The Curry Mountain Trail: An Underrated Smoky Mountain Hiking Trail

July 26, 2023

Hiking in the Smoky Mountains offers peaceful solitude in one of the most glorious areas of nature– it’s no wonder that millions of people visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park every year! There are hundreds of trails to discover, and if you’re looking for some quiet, tranquil forest and mountain air, the Curry Mountain Trail is one you should explore! Here’s everything you need to know about this underrated Smoky Mountain hiking trail:

Round Trip Length 6.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 1,164 Feet
Trail Highlights solitude & quiet forest


The Curry Mountain Trailhead is just past the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area, which is where we recommend parking your vehicle. You won’t be able to park at the trailhead itself since it’s on a dangerous bend in the road. Don’t forget to get a parking tag before you hike, and take advantage of the restrooms, picnic tables, and pavilion while you’re there! It’s also a beautiful location to admire the Little River, as well as a popular fishing spot (license required). To get to Metcalf Bottoms from Gatlinburg, enter the park from the Parkway in downtown and then drive a little over 9 miles from the Sugarlands Visitors Center on Little River Road. 

Trail Description

a smoky mountain hiking trailConsidered moderate in difficulty, the Curry Mountain Trail begins with a pretty steep incline as you walk parallel to Little River Road for a while, but it’s a great chance to enjoy the rushing sounds of the Little River. Plus, hiking never claimed to be a cardio-less exercise! The trail levels out just shy of the 1-mile mark, and you may catch a glimpse of the Wears Valley through the trees, although it’s much clearer without summer foliage. But speaking of summer foliage, you can admire flowering rhododendron, flame azaleas, and even dwarf irises during peak wildflower season. While you may not see stunning mountain overlooks on this trail, the peaceful nature surrounding you will be a balm to your soul and provide the tranquility everyone craves when they visit the Smoky Mountains. After about 3.2 miles, the trail ends at Meigs Mountain Trailhead. From there, you could head back, walk around the Meigs Mountain Cemetery, or continue hiking the Meigs Mountain Trail to the Sinks or Elkmont for a longer hiking experience.

Insider Tips

Whenever you go hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it’s always a good idea to be prepared with plenty of water, snacks, a first aid kit, and a map. Here are a few more things to take note of before hiking the Curry Mountain Trail: 

  • Since Metcalf Bottoms is such a beautiful picnic area, you should definitely plan to have a picnic before or after your hike!
  • Explore other areas close by, such as Elkmont, Meigs Falls, and Laurel Falls, for a full day of hiking.
  • Keep these safety tips in mind for seeing wildlife in the Smokies. 
  • Proper footwear is crucial for every trail, but especially this one since there are lots of rocky and uphill sections of the trail. 

We hope you’ll add this Smoky Mountain hiking trail to your bucket list! Do you enjoy looking for hidden gems in the Smokies? Check out the Rock House on Old Sugarlands Trail!