At 2.5 miles, the trail curves left as you pass a confluence of Porters Creek with a major tributary. Porters Creek. Porters Creek Trail to Fern Branch Falls . Setup a car shuttle and hike this mile one-way route from east to west. Porters Creek Trail. The Greenbrier area, which is at a lower elevation and remains open all year long, provides a great winter option when higher ele… Review of Greenbrier Picnic Area. Past the barn is the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club Cabin, built in 1934-36. The hike is well worth it though – Laurel Falls is very photogenic, and is widely considered to be one of the best waterfall hikes in the Smokies. The Porters Creek Trail features beautiful scenery, so be sure to bring your camera along and capture some of the most spectacular photos of your vacation! Porters Creek Trail Quick Guide. It is full of history and beautiful scenery. 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. Thus, I back tracked about a half mile and visited an old settlers barn and home, which was great. During high water flows this can be a fairly spectacular waterfall. Porters Creek Trail is a 7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The first mile of the hike is on a gravel road that meanders along the banks of Porters Creek. The waterfall at the end makes it all worth it, though. 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. We carried him over the bridge. 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. one of the best hiking trails in the park. 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. Round Trip Length: 4 miles Location: Parking along Greenbriar Road, near Greenbriar Picnic Area and Cosby. Turn right at the sign and drive 4-miles to the trailhead at the end of Greenbrier Road. The trail is in a heavily wooded area, with Porters Creek on your left. In March and April, the first 1.5 miles of this hike offers stunning views of wildflowers. Porters Creek Trail is a 4 mile round trip hike out to Fern Branch Falls and back. During my visit I encountered two different group outings of at least 15 people. You will find John Messer's cantilevered barn built in 1875. The trail is famous for an abundance of wild flowers that literally blanket the forest floor all around the trail in early April. Bridge is out as of 5/31/2020 at 2 miles. Turn right onto Greenbrier Road, until the road makes a "Y" at the bridge. Te Araroa is NZ's walk of a lifetime. These are remnants from the Elbert Cantrell farmstead, who settled in the Porters Creek community in the early 1900s. The Greenbrier section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hidden gem that is frequented by locals and experienced area tourists alike. The Porter’s Creek trail stays close to the named creek the entire hike, only leaving it briefly and never out of earshot of the roaring water. Wildflowers are just beginning to show. Located just beyond the footbridgrabout 1.5 miles and before Fern Falls. The first mile is a gravel road, with the lively creek on one side and the remains of old settlements on the other. As you can see here, the Porter's Creek Trail follows what used to be an old roadway. Currently closed about a mile before the trailhead. The wide pathway enables groups to stay together. Take the time to pay your respects to these early settlers. The trail conditions are excellent and you will traverse through a variety of Northwest scenery. If you want views of a little bit of everything, Porters Creek is the perfect hike for you. 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. We have not bitten single mosquito bite and water was so clean. I then hiked the Brushy Mountain trail for a few miles, which I really enjoyed, but it’s uphill. It reaches a stretch of the Appalachian Trail and leads to a tower with major views. 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. There are also a few historical buildings located along the trail. This is a nice wooded hike along Porters Creek with an old cemetery, historic farm site, and a waterfall. This is a beautiful hike, and not too strenuous for families or beginners. On the bright side, saw almost no other hikers which is always delightful! We have an entire post full of all our best tips for hiking with kids and this one with all the best hiking gear for kids . 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. The first mile of the Porters Creek Trail is an old gravel road that runs through a forest along the banks of Porters Creek. 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. Here’s a photo from our visit during the weekend of April 13th, 2014: Once at the trailhead you will begin up a gradual incline along a wide gravel path. Porters Creek. There are several old buildings along the trail you can explore. About 1.7 miles into the hike you'll encounter Fern Branch Falls. There’s really no safe way to cross the water, so we were super disappointed. The trail was muddy and somewhat slippery. Visitors should also note that you’ll be traveling in bear country on this hike. It should look amazing soon! But on the day I hiked, it was a roaring faucet that spilled down the gully over the trail. Reviewed August 3, 2015 . Distance: 4 miles round trip. This road led up into the Porter's Creek community which existed here before the National Park was formed. The problem is that the bridge that goes over the treacherous river before getting to the falls is destroyed. Be sure and stay awhile there, don't get in a hurry, just enjoy it! Nice moderate trail. (off road, bump, narrow road) This trail is worth to visit though. The river runs along the side of the trail making it a beautiful and scenic trail. The path meanders through a lush forest of moss covered trees and rocks as it follows along the banks of Porters Creek. If you want to see wildflowers in the spring and enjoy walking through the woods, you should go on Porters Creek Trail. Almost always within sight and sound of the singing Porters Creek, the trail gently ascends toward the Smokies divide until it terminates at Campsite #31. 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 quite rocky but smaller rocks and pretty easy for my three year old to travel. Horses are also able to use this trail. Very easy fun hike. 4. This old road follows Porters Creek with a gentle upward grade, and for the first half mile the stream is easily accessible. 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. This beautiful trail is great at any time of year and located just 6 miles east of Gatlinburg. Porters Creek Trail is a 3.7-mile out-and-back trail that ends at Backcountry Campsite 31 in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In right conditions the creek can be crossed (which was confirmed by the group of four people standing on the other side stranded.). The Porters Creek trailhead is located in Greenbrier Cove. A rather gradual, peaceful hike tucked between Porters Mountain and Brushy Mountain, the trail is a picturesque uphill stroll along a river valley. It goes thru so many different areas of forest and is about a 4-1/2 mile hike one way. Getting in to parking lot could be challenge to some drivers just like other trails. 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. IMPORTANT: Greenbrier Road is a narrow paved road that eventually turns into a gravel road. To reach the trailhead from the junction of 441 and 321 in Gatlinburg (Light 3), turn to travel eastbound on 321. The Porters Creek Trail is a 3.7 mile trail to backcountry campsite 31. 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. 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. All along this first section, numerous short side trails take you closer to the beautiful Porter’s Creek. on the trail. The Little Greenbriar access road is closed as well because there’s a huge hole in it. The drive to the trailhead is nearly as nice as the hike. The Porters Creek Trail offers a little bit of everything. A Great Smoky Mountains National Parkentrance sign is on the right side of the road. Roughly two-thirds of a mile from the trailhead several old stone walls will appear on your right. This trail is very good for beginners. Porters Creek Trail. Roundtrip, the hike to Laurel Falls and back is 2.3 miles in total length. Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At the 1.0 mile mark, the trail splits twice in short succession. Continue straight ahead at this junction to reach the Porters Creek Trailhead. Porters Creek Trail. Apparently they had crossed the creek before a rain storm and returned to find a raging river. For the first mile, Porters Creek Trail is a gravel road. Drive 6 miles and turn right into Greenbrier (look for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance sign on the right). Went with my family including my 10 month old grandson. 2. That's what keeps it nice! You’ll also be able to see Porters Creek while you walk. At 1.6 miles hikers will cross a second footbridge. Is there a Porters Creek trail map? 4. We passed quite a few people who only hiked the 1 mile round trip Brushy Mountain Trail, but I’d recommend carrying on to complete Porters Creek Trail. 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. Be warned, the road to the trailhead is poorly maintained and may give your small cars some trouble. The trail makes a great hike any time of … The hike along the Porters Creek Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains begins from the Porters Creek Trailhead in Greenbrier. Hike through the serene woodland to this magnificent waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Looks like no work is being done to restore the damage caused by high water wash outs. 5. This is the only way In or out, to my knowledge. 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! snaky but beautiful in the spring. Porters Creek Trail. The trailhead is located at the end of Greenbrier Road on the Tennessee side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The roundtrip length is 4 miles, and it is considered easy to moderate. 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