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Mount Sterling Trail

Difficult
 3.8 (11)

A short trail leading from a gravel service road directly to Mt. Sterling.


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Map Key

2.3

Miles

3.8

KM

59%

Runnable

5,668' 1,728 m

High

3,905' 1,190 m

Low

1,763' 537 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

14%

Avg Grade (8°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Wildflowers

Reservations must be made for backcountry campsites. For more information, the GSMNP backcountry office can be contacted at (865) 436-1297 between the hours of 8 and 5 Eastern Time. Backcountry permits can be purchased online.

Description

There's a fairly long gravel road that leads from the Big Creek Ranger Station southbound towards the Cataloochee Campground. Just about halfway along the gravel road is the trailhead for Mount Sterling Trail. It connects to Mount Sterling Ridge Trail and ascends to the summit.

About a third of the way in from the gravel service road is Long Bunk Trail, which heads south and connects to Little Cataloochee Trail.

Flora & Fauna

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). The flame azaleas atop Gregory Bald are especially beautiful, and can be found in full bloom from mid- to late June.

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).

Contacts

Shared By:

Max Willner

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 11 votes

#5

in Cataloochee

#9986

Overall
  3.8 from 11 votes
5 Star
36%
4 Star
36%
3 Star
9%
2 Star
9%
1 Star
9%
Trail Rankings

#5

in Cataloochee

#356

in North Carolina

#9,986

Overall
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1,311 Since Sep 4, 2015
Difficult

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83%
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Photos

Camp 38
Jul 11, 2019 near Cove Creek, NC
Starting the year off right with a New Year's Day hike.
Jan 1, 2016 near Cove Creek, NC

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