Porters Creek Trail
ElevationAscent: 1,506' 459 m
Descent: -1,506' -459 m
High: 3,403' 1,037 m
Low: 1,897' 578 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)
Popular runs nearby
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Mount Leconte: 6-Routes 3-Summits
47.4 mi 76.2 km • Point to Point • 10,186 ft Ascent 3104.62 m Ascent
Charlies Bunion Out and Back
8.0 mi 12.8 km • Loop • 1,632 ft Ascent 497.37 m Ascent
2.8 mi 4.4 km • Out and Back • 102 ft Ascent 31.2 m Ascent
Cucumber Gap Loop
5.5 mi 8.8 km • Point to Point • 774 ft Ascent 235.94 m Ascent
Hen Wallow Falls
4.5 mi 7.2 km • Out and Back • 855 ft Ascent 260.74 m Ascent
“A wildflower, waterfall, creek, and historic settlement trail that ends at Campsite #31.”— David Hitchcock
Features River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildflowers
This trail starts in Greenbrier and climbs 1500 feet over 3.6 miles to Campsite #31. Go past the gate on the old road and start climbing through Greenbrier Cove, an old settlement within in the park. At mile .4, you'll see the foundation and walls of several homes. At mile .7, you'll cross a sturdy bridge over Long Branch. Once you go over the bridge, a set of stairs on the right lead up to the Ownby Cemetery and an old car that was left behind when the park took over the land. A little further up the trail, you enter Porters Flat where Brushy Mountain Trail intersects our trail. As you go off to the left, the trail narrows and follows Porters Creek. At mile 1.5, you come to a log crossing.
Once you cross the log, you enter a different environment, full of trees and flowers that bloom in the spring. As you move upward following the trail, you'll encounter various varieties of wildflowers, one of the reasons that this is a popular route among wildflower enthusiasts in the spring. The trail climbs high above the creek, which is now on your right, until it levels out at mile 1.8. Off to the left, visitors will pass a 40' waterfall named Fern Falls. A small side trail leads up to the falls, where a large fallen tree makes a good place to sit, relax, and possibly have some lunch. From here, Porters Creek Trail continues to climb until mile 3.6, where you see the signpost for Campsite #31. There is a spring there for you to get water from, and the campsite is just ahead of you.
Once you have reached Campsite 31, you can take a break, have a snack, and then start your journey back to your car. There aren't many trails that intersect with this trail, so going back the way you came is your only real option.
Flora & Fauna
Bears frequent the campsite, so be on the lookout.
Land Manager: NPS - Great Smoky Mountains National Park