September 5, 2018
Hiker Billie Green led the August Classic Hike of the Smokies on Bradley Fork Trail. She shares her group’s experience in this blog post.
by Billie Green
The August Classic Hike series was held on Tuesday, August 14, on the Bradley Fork to Cabin Flats Trail in the park. The hike showcased the pristine water of the Bradley Fork creek and a beautiful water fall along the way.
We met at the trailhead which is located in the back of Loop D of the Smokemont Campground.
Smokemont was once known as the Bradleytown community and was established for the logging industry. We had around a dozen hikers join us that day. Many regular faces with a few new ones as well.
Total hiking distance for the day was around 10 miles. Bradley Fork Trail is an old road bed that follows the creek.
The terrain of the old road bed makes this an easy hike with very little elevation gain. Making this a great one for any level of hiker. Bradley Fork is also known for its great swimming holes and fly fishing spots.
We enjoyed a sweet lunch spot by the creek near a back country site off the Cabin Flats part of the trail. Through the crystal clear waters, we observed salamanders and crawfish.
The return trip let us see the creek from an different angle, and we kept repeating to each other on how pretty and peaceful it all looked.
The weather was near perfect the day of our hike. The foliage cover kept us shaded and the coolness of the creek was refreshing.
Good choice of trail for an August day!
The September Classic Hike will be the Albright Grove Loop, a 6.5-mile hike on September 11. The trail is named for Horace Albirght, second Director of the National Park Service. The trail winds its way through old growth forest, including hemlocks, tulip poplars, fraser magnolias, maples, beech, and silverbell trees.
Each Classic Hike of the Smokies is $20 for members and $35 for new and renewing members, which includes a one-year membership.
The hike is a fundraiser for Trails Forever, a partnership between Friends of the Smokies and the National Park Service. Trails Forever funds a full-time trail crew to reconstruct and rehabilitate some of the park’s most impacted trails.
The Classic Hikes of the Smokies series is sponsored by Smoky Mountain Living, Mission Health, Diamond Brand Outdoors, Equilibar, HomeTrust Bank, Smoky Park Supper Club, and Leap Frog Tours.