Best Easy Hiking Trail in the Smokies: Porters Creek Trail

Posted by Darryl Payne in National Park

Porters Creek Trail: Fern Branch Falls

If you're looking for a fun hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on your next visit, consider exploring Porters Creek Trail. Located in the Greenbrier section of the park, this hike is not too strenuous and features wildflowers, historic homesteads and even a waterfall.

To get to the trailhead, take U.S. 321 east approximately six miles from downtown Gatlinburg and turn right at the Greenbrier entrance. Go another three miles along the road (it's paved, then turns to gravel) until you get to the parking area at the far point of the loop road.

The first mile of the trail follows Porters Creek along an old gravel road, off which you'll see lots of moss-covered trees as well as trillium and other wildflowers in springtime.

Signs of previous residents include the stonewall remnants of the Cantrell farmstead and Ownby cemetery, which dates back to the early 1900s. You can also take a slight detour to the John Messer farm, featuring a cantilevered barn built around 1875.

Once the gravel road turns to footpath, continue to the two-mile mark, where you'll arrive at the top of the 60-foot Fern Branch Falls waterfall.

Remember that no matter which part of the national park you plan to visit, we can assist you in finding the Smoky Mountain condos, cabins and chalets that will offer you the most in terms of luxury, convenience and location.



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