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2019-05-16 GSMNP-003 Middle Prong Falls

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Middle Prong Trail Trailhead
Date(s) & Time:Thu, May 16 2019  10:00 am >> Thu, May 16 2019 2:00 pm
Registration Opens: Mon, Feb 25 2019 7:25 pm
Registration Cut Off: Thu, May 16 2019 10:00 am
Event Duration:Approx. 4 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D3: Moderate
Distance:8 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Bill Wey
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:12
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 10 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


This is one of the most beautiful hikes in the GSMNP. It’s among the top choices after a few days long trekking in the park. It also leaves the second half of the day open to explore anything else in the park.

Middle Prong Trail has been hailed as the best waterfall hike in the GSMNP. We will meet and start from the Middle Prong Trail trailhead.

We’ll follow an old railroad grade built by Little River Lumber Company in the early 1900’s. Follow the bridge over Lynn Camp Prong and stay left on the main gravel road. After half a mile on the trail, the road swings to the left at the largest set of cascades for the Lynn Camp Prong, revealing one of the Smokies’ most photographed locations.

The well-maintained trail continues along the Indian Flats Prong. At 2.3 miles, we’ll cross the junction with Panther Creek Trail on the left. Continue straight on the main road. At 3.5 miles, we’ll cross a bridge over Indian Flats Prong. The trail progresses under a vine-draped canopy with rhododendron growing along the forest floor. The grade steadily increases as the trail makes several sharp left-hand switchbacks followed by a right-hand switchback.

The event duration does NOT include our travelling/ driving time. Our duration time is an estimate, and we need to have some flexibility.

Required Items to Bring:


Layers of clothing suitable for the season.

Good hiking boots/shoes.

Water, snacks.

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.



Rain gear just in case

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Use Google Address: Middle Prong Trail Trailhead, Townsend, TN 37882

from anywhere you are coming.

If starting from Sugarlands Visitor Center of GSMNP to Middle Prong Trail Trailhead is 23 miles. The normal driving time is about 50 minutes.

The general direction:

From the Sugarlands Visitor Center in GSMNP, drive 20 miles west along Little River Road towards Cades Cove. Roughly two-tenths of a mile from the Townsend "Y", turn left and drive 2 miles to reach the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont.

From the Institute, drive 3.1 miles along a gravel road to reach the Middle Prong Trail trailhead at the far end of the road. This is where we meet.


1. This event may be cancelled or rescheduled if weather conditions are not satisfactory for an enjoyable outing.

2. Itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of the trip leader.

<<< Hiking in GSMNP >>>

I will stay in Gatlinburg, TN, and not making day trip back to Atlanta.

There are lots of affordable lodging options in Gatlinburg, TN. The choice of lodging is completely optional of each member.

The hiking is free, but we need to cover ALL our costs. All costs are paid by members on their own. The AOC and trip leader do not pay any costs. This is not an AOC paid event.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.