Chestnut Top Trail-
The Chestnut Top Trail has a rating of “strenuous” with a total gain in elevation of 1486 feet you will reach the ultimate altitude of 2374 feet! Total round trip for this hike is about eight and half miles, so it’s not for the faint-hearted by any means. But for those who are in good condition and like to hike the trail provides much in the way of wildflowers and sightseeing.
To find where the trail starts all you need do is take the road (route 73 east) leading up into the park from Townsend and (I know this is bad directions but…) just before you get to the fork in the road you will see the parking lot and the trail is on the opposite side of the roadway. Ok, I hate bad directions so I googled it for you – from the traffic light in Townsend the fork in the road is 2.2 miles. So around 2.1 miles from the light start looking for the parking lot and save yourself the trouble of having to turn around.
This trail is known for its wildflowers starting in early spring and through the fall of the year. You will start the climb right away for the first 2/3 of a mile or so. Your first good view of things will be at this point where there is a sharp turn, from here you can look back and see the town of Townsend. Next, the trail levels off for a while before you begin a climb up a ridge that affords some nice views of the mountains. Eventually, at a little over 4 miles into the hike, you’ll come to the School House Gap Trail. This is the end of the Chestnut Top Trail.
For additional information it is always good to contact the park Rangers at 865-436-1200 for the latest information. We also have some loads of articles on safety tips, wildlife and wild flowers here on the Smoky Mountain News Blog that you can research.
And you will be needing a great place to stay near the Chestnut Top Trail for when your done with your day of hiking where you can relax and rest – the best place to stay is Smoky Mountain Golden Cabins! 865-202-7657