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Old Sugarlands Trail

Easy/Intermediate

Trail

4.0 mile 6.4 kilometer point to point
89% Runnable
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,156' 352 m
Descent: -53' -16 m
High: 2,567' 782 m
Low: 1,464' 446 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by David Hitchcock

A trail that offers opportunities to explore the remains of the Sugarlands Community.

David Hitchcock

Features River/Creek · Wildflowers

Due to its location, this trail is accessible in all types of weather so it's very rarely closed.

Description

The trailhead is located on the Newfound Gap Road 200 yards north of the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

The trail splits immediately, and Old Sugarlands trail goes to the right and hugs the left bank of the river. Even though you are close to US 441, the river drowns the sounds of the cars. A large rock cliff on the left is the site of an old quarry the state of TN used to build a road over the mountains. The trail moves away from the river for a little bit as it narrows. The trail then takes a hard right and winds back down to the river.

As the trail continues, it follows what was once Tennessee State Highway 71, one of the first paved roads over the mountains that ran through the heart of the Sugarlands community. The name Sugarlands is believed to have come from the sugar maple trees that once grew in the area.


The trail winds through the remains of the Sugarlands community and an old CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) camp at mile 1.7. There are plenty of remains to explore as you follow the trail. Make sure you pay attention to the trail signs as there are plenty of side adventures to explore. The Sugarlands Cemetery and an old school can be found down one path while old foundations and rock walls can be seen along the main trail.

The trail begins ascending for 2 miles until it reaches the end of the trail. At 3.3 miles, you encounter the equestrian trail, Two Mile Lead Concession Horse Trail. At 3.5 miles, you encounter the Bull Head Trail that leads to Mount LeConte and at 3.9 miles, you encounter Cherokee Orchard Road. For your return trip, you can either return via the path you have already traveled or choose the shorter 2.9 mile Two Mile Branch Trail.

This trail isn't heavily traveled, so it can be a quiet journey in the woods. It's great for people who like to explore the history of the area before it became a National Park.

Flora & Fauna

Wildflowers can be found among the homesites. Heal-all, trailing arbutus, bloodroot, and spring-beauty are some of the many flowers in the area. Plants like daffodils and yuccas can be found around old homesites.

Deer, bear, and other mammals live in the area, so be on the lookout.

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Check-Ins

Dec 16, 2018
Marc Jackson
Trail in good shape except a few down trees 7mi
Feb 26, 2018
Kye Strance
7.7mi

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 4 votes

#4

in Sugarlands

#19091

Overall
  3.3 from 4 votes
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25%
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Trail Rankings

#4

in Sugarlands

#374

in North Carolina

#19,091

Overall
39 Views Last Month
3,126 Since Sep 4, 2015
Easy/Intermediate

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Photos

LeConte Creek
Sep 4, 2015 near Gatlinburg, TN
The Sugarlands Trail starts as a wide trail as it works its way to the Sugarlands Community.
Feb 6, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Moss covered cement blocks.
Feb 6, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
The trail is a little rocky, but relatively flat and easy.
Feb 6, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Remains at an old homesite in the Sugarlands Community.
Feb 6, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN
Most of the trees along the trail are younger trees.
Feb 6, 2016 near Gatlinburg, TN

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