Summary: Your hike begins at the Jakes Creek Trailhead located on the road past the old cabins of Elkmont. This trail follows the old railroad grade that served the Little River Lumber Co. in the early 1900's. At 0.3 mi the intersection of Cucumber Gap Trail goes left and then at 0.4mi Meigs Mtn Trail goes right. From here you gain some elevation and soon you will have a tricky creek crossing especially with recent rains. There are several more stream crossings but none that can't be easily rock-hopped. At 2.6 mi Campsite #27 is on your left it is small but level, heavily used and horses are permitted here. At 3.3 the trail ends at Jakes Gap and intersects with Panther Creek Trail and Miry Ridge Trail.
Trailhead: Preferred route: I-40 (Knoxville) to 140 East to 129 South follow signs to 411N/321N then continue on 321N to 73 East and you will enter the GSMNP. Turn left on Little River Road then right to Elkmont Campground.
If backpacking stop at the rangers station to fill out backcountry permit(no reservations are required). Park at the Little River Trailhead.
You will begin your hike by passing this trailhead to Jakes Creek Trail which is up the road to the left of the Elkmont Cabins.
I-40 East (Sevierville) exit #407 Hwy 66 to 441 South through Gatlinburg into the GSMNP entrance then right (Sugarlands Visitor Center) on Little River Road then left to Elkmont Campground.
Trail Guides for Jakes Creek Trail:
Day Hikes in GSMNP
by Johnny Molloy ()
Day & Overnight hikes in GSMNP
by Johhny Malloy (Menasha Ridge Press)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Horses,
Ranger Contact: GSMNP 865-436-1200
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Bobby Trotter, who has posted 74 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by RW on 7/1/2012
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Reviewed by Peter.W on 12/6/2011
We were looking for a nice moderate hike with full overnight packs. Jakes' fit the bill for the 6 of us. The trail has small water falls, bridges to cross and some interesting wild life. Perfect December weekend, days 52* at the base and up the trail. We had a great sunset at camp #26, followed by stars and full moon. Night time temp's were low 30's maybe upper 20's, very comfortable. Sound of "roaring winds" above the mountain top till about 1am, but camp site had only a few breezes then calm. Met hikers from Washington state. Nice get away weekend on a quiet trail with good views from the top of Jake's Gap.
Reviewed by Steve on 11/17/2010
Nice hike at least up to the bridge where you leave the creek. Pretty little cascades as you follow the creek. I hiked this trail in November, 2010. Did not see (or smell) any evidence of horses. I would consider this an easy hike to where you leave the creek, moderate if you continue to Jakes Gap.
Reviewed by CRT on 5/23/2010
I am a seasoned hiker with hundreds on miles under my belt. Jakes Creek Trail is not an easy trail, itâ€™s moderate at least and I found it to be a boring hike. The smell of horse manure and urine was not fun either. The trail is a steady climb up to the gap with very little breath taking scenery. Once you are on the trail, after walking a mile on a gravel path, all of the water is behind you. There are NO water falls just the quietness (that isnâ€™t bad) of the Smokies. If that is what you want, try another trail so you wonâ€™t have to smell the horse manure.
Reviewed by sjs on 2/11/2009
We did the jakes Creek, Cucumber Gap and little River loop in February. Still a little snow around... A few yards from Little River we had to ford a small stream. Icy and cold, but we were not about to retrace to get back to our car. Looked up stream and down for an easy crossing and found nothing. So off with our shoes and a good tosss to the far side.... and into the stream. Calf high. Dry socks and shoes felt good. Great hike. Do it again? Sure.
Reviewed by kag on 3/6/2006
This is a steady uphill climb the entire 3.3 miles to the trail head. I would not consider it easy, but I am somewhat of a beginner. I would consider it moderate. Very beautiful scenery and waterfalls.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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