Hiking Middle Prong Trail in the Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to hundreds of miles of trails, many of which are shorter hikes or great hikes for beginners. If you are new to hiking, Middle Prong Trail is one you should try. Learn about the hiking Middle Prong Trail in the Smoky Mountains here:
You can find the trailhead for Middle Prong Trail by traveling from the Townsend “Y” toward Cades Cove. You’ll head toward the Great Smoky Mountains Institute by way of Laurel Creek Road. At this point in the trip, you’ll travel for a little over 3 miles. The trailhead will be located where the road ends.
The entire trail is 8.3 miles roundtrip and is a great choice if you want to see waterfalls. It takes the same path as an old railroad grade that was used by Little River Railroad and Lumber Company in the early twentieth century in what is known as Tremont. Tremont was previously a full community that included places like a post office and a multipurpose community center. As you start your trek further into Tremont, you will cross a metal footbridge over Lynn Camp Prong. Not a mile into the trail, you will reach the Lower Lynn Camp Falls. This waterfall is 35 feet tall and has multiple cascades. Not too far from Lower Lynn Camp Falls, you’ll also see a hidden cataract just to the left of the trail. Less than a mile from that, you will encounter the next set of falls called Lynn Camp Falls, which is similar to the previous waterfall in terms of features.
Pieces of history along the trail, including a chimney and a railroad beam, will start to appear around 3 miles in. About half of a mile after that, you will encounter two creek crossings and then another footbridge that crosses Indian Flats Prong. Four miles from the trailhead, an unmarked trail to your right will lead you to Indian Flats Falls. This waterfall also features three tiers and drops from a 60-foot height. This marks the end of the trail, but you have several options when it comes to ending your trek. You can return the way you came, go forward on the Greenbrier Ridge Trail to the Appalachian Trail, or take the Lynn Camp Prong Trail to back country campsite #28.
More About the Trail
Hiking Middle Prong Trail in the Smoky Mountains is a great place to start for novice hikers. Although it has an upward slope, it does not remain too steep for the duration of the hike. It is also considered to be one of the less-crowded hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you love Smoky Mountain scenery, you’ll enjoy hiking this trail any time of the year! There will be plenty to see no matter the season, from wildflowers to swimming holes to fall foliage. However, the best time to hike Middle Prong Trail is after a heavy rain. During those times, the waterfalls are flowing even more. Finally, if you’re looking for secret gems in the Smokies, you’re in luck. Around 20 yards off the main trail, there are the remnants of an old 1920s or 1930s Cadillac you can find!
Now that you know more about hiking Middle Prong Trail in the Smoky Mountains, you’ll definitely have to add it to your plans during your next visit to the mountains. Interested in other Smoky Mountain hiking trails? Check out these three trails you have to try near Cades Cove!