“A trail along the Little Brier Branch to Little Greenbrier School.”
— David Hitchcock
Closed when the Little River Road is closed from the Townsend Y to Sugarlands Visitor Center or the Wears Cove Road is closed. For park road conditions, information can be found at twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps or by calling (865) 436-1200 and dialing extension 2, 2.
The trailhead starts in the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area. Park in the picnic area before making your way across the bridge crossing the Little River, and then the trail takes off to the right.
This trail wanders through the Metcalf Bottoms area and evidence of the past can be found around every turn. As the trail leaves the picnic area, a pile of rocks off to the left are evidence of an old homesite. The trail reaches the top of a small hill, enters a rhododendron tunnel and starts to follow the Little Brier Branch. The trail is pretty much level at this point making for a pleasant journey through the woods. Several creek crossings are easily traversed by foot logs and the trail finally climbs up a small slope to arrive at the Little Greenbrier School.
Once you have explored the school building and the cemetery that is up the hill from the school, the trail returns to the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area. If you want to continue exploring the area, you can take the Little Brier Gap
The Little Greenbrier School was constructed by the community and opened on January 1, 1882. The whole community chipped in to build the school. William Abbott donated the land, Ephariam Ogle the logs for the wall, Billie Ogle the shingles, and several other members helped contribute to the construction the school. Because it was a community building, it was used as a church for a while and other community functions. The school remained open until 1936 when the area was incorporated into the National Park.