Middle Prong Trail

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

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Middle Prong Trail


  • Middle Prong Trailhead and the site of the 1930s logging community of Stringtown. - Middle Prong Trail
  • Middle Prong is a wide trail that follows the river past cascades and waterfalls. It is a perfect spot for a family day in the mountains. - Middle Prong Trail
  • Wildflowers line the Middle Prong Trail in the spring and summer. - Middle Prong Trail
  • Take time to explore the river and side trails along the way. - Middle Prong Trail
  • The site of the 100-year-old Cadillac at mile 2 is an excellent spot for taking a break. - Middle Prong Trail
  • A 100-year-old Cadillac left behind by the Civilian Conservation Corps. - Middle Prong Trail
  • Indian Flats Falls tucked away at mile 4 of the Middle Prong Trail. Watch your step! The falls are home to many local salamander friends. - Middle Prong Trail
  • Former splash dam located on the Middle Prong Trail.- Middle Prong Trail
  • Middle Prong Trail.- Middle Prong Trail
  • Middle Prong is the perfect trail for families, anglers, and hikers of all ages. - Middle Prong Trail
  • Strolling down the Middle Prong. - Middle Prong Trail
  • A gentle cascade at the end of this segment of trail.- Middle Prong Trail
  • An old footbridge covered in fallen leaves.- Middle Prong Trail
  • One of many small waterfalls on the river.- Middle Prong Trail
  • The waterfalls are numerous.- Middle Prong Trail
  • Another one of the many small waterfalls along the trail.- Middle Prong Trail
  • The old railroad bed now serves as the trail.- Middle Prong Trail
Overview + Weather
Wildflowers. History. Waterfalls and cascades. Wide trail.
Smoky Mountains, TN
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,100.00 ft (335.28 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
8.00 mi (12.87 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,900.00 ft (579.12 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


Middle Prong Trail is located in the Tremont section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Just outside of Townsend, Tennessee, the area is easily accessible and yet not as popular as some areas in the park. The Tremont region and the Middle Prong trail is filled with beauty, tranquility and history, however. The area surrounding the trailhead for Middle Prong was once a booming logging community called Stringtown. In the early 1900s, this spot was home to a hotel, a post office, and even tiny homes - before they were hip. Owned by the Little River Lumber Company, the area was logged for close to 30 years.

The trail itself follows the former railroad bed, giving you a nice smooth hike for most of the trail. Middle Prong follows the river along the way, providing an almost constant view of beautiful cascades, roaring waterfalls and tranquil pools. The area is lined with ferns, wildflowers and impressive rock formations. At just a half mile in you'll pass by what appears to be a waterfall; these are actually the remains of a splash dam from the logging days. Right at the 2-mile-mark you'll see a side trail to your right; take the side trail to explore a 100-year-old Cadillac left behind by the Civilian Conservation Corps. In the 1930s close to 200 men set up a CCC camp on Middle Prong and built most of the trails, roads and bridges in the area. Continue past the side trail to the Cadillac to further explore the Middle Prong Trail, the site of the CCC camp, and a tucked away waterfall. Indian Flats Falls is located off of a side trail at exactly 4 miles into the hike. It is filled with serenity and is surrounded by Smoky Mountain Salamanders. After all, the Smokies is known as the salamander capital of the world!

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Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(8 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(35 within a 30 mile radius)

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