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Lumber Ridge Trail

Easy/Intermediate

Trail

4.2 mile 6.8 kilometer point to point
84% Runnable
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,374' 419 m
Descent: -331' -101 m
High: 2,620' 799 m
Low: 1,366' 416 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by David Hitchcock

A quiet journey in the woods along an old logging route.

David Hitchcock

Features Views · Wildflowers

Closed when the Laurel Creek Road is closed from the Townsend Y to Cades Cove. If the Tremont Road is closed, you can't reach the trailhead via Tremont. For park road conditions, information can be found at twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps or by calling (865) 436-1200 and dialing extension 2, 2.

Runner Notes

This is a horse trail as well, so you may encounter riders on this trail. Please respect their right-of-way.

Description

If you are headed to Cades Cove, at .2 miles from the Townsend "Y," turn left onto Tremont Road and follow the road for 2 miles until you get to Tremont Institute, where you can park. The trail starts behind the dorm that is up the gravel road from the institute.

The trail starts climbing immediately, and will continue until about 2.5 miles into the route after gaining about 1200 feet of elevation gain. While there is a lot of climbing, its an easy trail to get to and a quiet trip once you get there. A little over .25 miles into the climb, you'll start to get views of the Middle Prong of the Little River and glimpses of Walker Valley. After the first half mile, the views fade and you start your quiet journey through woods as the sounds of cars and Tremont fade. You'll pass through a pine forest around 1 mile, where you can witness the work of the Southern pine bark beetle. Even though it burrows through the outer bark and feeds on the inner bark of a tree, this is part of the natural cycle here as room for the next generation of trees is made. You continue to move up Mill Ridge as you move between cool, moist valleys and dry ridges.

Once you reach about 2.5 miles, you cross the saddle, a low point on Lumber Ridge. This saddle is a nice place to take a break after all of your climbing. The trail will descend until it levels out around the 3 mile mark. The final mile of the trail is relatively flat as you make your way to Buckhorn Gap. You'll pass through stands of oaks, huckleberries, and other trees, causing it to be a popular place for animals to find food. You'll finally arrive at Buckhorn Gap where the trail meets the Meigs Creek Trail and the Meigs Mountain Trail.

You can either return to your car via the path you came, or you can take one of the trails. Meigs Creek Trail drops 1000 feet over 3.5 miles until it reaches Little River Road while the Meigs Mountain Trail continues 6.4 miles to Elkmont.

Flora & Fauna

The trail leading up to Buckhorn gap is full of nuts and huckleberries in the fall, so it's a popular eating place for animals like deer, bear, squirrels, and birds like the Ruffed Grouse.

Wildflowers can be found in the cool, moist spring branch valleys. There is a stand of Mountain Laurel around 2.75 miles, which blooms in May or early June. Azaleas can also be seen in portions of the trails.

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Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 4 votes

#4

in Tremont

#16700

Overall
  3.8 from 4 votes
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75%
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25%
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Trail Rankings

#4

in Tremont

#304

in North Carolina

#16,700

Overall
19 Views Last Month
671 Since Sep 4, 2015
Easy/Intermediate

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75%
25%
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Photos

When you reach the end of the trail, you have several options in regards to where you go next.
Jan 28, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Lumber Ridge Trail making it's way through the trees.
Jan 23, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Looking out over the valley.
Jan 23, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Newer growth trees are evidence of the logging that took place here in the early 1900s.
Jan 23, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN

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