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Little River Trail

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

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Little River Trail

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  • Little River Trail is the perfect trail for a day in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. - Little River Trail
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the salamander capital of the world. Take time to meet the locals! - Little River Trail
  • The Little River Trail offers wide open spaces to move and explore. - Little River Trail
  • You'll find plenty of benches along the way for breaks.- Little River Trail
  • The Little River Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an ideal hike for families.- Little River Trail
  • Stopping for a break along the Little River Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.- Little River Trail
  • Family time on the Little River Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.- Little River Trail
  • The Little River Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an ideal hike for families.- Little River Trail
  • Watch your step! You never know what you might meet on the way down the trail. - Little River Trail
  • Slow down and spy the salamanders. - Little River Trail
  • Connecting to nature in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. - Little River Trail
  • Perfect days are found in the mountains. - Little River Trail
  • Exploring the Elkmont Troll Bridge in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.- Little River Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Easy hike. Follows the river. History. Wildflowers.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
Smoky Mountains, TN
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
412.00 ft (125.58 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
4.80 mi (7.72 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,200.00 ft (670.56 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

The Little River Trail is located in the Historic Elkmont district of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Over the years, Elkmont has been everything from a pioneer Appalachian community to a logging community. The area was also once a vacation resort for the elite from surrounding cities. Known for such spots as the Wonderland Hotel, Millionaire's Row, Daisy Town and Society Hill, the remnants of summers of the past are now being demolished by the park. Although some structures will stay, this is an even better reason to visit Elkmont this summer. Experience the history before it fades into photographs and stories of the past.

In the heart of this historical place you'll find the Little River Trail, a trail that is perfect for families, beginner hikers, anglers or anyone else looking to explore a tranquil river inside the most visited national park. Along the trail you'll find large boulders and numerous wildflowers. One of the most popular areas of the trail is the Huskey Branch Cascades. The cascades will be to your right on the trail, and the creek proceeds underneath a bridge and then flows into the Little River. Harbor mosses and ferns line the path, salamanders hangout along the wet areas to the right of the trail, and you may even get a glimpse of larger wildlife.

Visit in late May and early June to experience the world-famous synchronized fireflies of Elkmont. Little River and Elkmont are filled with reasons to explore. Take a longer hike up the trail to find an old car, signs of the former Little River Lumber Company, and even a couple of the best backcountry campsites in the park. Once you've finished up with your day and are close to reaching the trailhead, see if you can spot the beautiful stone bridge to your left. The bridge is known to the locals as the Troll Bridge, and it is the perfect spot to stop for a photograph before heading home. 

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(36 within a 30 mile radius)

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