Greenbrier Ridge Trail

gbrt1Here’s a great spring wildflower trail for anyone interested – the Greenbrier Ridge Trail. When you think of Greenbrier you almost always think about a far less traversed section of the park and this trail doesn’t sway much from that idea. In all, it’s 4.2 miles from its junction with the Middle Prong Trail to the Appalachian Trail.

Wildfowers as well as mountain streams and gorgeous views of the Smoky Mountains highlight this portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To get you started, the Middle Prong itself is located 4.1 miles from the end of Tremont Road.

There are no camping opportunities along the Greenbrier Ridge Trail so for all you campers finding other means is a must. Starting out on the trail, you’re following an old railroad bed over a ridge, rock hopping a stream then hiking upriver beside the Indian Flats Prong. This ridge you’ve just crossed is called the Mellinger Death Ridge. It’s a hard name to forget. It’s said that a man by the name of Mellinger died years ago in this area after being caught in a bear trap and not being able to free himself. Two brother found him to be still alive but murdered him instead of carrying him back and tossed the body.

Now, back to the trail. The trail crosses a couple of streams, both of which you’ll have to rock hop. Take heed during high water. After crossing each, you’ll begin the hike up Greenbrier Ridge. Spring wildflowers abound. Majestic mountain views appear as well. A mile in, a great view of Blanket Mountain can be seen along the trail.

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