Kephart Prong

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Horace Kephart, founding father of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 

Go WILD with us in the Smoky Mountains as we hike the Kephart Prong Trail

You’ll hike along beautiful Kephart Prong Creek whose waters are full of wild mountain trout. Along the way we will see many remnants of the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp 411, where young men helped build the many structures, roads and trails that we enjoy today inside the park. You will see old homesites from the settlers in the area, and reminders of the railroads that once screamed with small Shay locomotives that hauled nearly 2 billion board feet of timber out of the Smoky Mountains before the establishment of the park.

Named after Horace Kephart who is named one of the founding fathers of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Horace was a nationally acclaimed writer who wrote Our Southern Highlanders and many other books and tirelessly championed for the creation of the National Park. The trail, creek, mountain, and back country shelter were all named in honor of Horace Kephart.

Kephart Prong trail is steeped in rich history from the early days of mountain settlers and moonshiners, to the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp 411 who lived and worked here. This is one of the best trails on the North Carolina side of the park for history and artifacts.

Half Day Hike: Hiking time round trip is between 3-4 hours.

Total Distance: 4.2 miles round trip

Difficulty rating:  Moderate, elevation gains of 955 feet, with an average gain of 455 feet per mile. Sturdy hiking shoes recommended as is good physical condition.

Meeting Location: For this hike we meet the Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Reservations call (828)-421-0172,  or book securely from our website!