Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
412.00 ft (125.58 m)
Trail type
4.80 mi (7.72 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Easy hike. Follows the river. History. Wildflowers.



Trailhead Elevation

2,200.00 ft (670.56 m)


Backcountry camping
Historically significant

Typically multi-day



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park


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