Hiking the Lumber Ridge Trail

Back in February, we took our last cold weather hike – the Lumber Ridge Trail, beginning in Tremont. This trek can best be described as a nice, peaceful stroll through the woods. Winter hikes are different in that most of the noise from birds and other wildlife is not present, leaving you with an almost deafening silence. If you’re looking for true solitude, winter hikes are where you’ll find it.

Lumber Ridge Trail:

Trailhead: Starting from the Townsend Y-intersection, drive west on Laurel Creek Road towards Cades Cove. Turn left toward the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. In another ~2 miles, turn left into the Great Smoky Mountains Institute. After crossing the bridge, there will be a small parking area. To find the trailhead, walk up the gravel road just beyond the parking area. The sign for the trail is to the left and behind the lodging building.
Round Trip Distance:  8.1 miles – the turnaround point for this trail is the crossroads between Meigs Mountain and Meigs Creek trails.
Total Elevation Gain:  1,524 feet

Scrambled egg sandwich
Gotta have it.

Lumber Ridge Trail Hike Smoky Mountains
This is where you will park for this trail.

Lumber Ridge Trail Hike Smoky Mountains
After walking up a gravel road for a short bit, you’ll see a larger building with the trailhead going up the hill behind it.

Lumber Ridge Trail Hike Smoky Mountains
Meigs Creek Trail is the junction where you will turn around.  4 miles out, 4 miles back!

I do maths.

Lumber Ridge Trail Hike Smoky Mountains
It was a beautiful, crisp, and cold COLD day!

Lumber Ridge Trail Hike Smoky Mountains

Lumber Ridge Trail Hike Smoky Mountains
Because there were no leaves on the trees, the views were great all along the way.

Lumber Ridge Trail Hike Smoky Mountains
Beautiful and quiet.

Lumber Ridge Trail Hike Smoky Mountains
Absolutely perfect sky.

Lumber Ridge Trail Hike Smoky Mountains
Nothing can sneak up on you during a winter hike – there’s not a lot of places to hide!

Lumber Ridge Trail Hike Smoky Mountains

Lumber Ridge Trail Hike Smoky Mountains
Finally at the end!  We usually eat our lunch at the halfway point of our hikes, but at this one, there weren’t a lot of great seating options available.  So we headed back up the trail about a quarter mile..

Lumber Ridge Trail Hike Smoky Mountains
.. to this curve in the trail.

Lumber Ridge Trail Hike Smoky Mountains
And this convenient log that acted as a perfect bench!  As a bonus, it was in the sunshine, which we needed because it was freezing!

Lumber Ridge Trail Hike Smoky Mountains
Matt brought a thermos filled with hot cocoa, and there is nothing like a hot beverage when you’ve been hiking in frigid air all day.

Lumber Ridge Trail Hike Smoky Mountains
Brr…

Lumber Ridge Trail Hike Smoky Mountains
..and that’s all she wrote!   Overall, great hike.  The trail is in wonderful condition and there aren’t any tricky elements other than a few very shallow water crossings caused by run-off from the mountain.

About Erin

Erin Browne and her husband Matt are the people behind the curtain here at Brownie Bites. Together, they blog about recipes they love, places they go, and things that they do. There are also cute dog pictures. Lots and lots of them. You can follow Erin on twitter @erinbrowne.
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