Rough Fork Trail
ElevationAscent: 2,286' 697 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 5,122' 1,561 m
Low: 2,836' 864 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)
Current trail conditions
Popular runs nearby
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Mysterious Cabin Loop
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High Line Loop
13.7 mi 22.0 km • Loop • 2,760 ft Ascent 841.11 m Ascent
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“An easy trail with nineteenth-century houses along the way.”— Max Willner
At around 1.1 miles is the Steve Woody House. It was built around 1880. While originally built of logs, it was eventually replaced with lumber once saw mills gained more of a foothold in the Smokies. Steve Woody and Hiram Caldwell (the namesake for Caldwell Fork Trail) were both residents of the Cataloochee area in the 1870s.
At about 1.5 miles, runners will reach the Big Hemlock Campsite (#40.) The trail begins to get steeper as it ascends towards Caldwell Fork Trail, offering at various times nice views of the Cataloochee Divide. After that junction, the trail climbs a bit more through the thick woods as it eventually comes to a stop at the Polls Gap parking area. From here, runners have access to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail: Segment 1 and the Hemphill Bald Trail.
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.
Land Manager: NPS - Great Smoky Mountains National Park