Little Bottoms Trail

Little Bottoms Trail is Unique in Its Own Way

Little Bottoms Trail to Cades Cove is pretty long and is not well defined. It is most suited to hikers who are experienced in hiking in the backcountry and are personally familiar with Cades Cove’s trail system.  

little bottoms trail

Little Bottoms Trail. Image Courtesy of

This hiking trail is a little different than most of the hikes in this section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park as the destination, not the origination, is Cades Cove.

This  is not a good hiking trail for novices.  Furthermore, even experienced hikers should take proper precautions. Turn around and retrace your steps if you lose the trail.


From Maryville, TN take US 321 until you come to Foothills Parkway.   Turn right and go to U.S. 129 then turn left. Drive approximately one hundred yards  and turn left on Happy Valley Road. Travel to the Happy Valley Loop Road and turn right. About a mile down the road you will find parking for the Cooper Road Trail. You must travel a short distance down this trail to reach the Little Bottoms Trail. The Cooper Road Trail begins at the far end of the campground. Follow the trail to the Cooper Road Backcountry campground. On the right of the Cooper Road campsite, you will find the beginning of the Little Bottoms Trail. Follow the Little Bottoms trail to the Abrams Falls trail and hike it down into Cades Cove.

Little Bottoms Trail is also accessible from the Abrams Creek area of Cades Cove.  

From there, the hike is 2.3 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 385 feet.  It takes about one hour to hike the trail.  The trail takes you through old farmland.  Moderate grades and a manageable length make this trail a good option for families with children.

hiking trails