Gregory Ridge Trail

Gregory Ridge Trail features Gregory Bald with its virgin forest and huge tulip trees, flame azaleas, and the highly used campsite number thirteen

Gregory Ridge Trail access – At the Cades Cove Visitor Center take Forge Creek Road until you come to the end. Here you will find one of several trails up to Gregory’s Bald.  Gregory’s Bald is one of the high mountain meadows where Cades Cove farmers took their cattle to escape summer heat and flies.  In the days of old, Cades Cove farmers would graze their cattle on Gregory Bald.  Cattle was one of their best cash crops.

It will take seven or eight hours to complete Gregory Ridge Trail, so be prepared for a challenging hike. Most of all, it is one of the most challenging hikes in Cades Cove.  Gregory Ridge Trail is a good choice if you want your hike’s destination to have a good view of Cades Cove. Many Smokies visitors hike up the Gregory Ridge Trail for that reason.  It is one of the most popular trails in Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Gregory Ridge Trail

Flame Azaleas along the trail

Especially relevant, the trail winds through some of the best of GSMNP, delightful old growth forest and azalea covered Gregory’s Bald. In azalea season, the experience of Gregory’s bald is unmatched.  It is ablaze with breathtaking masses of orange and wine colored blooms.

Gregory Ridge Trail is one of Cades Cove’s most strenuous climbs since it is four and a half miles up the mountain.

Although the climb is difficult, it is well worth the effort.  The trail is 11.3 miles roundtrip and is difficult.

To get to the Gregory Ridge trailhead, turn right out of the Cable Mill area parking lot and proceed to Parson Branch Road. The parking area marked Gregory Ridge Trail is about five miles down at Sam’s Gap.

Directions:  Upon entering the Cades Cove Loop Road travel 5.5 miles to the Cades Cove Visitor Center. You will see a gravel road 
straight ahead. Follow that road for 2.2 miles until it terminates at the cul-de-sac and trailhead for Gregory Ridge Trail. You can park in the few sparking spaces or along the cul-de-sac.

Gregory Bald

hiking trails