Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Spring — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
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. 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.
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).