Cades Cove
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Anthony Creek Trail
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The first trail in the cove is the Anthony Creek Trail, which starts at the back of the picnic area. For day hikers, you may park your car in the picnic area as long as you are back at your car 1 hour before sunset when the picnic area closes. If you plan to stay overnight, you need to park in the large parking lot across from the ranger station, which is only a few hundred yards down the road from the picnic area. The Anthony Creek trail follows Anthony Creek right up Bote Mountain to its headwaters. After you hike about 3 miles from the picnic area, you will pass one of the park's 95 primitive backcountry camp sites. This one is called campsite #9 and is located directly next to Anthony Creek. If you plan to camp here, you must first register at the campground ampitheatre across from the ranger station. Although no reservations are required at this one, you need to call ahead of time to see if it has been closed due to bear activity (It frequently is in July and August).

One mile past campsite number 9, the trail dead ends into the Bote Mountain trail. If you then take a right on the Bote Mountain Trail, you will hit the Appalachian Trail after another one and a half miles. Once there you will find yourself in the middle of a grassy bald called Spence Field. A right turn on the A.T. will take you to Spence Shelter, a shelter backpackers are permitted to stay in so long as they have reservations (423-436-1231). A left turn on the A.T. will take you to Rocky Top, another beautiful grassy bald. The hike to Spence Field takes about 7 hours round trip from the picnic area. Add on another 1 hour if hiking to Rocky Top. Remember, the elevation goes from 1900 feet at the picnic area to over 5000 feet at Spence Field. You must be prepared by bringing extra water and clothing. The temperature at Spence Field can be up to 15 degrees cooler than at the picnic area.

  Call Steve Speer at: 865-233-0508
or Email: [email protected]