To get right to the point, the Cane Creek trail is one of the easiest Smoky Mountain trails to hike, it’s just getting there that takes some effort. To reach the Cane Creek Trail, hikers must hike part way up the Cooper Road Trail.
In all, the Cane Creek Trail is only 2.1 miles long from its starting point at Cooper Road Trail at Cane Gap to the park boundary. Highlights include the Buchanan family land that was once beautiful farmland, the Buchanan family cemetery, and a very pleasant, lightly used campsite (backcountry campsite No. 2) at Cane Creek.
Starting out about 3.7 miles above the Abrams Creek Ranger Station, you’ll go left at the split and hike to the Cane Creek bottoms. Just a warning, you may be wading the creek in times of heavy rain.
Eastern hemlock and mixed hardwoods mark the old fields before you come upon campsite No.2 at 0.6 miles into the hike. From here, the trail immediately crosses Cane Creek and will again twice.
The Buchanan family cemetery comes up at mile 1.3 on the trail, sitting on a rise under two large maples. The Buchanans lived off the land during those times and farmed corn as their main crop.
Continuing on, the path narrows until you reach the park boundary at 2.1 miles.