Parking on the TN/NC Appalachian Trail

Section 18 - Newfound Gap (TN 71/US 441) to Little Tennessee River (Fontana Dam) Displayed from North to South

Maintained by:
  Smoky Mountains Hiking Club http://www.smhclub.org/ mark.shipley @ townoffarragut.org Davenport Gap, TN/NC to Wesser, NC at US 19


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Mile
Marker
 
Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles Map   &  
Weather  
Source
0.0
Newfound Gap
  Poor            Great




From Gatlinburg, TN take US 441 south for 16 miles to Newfound Gap. From Cherokee, NC follow US 421 north for 19 miles to the Gap. There is a very large parking lot on the south side of the road. Rotate the street view on the attached map to see this lot. US 441 is the only main road that crosses Great Smokiy Mountain National Park. The AT crosses the highway here. Rotate the street view to the east to see approximately where the northbound trail to section 17 leaves the lot. The monument on the left celebrates FDR's dedication of the park. The trail starts near the large pine tree just to the right of the monument. Rotate the street view to the north to see the southbound trail to Section 18 leaving the opposite side of the highway. 08/15/14 Ample 1
1.7
Indian Gap
  Poor            Great



 
See Mile 0.0 for directions to Newfound Gap. The Clingmans Dome Road intersects 0.2 miles west of this on the North Carolina side of the ridge. Go right on this and continue west for 1.2 miles to a parking area on the right. The marker on the attached map marks this point. The street view for this map is taken from the AT. The parking area is to the east. The AT passes just to the west of the parking area. The Road Prong Trail, an old road, intersects at this trailhead, descending north (compass west here) into Tennessee. 08/14/14 8-10 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
4.1
Mountains to the Sea Trail
  Poor            Great



 
See Mile 0.0 for directions to Newfound Gap. The Clingmans Dome Road intersects 0.2 miles west of this on the North Carolina side of the ridge. Go right on this and continue west for 3.4 miles to a small paved pull-off on the left. The marker on the attached map marks this point. Rotate the street view to the south to see the parking situation. This view was captured in early spring when there was still snow on the ground. North Carolina is attempting to create a trail from the Smokies to the Atlantic Ocean. The Mountains to the Sea Trail reaches Clingmans Dome Road at this point. In this area the trail to the east uses the Fork Ridge Trail. This can be seen leaving the parking area in the south street view on the map. On the other side of the road, the trail which can be seen in the north view leads to the AT in 35 yards. This connector is not shown on the trail overlay on the map. From that junction the AT and the Mountains to the Sea Trail coincide to Clingmans Dome. Northbound AT is right at intersection, southbound is left. 08/14/14 4-5 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
7.9
Clingmans Dome
  Poor            Great




See Mile 0.0 for directions to Newfound Gap. The Clingmans Dome Road intersects 0.2 miles west of this on the North Carolina side of the ridge. Go right on this and continue to the end of the road in approximately 7 miles. There is a very large but very popular parking lot at the end. The marker on the attached map indicate this parking area. Rotate the street view to the east to see a portion of the lot. The street view was taken in early spring when snow was still on the ground. A paved path leads 0.5 miles from the northwest corner of the parking lot to Clingmans Dome which has the highest elevation on the entire Appalachian Trail. This trail can clearly be seen going north from the lot on the satellite view on the map. Rotate the street view to the north to see the trailhead for this path. At the summit there is an observation tower. The AT is just beyond this (north). The southbound trail goes left, the northbound goes right. 08/13/14 Ample 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
8.3
Clingmans Dome Bypass Trail
  Poor            Great



 
This alternate route to Clingmans Dome starts about where the paved path to the summit begins. See Mile 7.9 for directions and information about parking and the trailhead. I did not use this trail when I went up Clingmans Dome, so the following information is abstracted from 'Hking Tails of the Smokies', 2nd ed. The initial partof this trail is actually part of the Forney Ridge Trail. The Bypass Trail goes to the right at 0.2 miles. It is 0.5 miles further to the AT west (trail south) of the summit. Turn right (northbound) on the AT for 0.4 miles to the summit and the observation tower. At the intersection with bypass trail, the southbound trail goes left.
12/15/09
1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
10.2
Goshen Prong Trail
  Poor            Great



 
Drive to the road to Elkmont Campground 4.9 miles west of Sugarlands Visitor Center just outside Gatlinburg. Turn left and go another 1.6 miles to the campground entrance.. Just before the campground entrance station, turn left and go 0.5 miles to parking near the Little River trailhead. This parking consists of paved spaces on either side of the road and also along a short loop road on the right. The marker on the map indicates this parking. Rotate the street view to get some idea of the parking available. I have not visited any of this area trail south of Clingmans Dome so everything is 'book information' which was abstracted from the 'AT Guide to North Carolina-Georgia' (14th edition) , 'Hiking Trails of the Smokies' (2nd ed.) or from the Google maps. The trailhead for the Little River Trail is on the loop road (see . Follow the Little River Trail for 3.7 miles climbing about 400 feet, then go right on the Goshen Prong Trail to the AT. This is 7.6 miles long and involves another 3000 feet of climbing. The total distance is 11.3 miles. Coordinates at the AT intersection are 35.5647 -83.5333 08/13/14 20 or more 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
15.4
Miry Ridge Trail
  Poor            Great



 
See directions to the Little River Trail near Elkmont campground (Mile 10.2). Continue another 0.5 miles to a gated road on the left. This is the trailhead for the Jakes Creek Trail. There is a large parking lot to the set of the trailhead. See satellite view on the attached map. The Jakes Creek Trail initially goes up the gated road, reaching Jakes Creek Gap in 3.3 miles after an elevation gain of 1400 feet. Turn left on the Miry Ridge Trail. It is 5 miles to the AT. The elevation difference between the AT and Jakes Gap is about 1000 feet, but there is some up and down along the trail. At the intersection, the northbound AT is left, the southbound to the right. Total distance is 8.3 miles. The coordinates of the AT intersection are 35.5794 -83.6037. 08/12/14 Ample in lot 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
17.8
Sams Gap/ Greenbrier Ridge Trail
  Poor            Great



 
From the point where the Lamar Alexander Parkway diverges from US 321/ TN 73 on the east side of Townsend, TN, follow the parkway south into the park. In 2.2 miles a Y intersection is reached. This same point can be rached by following the Little River Road about 18 miles west from the Sugarlands Visitor Center. From the Y go west towards Cades Cove for 0.2 miles, then turn left onto the Tremont Road (AKA Middle Prong Road ). At 2.3 mile pass the Great Smokies Institute at Tremont. Beyond this the road becomes gravel. Continue another 3.1 miles to the end of the road. This is at the point where Lynn Camp Prong and thunderhead Prong meet to form the Middle Prong of the Little River. There is a large parking circle here. It is visible on the satellite view on the attached map. The marker indicates the parking area. Go past the gate on the Middle Prong Trail which initially follows an closed section of Tremont Road. It is 4.2 miles to the junction with the Greenbrier Trail near Indian Flats Falls. The elevation gain from the trailhead to this point is about 1200 feet. Follow the Greenbrier Trail as it climbs about 1600 feet in 4.2 miles to the AT in Sams Gap. Total distance is 8.3 miles. At the intersection, the southbound AT goes right, while the northbound goes left. Coordinates at the intersection 35.5678 -83.6366 08/12/14 15-20 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
24.3
Bote Mountain Trail
  Poor            Great



 
See Mile 17.8 for directions to the Y intersection of Little River Road and the Alexander parkway. Go west here towards Cades Cove. There is a large one way loop around Cades Cove. At the very beginning follow signs to the picnic area which is immediately to the left. The marker on the attached map is at the trailhead for the Anthony Creek Trail which starts at the back of the picnic area. Cars can seen parked near the trailhead. Overnight parking is not allowed. In such cases or if the parking areas are full (a very distinct possibility) park at the camp store or the orientation shelter at the start of the loop road. This last lot can be seen on the upper left side of the view. The Anthony Creek Trail climbs 1700 feet in 3.6 miles to meet the Bote Mountain Trail. Follow the latter for another 1.7 miles, climbing another 1100 feet. The AT is reached in the center of Spence Field. Total distance from Cades Cove is 5.3 miles. At the intersection the northbound trail goes left while the southbound goes left. Coordinates at the intersection are 35.5641 -83.7304. Note: There are number of routes from Cades Cove Road to the AT via the Bote Mt. Trail, but this one is the shortest. 08/12/14 Not known 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
27.2
Russell Field Trail
  Poor            Great



 
This route to the AT also starts at the Anthony Creek Trailhead at the back of the picnic area in Cades Cove. See Mile 24.3 for directions. Follow the Anthony Creek Trail for 1.7 miles to the intersection with the Russell Field Trail. The elevation gain to this point is about 500 feet. Follow the Russell Field Trail for 3.5 miles to meet the AT at the Russell Field Shelter. The elevation gain for this section is 1800 feet. Total distance is 5.2 miles. At the intersection the northbound trail goes left, the southbound to the right. Coordinates at this point are 35.5616 -83.7664. 12/16/09 Not known
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
32.8
Doe Knob via Gregory Bald Trail
  Poor            Great



 
See Mile 24.3 for directions to the start of the Cades Cove Loop. Follow the loop couterclockwise for about four and a half miles, then go right on Forge Creek Road. In approximately 2 miles bear right on Parsons Branch Road. According to the Google map which is attached it is 3.2 miles to the trailhead. There is a parking area on the right. See satellite view on attached map. The marker indicates the parking area and the trail head. Parsons Branch Road and Forge Creek Road are closed in winter. Parsons Branch Road is one way from Cades Cove to US 129/ TN 115. The Gregory Bald Trail climbs 2100 feet to the summit of open Gregory Bald in 4.5 miles and then continues another 0.7 miles to Rich Gap and the intersection with the Gregory Ridge Trail. From there it is 2.1 miles to the AT at Doe Knob which is actually lower than Gregory Bald. Total distance is 7.3 miles. Coordinates for Doe Knob are 35.5272 -83.8191. This is the westernmost point on the AT. 12/17/09 Several 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
32.8
Doe Knob via Gregory Ridge and Gregory Bald Trails
  Poor            Great



 
See Mile 24.3 for directions to the start of the Cades Cove Loop. Follow the loop couterclockwise for about four and a half miles, then go right on Forge Creek Road. In approximately 2 miles bear left at the intersection with the Parsons Branch Road. The road ends at a circle. From the satellite view on the attached map there is a small parking area here with additional roadside parking possible. bear right on Parsons Branch Road. The marker on the attached map indicates the parking area. The Gregory Ridge Trail climbs 2700 feet in 5.0 miles to meet the Gregory Bald Trail in Rich Gap. Go left on the later trail for 2.2 miles to Doe Knob. 08/12/14 3-4 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
36.0
Twentymile Trail
  Poor            Great



 
The entrance road to the Twentymile Range Station is on NC 28 6.0 miles west of Fontana Village Resort and 2.8 miles east of the junction with US 129. The marker on the attached map indicates the entrance to the Ranger Station. Rotate the street view to the north to see this entrance road. The Twentymile Trail starts at the Ranger Station and climbs about 2300 feet in 5.0 miles to meet the AT in Sassafras Gap. At the junction, the southbound AT goes right, the northbound goes left. The coordinates at Sassafras Gap are 35.4896 -83.8156. 08/11/14 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
39.7
Fontana Dam Road Trailhead
  Poor            Great



 
See directions to the north end of Fontana Dam (Mile 40.3). Continue on the road 0.6 miles to the point where the northbound AT goes left into the woods. The marker on the attached map indicates this point. The southbound trail follows the road. There is roadside parking here with a couple of small dirt pull-outs. See pictures for Section 18. Note: The road over the dam may be closed at times so this point would not be accessible by car. 08/11/14 Several roadside 1
at @ rohland.org
40.3
Little Tennessee River
  Poor            Great




From the intersection of US 129 and NC 28, follow the latter west passing Fontana Village at 8.8 miles and reaching Fontana Dam Road at 10.5 mile. Go left on Fontana Dam Road for a little over a mile to the Visitor Center. The marker on the map in indicates the entrance to the Visitors Center on the south (compass east) side of the dam. The official southern end of Section 18 and the northern end of Section 19 are at the north (compass west) end of the dam. The northbound trail to Section 18 follows the paved road west. The southbound trail to section 19 crosses the dam to the Visitor Center and parking. 12/17/09 Ample 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu

This section is also described as Section 2 in the "Appalachian Trail Guide to North Carolina-Georgia"
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Section 18 Pictures


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Page last updated: 9/19/2016 3:21:47 PM