Total Miles Hiked: 10.6
Elevation Gain: 3,400 feet!
14 April 2017
Ok - let's just get this out of the way upfront... The Snake Den Ridge trail is steep...
|Trail elevation profile from Hiking Trails of the Smokies|
|At the trailhead - 5.3 miles up to the Appalachian Trail|
About the first 0.7 miles of the trail follows an old road. The trail is gravel and wide. Along the way you will pass the Williamson Cemetery on the right side of the trail (as you are ascending). It's a small cemetery of maybe 15 or so graves, mostly folks from the Williamson family. Cemeteries in the Smokies always seem to be carpeted in moss, giving them an odd yellowish green glow.
|Bridge over Little Rock Creek|
|Horse impacts on the trail|
The lower parts of the trail were fairly barren wildflower wise. But through the middle section there were lots of Sweet White Trillium, Phlox, Chickweed, some nice patches of Squirrel Corn, Foam Flower and Bishop's Cap. As I neared the top of the trail, the sides became carpets of Carolina Spring Beauty, and I found some beautiful patches of Trout Lily.
|Sweet White Trillium|
|A carpet of Carolina Spring Beauty along the upper sections of the trail|
|View down into Cosby|
|Snake Den Ridge - Maddron Bald trail junction|
|Snake Den Ridge - Appalachian Trail junction|
I am closing in on being half-way done with my quest to hike all the trails in the Smokies. Most of the Tennessee side of the park is complete, but the North Carolina side of my map looks woefully bare. Going to have to plan some longer excursions and some multi-day backpacking trips to knock out those trails.
Hope you all have had a chance to get out and enjoy the trails and the wildflowers this spring! Til next time, happy hiking!