Summary: The drive to the trailhead is nearly as nice as the hike. Once at the trailhead you will begin up a gradual incline along a wide gravel path. The trail is in a heavily wooded area, with Porters Creek on your left. This hike provides a cool respite on even the hottest of days. At about the 0.6 mile point, there is a series of rock walls and old building foundations from an old settlement. At the 0.75 mile point, is the old cemetery. Take the time to pay your respects to these early settlers. The gravel pathway continues to the 1.0 mile point, where a short spur trail leads to the Historic Farm Site. You will find John Messer's cantilevered barn built in 1875. Past the barn is the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club Cabin, built in 1934-36.
The gravel path ends here. To continue on to the waterfall, take the left trail along Porters Creek. This well marked trail continues its gradual ascent for an additional 1 mile to the base of the waterfall.
Trailhead: Drive east on highway 321 from Gatlinburg. Turn right onto Greenbrier Road, until the road makes a "Y" at the bridge. Follow Porters Creek Road (gravel) to the trailhead. (Lat:35.69693 Lon:-83.3875)
Trail Guides for Porters Creek Trail:
Hiking Great Smoky Mountains
by Rodney & Priscilla Albright (The Globe Pequot Press)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Great Smoky Mountain National Park - 865-436-1200
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Ron Long, who has posted 22 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by RF on 8/14/2011
This is hike that's good for the beginning to novice hiker if only going to the falls. My friend and I went the extra 1.7 miles to campsite #31 which was a challenge for a beginner like me. Huge hemlock tree not long before trails end must have been 15 feet in diameter. When you get to the end of the trail at the campsite, you can't help looking to the right and straight up 2,000 or probably more feet to where the Appalachian Trail is. I was awed by God's work of beauty. I'll probably take my wife in the fall when the autumn leaves abound.
Reviewed by tracekins on 4/18/2009
my friend and i started up the trail on one occasion and heard what i swear to this day to have been a mountain lion.call me crazy but a park ranger did see one a few years ago.i also saw the only bear i have ever seen on a trail on the first 400 or so yard stretch of the trail.
Reviewed by Leebo on 11/24/2008
Hiked this on 11-22-08. Seventeen degrees at the start, but got up to about Thirty by the end. Beautiful with the snow and ice in the river/creek beds. The grave yard and cabin were nice touches along the way.
Reviewed by JIm on 11/11/2008
I did this hike for the first time in November of 08. I recemend this hike. Ater passing the rock wall after the cemetary and returning back to the start look for the old truck parts that lie in the woods. As i walked back there I found an old rear truck axle followed by fenders and a fire wall. I believe old truck from back then were converted into tractors in those days.
Reviewed by Mary on 9/18/2008
My husband and I hiked this trail 8/31/08. I was very impressed. It was a very nice hike. I enjoyed looking at the old grave yard and the old cabins. Didn't see much of a water fall. I would definitely take this trail again.
Reviewed by Barb on 4/25/2008
I hiked this one twice in a week: April 18 and April 24, 2008. The wildflowers are fabulous. It's an easy hike, and the waterfall is 70 feet and was flowing. It looks like the Gradne on Eden. But here is a secret: hike beyond the falls all the way to its end: Campsite 31. The trail beyond the waterfall is so much nicer than what precedes it. You get great views of the creek, and there are lots of rhododendrons which must be amazing when in bloom. For some reason, a lot less people go past the falls, and they are missing the best part of the hike.
Reviewed by Marie on 9/2/2007
Hiked the trail Sept.27th. 07. No water to see on the falls but was a good hike, although we got caught in a rain storm, had to walk all the way back in the rain but enjoyed it very much, since we have not had rain where we live in over 3 months the rain was welcome.
Reviewed by Adam Gunter on 3/27/2007
I Love Tjis Trail... The Little Bridge IS Kinda Scarry! But Water Fall Is Beautiful! Adam Gunter
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