore that was extracted in the 1800s. Soon you pass an old homesite that lingers among the cool forest of the cove. Keep climbing somewhat steeply, leaving the bottom land behind to arrive at Sandy Gap and the Bote Mountain Trail at mile 1.8." Read more

Rocky Top via Lead Cove Reviews

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6/17/2009
We actually came to Rocky Top via Spence Field as a side trip. This portion of the trail had great overlooks especially from the top to Rocky Top which was almost a full 360 view. The trail get pretty steep at times, but well worth the trip
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Comments

Rocky Top via Lead Cove Photos

Trail Information

Townsend
Nearby City
11.6 miles
Distance
3,500 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Difficult
Skill Level
6-8 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
Camping
Additional Use
Views, Wildflowers
Features
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Local Contacts