6. (off road, bump, narrow road) This trail is worth to visit though. The 3000km route stretches from Cape Reinga in the north of New Zealand to Bluff in the south. Porters Creek Trail. Getting in to parking lot could be challenge to some drivers just like other trails. 5. The problem is that the bridge that goes over the treacherous river before getting to the falls is destroyed. Setup a car shuttle and hike this mile one-way route from east to west. After a mile, and a short detour to Messer's barn, the trail continues (to the left, or you'll end up on Brushy Mountain), gets a bit rockier and heavily rooted, but continues along and across the creek (on what used to called the "Scary Bridge," but is not so bad really), past Fern Branch Falls, up to campsite 31. While the wildflowers are only in full bloom seasonally, we strongly recommend this hike anytime during the year, so enjoy! It’s quite rocky but smaller rocks and pretty easy for my three year old to travel. It will not accommodate large vehicl… That's what keeps it nice! Porters Creek Trail ist ein 7 Meilen langer, stark besuchter Hin- und Rückweg in der Nähe von Gatlinburg, Tennessee. You will find John Messer's cantilevered barn built in 1875. Directions: Take Highway 321 east of Gatlinburg, TN to the Greenbrier entrance to the park. Follow the signs to the Porters Creek trailhead. You’ll also be able to see Porters Creek while you walk. You’ll cross footbridges farther down the trail, and near the end, there’s a 60-foot-tall waterfall called Fern Branch Falls. Visitors should also note that you’ll be traveling in bear country on this hike. To continue towards Fern Branch Falls you should veer left at this junction. A small side trail leads up to the falls, where a large fallen tree makes a good place to sit, relax, and possibly have some lunch. From Route 321 drive 3.1 miles to a fork in the road. Porters Creek Trail. This old road follows Porters Creek with a gentle upward grade, and for the first half mile the stream is easily accessible. Wildflowers are just beginning to show. Porters Creek Trail On our second day, the forecast was for light rain all day, so rather than seek out some mountain views, we elected to do a family-friendly hike in the forest. We had a great time hiking to the waterfall today! Porters Creek. All rights reserved. To continue on to the waterfall, take the left trail along Porters Creek. The drive to the trailhead is nearly as nice as the hike. The Porters Creek Trail is a 3.7 mile trail to backcountry campsite 31. At roughly 2 miles hikers will arrive at the 60-foot Fern Branch Falls, which drops off the ridge on the left side of the trail. We’ve hiked it during the peak of spring wildflowers, as well as in the snow, and both of those hikes have been our favorites in the Smokies. Directions to Porters Creek Trail: Starting at light #3 in Gatlinburg or the junction of 441 and 321, turn to travel eastbound on 321. Porters Creek. The spur trail on the right leads to an historic farm site. When the trail reaches Campsite #31, you'll be faced with either a quick hop over the water, or a mildly frustrating crossing, depending on recent rains. Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Length: 4.5 mile, round trip Time: 3 hours, including time to see the many historical points of interest Difficulty: Easy with a few moderate hills to climb. The parking area for the trail will be almost another mile from this junction. A photographer's paradise today. Porters Creek Trail. Copyright Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Porters Creek Trail. @ document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); HikingintheSmokys.com. main road to trailhead is washed out. Bridge is out as of 5/31/2020 at 2 miles. snaky but beautiful in the spring. This road turns into a gravel road after a short distance. Trail Location: Sugarlands Visitor Center Roundtrip Length: 3.9 Miles Trail Difficulty Rating: 4.37 (easy) GPS Coordinates for Trailhead: 35.68579 -83.53677 . We carried him over the bridge. The trail was muddy and somewhat slippery. Porters Creek Trail is the perfect trail for a simple hike through fall foliage. The trail makes a great hike any time of … Take the time to pay your respects to these early settlers. About 1.7 miles into the hike you'll encounter Fern Branch Falls. Loved it!! The waterfall at the end makes it all worth it, though. Good thing too. You'll also begin to notice some much larger old-growth trees as you proceed further upstream. Note that there are many safe paths to the foot of the falls for great pictures. Fringed phacelia was in full bloom and looked like a fairy land. The Creek. Turn right at the sign and drive 4-miles to the trailhead at the end of Greenbrier Road. Roundtrip length: 8 miles. The gravel pathway continues to the 1.0 mile point, where a short spur trail leads to the Historic Farm Site. Andrews Bald To continue along the Porters Creek Trail hikers should turn left here as well. Porters Creek Trail is a 3.7-mile out-and-back trail that ends at Backcountry Campsite 31 in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Like the Kephart Prong Trail, Porters Creek has historical remnants of those who lived in the area before the park was created and established including the Ownby Cemetery. Large portion of road damaged. Located near Greenbrier, Porters Creek Trail is one of the best Smoky Mountain hikes to go on to avoid crowds. There are also a few historical buildings located along the trail. The Porters Creek Trail is a 7-mile trail that is moderately hiked and fairly moderate when it comes to difficulty. Also on your right, just past the stone walls, is the Ownby Cemetery, which also dates back to the early part of the 20th century. Members of the club were permitted to use the cabin as an overnight facility until 1981. Roundtrip, the hike to Laurel Falls and back is 2.3 miles in total length. The path meanders through a lush forest of moss covered trees and rocks as it follows along the banks of Porters Creek. Here’s a photo from our visit during the weekend of April 13th, 2014: If you want views of a little bit of everything, Porters Creek is the perfect hike for you. update as of August 27th, the trail is being worked on by park staff, they advised us along with others they would rather not have anyone on the trail at this time, so we chose a different trail. Drive 6 miles and turn right into Greenbrier (look for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance sign on the right). Past the barn is the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club Cabin, built in 1934-36. The bridge over Porters Creek, located about 1.3 miles after the entrance, is washed out and I was unable to find a safe crossing. Plan to use up the whole day for this hike! The hike along the Porters Creek Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains begins from the Porters Creek Trailhead in Greenbrier. There’s really no safe way to cross the water, so we were super disappointed. During high water flows this can be a fairly spectacular waterfall. The first mile of the Porters Creek Trail is an old gravel road that runs through a forest along the banks of Porters Creek. This hike provides a cool respite on even the hottest of days. From here, an ancient manway continues up to the Sawteeth near Charlie's Bunion... but I have yet to tackle such a momunmental path. It should look amazing soon! The trail is in a heavily wooded area, with Porters Creek on your left. Porters Creek is a great trail for all ages and offers spectacular views of the park. Round Trip Length: 4 miles; Location: Greenbrier area (near Gatlinburg, TN) Located right outside of Gatlinburg, the Greenbrier area of the Great Smoky Mountains is a beautiful area to explore! Porters Creek Trail. Several blowdowns obstructed the paht, but those will likely be cleared by the end of April 2020 when the NPS performs annual trail maintenance. Is there a Porters Creek trail map? The first mile of the Porters Creek Trail is actually an old gravel road, which meanders through a lush forest of moss covered trees and rocks as it follows along the banks of Porters Creek. We have not bitten single mosquito bite and water was so clean. This is where you will want to rest up for the hike back, and snap some photos. Porter's Creek Trail (4-1-17) As the month of April dawns, spring once again slowly begins to spread its green blanket over the Southern Appalachians. To reach the trailhead from the junction of 441 and 321 in Gatlinburg (Light 3), turn to travel eastbound on 321. before using any information on this site. This road led up into the Porter's Creek community which existed here before the National Park was formed. Reviewed August 3, 2015 . Continue straight ahead at this junction to reach the Porters Creek Trailhead. In March and April, the first 1.5 miles of this hike offers stunning views of wildflowers. Although this particular hike ends at this point, the trail continues on for another 1.7 miles to reach Backcountry Campsite 31. Porters Creek Trail to Fern Branch Falls . I then hiked the Brushy Mountain trail for a few miles, which I really enjoyed, but it’s uphill. The Porters Creek Trail offers a little bit of everything. If you happen to have the opportunity to hike this trail during the spring you'll likely be treated to an absolutely awesome display of yellow trillium near the trailhead. Great Smoky Mountain National Park - 865-436-1200. This beautiful trail is great at any time of year and located just 6 miles east of Gatlinburg. BEAUTIFUL FOREST WALK. The first mile is a gravel road, with the lively creek on one side and the remains of old settlements on the other. These are remnants from the Elbert Cantrell farmstead, who settled in the Porters Creek community in the early 1900s. Starting in late March more and more photos start popping up on my social media feeds and inevitably I catch the wildflower bug as I do every year. It looks like there was a huge flood that really tore things up. It reaches a stretch of the Appalachian Trail and leads to a tower with major views. Went with my family including my 10 month old grandson. Off to the left, visitors will pass a 40' waterfall named Fern Falls. Lots of Fringed Phacelia and a few Dutchman’s Breeches. Bridge is still out as of 6/18 over Porter's creek it is crossable if you don't kind getting wet, I would recommend entering the water behind the first large boulder on the far right. A short hike of roughly 250 yards will take you to the John Messer farm site, which includes a cantilevered barn that was built by John Whaley around 1875. For the first mile, Porters Creek Trail is a gravel road. The trailhead (200 ft) is ~4.5 miles from Porter and is across the road from Porter Creek Campground. Hikers will then walk another hundred feet or so to arrive at the Brushy Mountain Trail junction. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, horses, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Apparently they had crossed the creek before a rain storm and returned to find a raging river. Quarantine has not been kind to this road and trail. I chose to hike Porters Creek after an intense wind and rainstorm, so what I got was part trail, part stream! If you cross, be prepared to wait out the weather for possibly days. Turn right onto Greenbrier Road, until the road makes a "Y" at the bridge. Yes, and it's free! Follow Porters Creek Road (gravel) to the trailhead. 3 miles if you count the extra mile you have to hike where the road at the entrance to the trailhead is out. Maybe someday.... Baskins Creek Falls Trail to Greenbrier Cove, Mount LeConte via Trillium Gap Loop Trail, Mount LeConte and Rainbow Falls via The Bullhead Trail, Trillium Gap, Grotto Falls, Brushy Mountain, Bull Head Trail Loop, Grapeyard Ridge Trail to Campsite 32 Via Roaring Fork. It's usually not very crowded from the length of the trail. I’m sure the park service will get it fixed eventually, just sad we didn’t see the falls today while trying to avoid the crowds at the more popular trails. At the 1.0 mile mark, the trail splits twice in short succession. But on the day I hiked, it was a roaring faucet that spilled down the gully over the trail. 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