Huskey Gap (via Newfound Gap Road)
|Trail Features:||Quiet Forest Hike, Wildflowers|
|Trail Location:||Newfound Gap Road|
|Roundtrip Length:||4.2 Miles|
|Total Elevation Gain:||1240 Feet|
|Avg. Elev Gain / Mile:||590 Feet|
|Highest Elevation:||3180 Feet|
|Trail Difficulty Rating:||6.68 (moderate)|
|Parking Lot Latitude||35.6632|
|Parking Lot Longitude||-83.52641|
Directions to Trailhead:
From the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, drive 1.5 miles south along Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) to the Huskey Gap Trailhead. The parking lot for the Huskey Gap Trail will be on your right.
The Huskey Gap Trail is usually one of the trails on the hiking schedule of the Great Smoky Mountains Association's annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage Tour (in April). Although this is a good trail for viewing wildflowers, it can also be a little crowded in the spring due to its close proximity to Gatlinburg.
Starting from the trailhead you'll notice some traffic noise from Newfound Gap Road. Don't worry though, after several minutes of walking through this second growth forest the noise quickly disappears.
As the traffic noise fades, look across the land below the trail and you'll notice the remains of an old stone fence from some of the former homesteads in this area. You may also notice some rather large tulip trees in this area as well.
Some of the wildflowers that can be found during the spring include Canadian Violets, False Solomon's Seal, Yellow Trillium, Purple Phacelia, Crested Dwarf Iris, Star Chickweed, Sweet White Violet, Wild Geranium, May Apple, Cutleaf Toothwort, Common Blue Violet, Rue Anemone, Sweet Shrub, Dog Hobble, Dogwood, Trillium Erect, Wild Ginger, Yellow Mandarin, Bishop Caps, Foam Flower, Blue Cohosh, Squirrel Corn, Silver Bell, Squaw Root, Halberd Leaf Violet and Cinquefoil.
At 2.1 miles hikers will reach Huskey Gap where the Huskey Gap Trail intersects with the Sugarland Mountain Trail. You won't have much of a view here; however, if you continue for a short distance beyond the trail junction you'll have a few peeks into the mountains towards the west.
On your return trip, look due east for glimpses of Mt. LeConte through the trees.
The trail receives its name from Sam Huskey, who once owned a homestead near the gap around the turn of the 20th century. In the late 19th century the residents of the small communities of Little River (now known as Elkmont) and the Sugarlands, built a log schoolhouse at Huskey Gap. They also constructed a road which would eventually become the Huskey Gap Trail.
If you're in a group with multiple cars, you could extend your hike by heading 3 miles north on the Sugarland Mountain Trail towards Fighting Creek Gap (Laurel Falls area). You could also continue heading west on the Huskey Gap Trail towards the Little River Trail, and then proceed north to the parking area at Elkmont, roughly 5 miles away.