Dogs No Dogs
Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Reservations must be made for backcountry campsites. For more information, the GSMNP backcountry office can be contacted at (865) 436-1297 between the hours of 8 and 5 Eastern Time. Backcountry permits can also be purchased online
The best way to access this trail is to leave from the Twentymile Ranger Station, and make your way up a short section of the Twentymile Trail
From the fork that connects to Twentymile Trail
, the trail is broad and will lead to the Twentymile Loop Trail
in 1.1 miles. The stream crossings that are described as needing to wade or rock hop in the Little Brown Book now all have log bridges that can be used to cross the creek easily. Laurel lines the trail through this section providing shade on sunny days. At the junction with the Twentymile Loop Trail
, visitors can opt to switch over, or continue northbound towards Campsite 95. From the campsite, it's all uphill through the woods and mountain laurels for roughly 5.2 miles until reaching Campsite 13 (Sheep Pen Gap). Many choose to stay at the site, where they can take a much shorter, roughly half a mile trail to Gregory Bald to catch a beautiful sunrise or sunset.
Be wary of several fallen trees along the way. It's a bit of a challenging trail with a frequently steep incline, but both the campsite and Gregory Bald are well worth the effort.
Flora & Fauna
Flowering plants bloom between March and July. In the fall, leaves begin to change color around September and continue through November. Two of the most common trees in this area are the mountain laurels (Kalmia latinfolia) and umbrella magnolias (Magnolia tripetala).
As for local fauna, black bears are common in the area, along with white-tailed deer and 31 species of salamanders.
For more information on black bears in the Smokies, refer to this webpage
Birdwatchers can spot a variety of species, notably the northern flicker (Colaptes auratus) and red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus).
Shared By: Max Willner