Hiking in the Smokies: Rich Mountain Loop

John Oliver Place in Cades Cove LoopEager to see the scenic Cades Cove area, but hate waiting in traffic? Visit My Smokies suggests Smoky Mountain vacationers to get out and explore the beautiful Rich Mountain Loop Trail. Adventurers will pass soothing mountain meadows, delicate flowers and historic buildings while hiking in the Smokies on this trail.

Among the historical buildings along the trail is the John Oliver cabin. The War of 1812 veteran and his family were among the first settlers to the Smoky Mountain area. Their cabin dates back to the early 1820’s.

After passing the Oliver cabin, guests to the trail will begin to notice a steady incline. This incline will continue through the Indian Graves Gap Junction until hikers reach the Crooked Arm Ridge Junction at roughly mile number 6. The trail will finish downhill, and for a few trail blazers, with a 25-foot waterfall just 50 yards off the trail toward the end of Crooked Arm Ridge.

Beautiful wildflowers are also abundant on the trail. Hikers on the Rich Mountain Loop trail will see violets, flame azeleas, purple phacelias, and much more depending on the time of year. All the pretty wildflowers make this trail one of the most enjoyable in the whole Smoky Mountains.

Eager to explore the Rich Mountain Loop? The trail is easily accessible to walkers and joggers on Wednesday and Saturday mornings during the warmer months when the Cades Cove loop is closed from cars. The entrance to the trail is just 25 beyond the entrance gate to Cades Cove Loop Road.

Overall, the Rich Mountain Loop offers visitors hiking in the Smokies 8.5 miles of Great Smoky Mountain fun. The trail is rated strenuous from HikingintheSmokys.com, a top-rated comprehensive website for all guests need to know about hiking in the Smoky Mountains.

For more information on hiking in the Smokies, or other fun-filled attractions in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville, Visit My Smokies encourages guests to check out their ‘Area Information’ tab on their website. There visitors can find detailed information on popular Pigeon Forge attractions, restaurants in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, as well as tips and locations for premier shopping in the Smoky Mountains.

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About Mal Alder

Mal Alder is a graduate of the University of Tennessee where she studied Creative Writing with a minor in Journalism and Electronic Media. Beyond writing, her interests include politics, new technology and anything involving the Smoky Mountains. When she's not at work she can be found at the dog park, a bookstore or a golf course, depending on the weather.