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greenBlue Cucumber Gap Loop

  4.0 ( 20 ) Favorite

Trail

5.5 mile 8.8 kilometer point to point
92% Runnable
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 774' 236 m
Descent: -735' -224 m
High: 2,954' 900 m
Low: 2,180' 664 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Michelle Kras

Get two for the price of one: a gentle stream run and a quiet woods run.

Michelle Kras

Features River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Overview

This loop contains history, a nice run along a creek, a small waterfall, and then a run in the woods with some elevation change. The first trail, Little River Trail, is perfect for families and those wishing to run on an easy trail that is generally level. Little River Trail continues onward, where you can choose to keep strolling along the river, but for the loop described here, take a right onto Cucumber Gap Trail. Cucumber Gap Trail has more elevation gain, though it's moderate. It is a well-worn singletrack trail. This loop is conveniently located off the Elkmont Campground - campers don't have to drive to this run!

Description

The trailhead is located near the Elkmont Campgound, though be sure to turn left onto Little River Road before the entrance of Elkmont Campground. The trailhead starts beyond the gate near the parking lot. You'll start on the Little River Trail. During your run on this gravel road, which use to be a railroad used for logging, you'll run along the river, sometimes very closely - keep an eye out for wildflowers in the spring, or reminiscence about the railroad from the past. After about 2.2 miles, you'll pass Husky Branch Falls. This small falls is located right off the trail and flows under the footbridge into Littler River. At about 2.4 miles you'll reached the Cucumber Gap Trail junction. You should veer right onto Cucumber Gap Trail at this point, though you can continue down the Little River Trail as it continues for 4 or 5 more miles.

As you turn right onto Cucumber Gap Trail, you'll notice that you are now on a well-worn singletrack trail. You'll need to be careful of roots and rocks on the trail, and the sound of the river will soon disappear. You are now taking a quiet run in the woods. There's more up and down terrain here, but it's a nice contrast to the Little River Trail. Wildflowers border the trail during the spring and early summer. After 2.4 miles on the Cucumber Gap Trail, you'll reach Jakes Creek Trail. Take a right here.

Jakes Creek Trail is an old gravel road. Take this road for .3 miles, then you'll reach the Jakes Creek Trailhead. From here, continue .5 miles on the road back to the parking lot.

During your run, you may see dilapidated cabins. Though they are closed off, they are an interesting feature to photograph. These used to be vacation cabins, built before the park was established. Although owners were given the option to lease their property for many years after the park was established, the NPS would not renew leases in 1994. There are plans to restore some structures, but the park will eventually be removing most of them.

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May 1, 2019
Stacia W
with Amber 5.2mi — 1h 09m
May 1, 2019
Amber Edrington
Nice easy climb and good downhill! Garmin showed 5.18 miles, but everywhere else said 5.5 for the loop. 5.5mi — 1h 10m
Mar 31, 2018
Ken C
5.5mi — 1h 04m
Nov 15, 2017
Eddie Talley
5.5mi
Apr 4, 2017
Chris Gaddy
The first 2.5 miles are a steady incline on a gravel trail. Once you turn off it gets technical. Lots of roots and rock to trip you up. 6mi

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 20 votes

#3

in Elkmont

#1628

Overall
  4.0 from 20 votes
5 Star
20%
4 Star
60%
3 Star
15%
2 Star
5%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#3

in Elkmont

#1,628

Overall
93 Views Last Month
2,500 Since Jan 14, 2016
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

5%
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41%
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