An ascent to the AT with rich wildflowers and multiple mountain streams. Great views along the way.”
— Max Willner
Great Smoky Mountain National Park closes secondary roads on a seasonal schedule due to snow. Schedules can be found here
All campsites must be registered with the park. Backcountry rules and regulations can be found here
Features: Fall Colors — River/Creek — Spring — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
Greenbrier Ridge Trail is a fairly easy trail that connects Lynn Camp Prong Trail
and Middle Prong Trail
with the Appalachian Trail near the Derrick Knob Shelter.
Beginning at the Indian Flats Falls, runners will head south and gradually ascend roughly 1,600 feet before reaching the Appalachian Trail. This is a gorgeous trail, as runners will come across mountain streams (two crossings), a great variety of wildflowers and some decent views along the way. Not a bad trail for photography aficionados!
The forest is initially quite thick with rhododendrons and other vegetation but eventually opens up a bit more as the trail nears the AT. Roughly halfway into the trail, runners will reach the ridgeline. Once reaching the AT, runners can head left for Miry Ridge Trail
and Silers Bald or right towards the Derrick Knob Shelter.
Flora & Fauna
The Smokies are home to more than 1,600 species of plants, most of which produce an abundance of flowers in the spring. These species include mountain laurel, rhododendron, azalea, and many others. Spring wildflowers peak from early April through late May. To learn more about the plants of the Smokies and even get a trees and shrubs checklist, visit the park's website
As for local fauna, black bears are common in the area, along with white-tailed deer and 31 species of salamanders. Birdwatchers can spot a variety of species, notably the northern flicker (Colaptes auratus) and red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus). For more information on black bears, refer to this webpage