Located in the Tremont section of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, the Middle Prong Trail is 8.2 miles roundtrip, with Indian Flats Falls at the 4.1 mile mark. It then becomes the Greenbrier Ridge Trail, which leads to the Appalachian Trail.
Turning on Tremont Road, the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont is 2.2 miles at the stop sign, providing restrooms and a small gift shop (maps, t-shirts, hats, etc.). Continue another 3.1 miles along a gravel road to reach the trailhead.
The Middle Prong Trail was originally a railroad bed used by the Little River Railroad & Lumber Company, based in Townsend, Tennessee, which was one of the largest commercial logging operations in southern Appalachia, in operation for 38 years until 1939, with 150 miles of railroad. Visitors can find more information available at the Little River Railroad Museum web site.
“Best waterfall hike in the Smokies”
Having read this quote at hikinginthesmokies.com, I was encouraged to organize my gear and hike the area. Also, recent rainfall boded well for active streams. Following my adventure, I concur with the aforementioned sentiment!
Immediately after crossing a footbridge over the river, the trail forks – stay to the left to follow the river. Over the next 4.1 miles, elevation gain is 1140′ along a trail that I would rate as moderate in difficulty – some of the trail includes rocky terrain, and watch out for horse droppings (equestrians allowed).
Present for the entire hike were the pleasant sounds of running water echoing through the forest, from the river as well as several smaller waterfalls – including:
Lynn Camp Falls
Lower Lynn Camp Falls
Lower Lynn Camp Falls was spectacular! At approx. 1/2 mile from the trailhead, this 35′ waterfall sends water crashing downward along a multi-tiered mountainside. While cognizant of safety concerns, one may traverse its ledges for a closer view.
Without further adieu, here’s a short video of Lower Lynn Camp Falls:
If you’d be interested in prints featuring photographs of Lower Lynn Camp Falls, then please visit my gallery at Pixels to see more. Select from these options: framed, canvas, art, wood, metal or acrylic.
Here are a few examples of what you’ll find:
Upper Lynn Camp Falls
Back on the trail for less than 100 yards, hikers encounter the Upper Lynn Camp Falls. Though not as tall, this picturesque waterfall features interesting rock structures channeling the scenic Lynn Camp Prong. It’s also possible to climb near the falls, but please be aware of prevailing – potentially hazardous – surface conditions.
Here’s a short video of Upper Lynn Camp Falls:
A variety of prints featuring photographs of Upper Lynn Camp Falls are available in my gallery at Pixels.
Enjoy the outdoors → inside your home:
Back On The Trail
Returning to my trek, it wasn’t easy to stop marveling at the abundant beauty of the river, though I did enjoy additional points of interest along the way.
Sights along the trail:
Indian Flats Falls
Following several switchbacks and an increase in elevation, I observed an offshoot of the trail tucked behind a leafy-bush. It certainly wasn’t obvious and there were no signs to follow, but I knew that I must be close to Indian Flats Falls, so I turned right and proceeded into the forest. This was a much more difficult, albeit brief, section of the trail. If you make the hike, prepare to climb over and under downed trees, and exercise caution moving across larger, moss-covered rocks.
Upper & Lower Indian Flats Falls
When I arrived at Indian Flats Falls, I was the only person on site for the next 1/2 hour. This allowed me the leisure of taking several photographs, as well as finding a seat to enjoy my packed-lunch (peanut butter sandwich, banana, energy bar, h2o).
Indian Flats Falls actually has three sections; however, the bottom section was not accessible – and, the Lower Indian Flats Falls does require a rather difficult descent.
Here’s a short video of both Upper & Lower Indian Flats Falls:
Several prints of Indian Flats Falls are available in my gallery at Pixels – with customization options, allowing you to make it your own!
Here are some examples:
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post highlighting the beauty of nature, as found along the Middle Prong Trail. It certainly was a wonderful experience, and I’d recommend it to anyone in the area interested in hiking.
Thanks for stopping by ~ enjoy the great outdoors!