If you like smaller, more picturesque waterfall made by a Smoky Mountain stream, you’ll love the opportunities afforded to hikers along the Enloe Creek Trail. It’s a 3.6 mile trail from the Hyatt Ridge to the Hughes Ridge Trail, though it can be muddy in places.
To reach Enloe Creek, hike 1.8 miles on the Hyatt Ridge Trail from the Straight Fork Road trailhead – that’s the simplest and easiest route.The part of the park was virtually untouched by the logging companies that plundered the area before it was deemed a national park. Therefore, it’s traveled by many including horses that have torn through the trail at some points. Regardless, the waterfalls produced by Raven Fork and Enloe Creek are worth the hike on its own, separate from the virgin growth forest.
From its beginning, the trail descends immediately into Raven Fork Gorge. A rock outcrop is passed 0.5 miles into the trail and you’ll pass several cascades before reaching Raven Fork a mile in. It’s a large, loud stream, but it does not have a trail that parallels it.
Across the steel bridge on Raven Fork is backcountry campsite No. 47. It’s small and most of the time wet and muddy, but some still brave it out to camp and hear the roar of the stream.
Back on the trail, several more cascades are noticed and passed, some that are blocked by the summer plants that line the forest floor. You’ll cross Enloe Creek by a foot log at mile 2 on the trail.
Climbing the trail, hikers will get a great view of Katalsta Ridge at 2.5 miles. It’s named in honor of a late Cherokee Indian chief’s daughter.
Switchbacks are prevalent before reaching the 3.4 mile mark and entering an open forest. You’ll reach the Hughes Ridge Trail intersection and the conclusion of the Enloe Creek Trail at mile 3.6. Happy hiking!