Views, History, and the Appalachian Trail!
Want amazing views and the thrill of hiking the Appalachian Trail? Then check out Mount Cammerer.
Hiking the Appalachian Trail is a reward itself. Who hasn't heard of it or given the idea of hiking it at least a passing thought?
The views and history at Mount Cammerer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are bonuses. You may not be able to hike the whole trail (over 2,000 miles), but you could hike part of it.
The loop trail from Cosby Campground to the summit is a rewarding hike that leads you along 4.4 miles of the Appalachian Trail. You'll see amazing 360º views (on a clear day:) from a historic fire tower.
To begin the trail, start from Cosby campground, which is located at 127 Cosby Park Rd. in Cosby, TN off TN 32. You'll begin hiking on Low Gap Trail. The trailhead is to the left of the campground registration booth. You'll hike for 3 miles until you get to Low Gap.
From this junction, you'll make a left onto the Appalachian Trail. After 2.1 miles, you'll come to a side trail on your left. This 0.6 mile trail takes you to the summit of Mount Cammerer. Here you'll find a fire tower that's now open for all of us hikers to enjoy the views. At 4,928', you can see endless mountains.
There's a little history here too. Fire towers were built for just that purpose, to see fires. A person whose job was to be the fire lookout would stay here to spot any developing fires in the surrounding wilderness.
After enjoying the views, head back to the Appalachian Trail. From here, to make this a loop hike, take a left onto the Appalachian Trail. Hike for another 2.3 miles until you come to Lower Mount Cammerer Trail. Make a left at this junction and it's another 7.5 miles back to Cosby campground.
Total Hike Length: 16.1 miles (to cut the length from 16.1 to 11.4 miles, simply return to the campground, from the summit, the same way you came)
Approximate Elevation: Starts at 2300' at Cosby Campground. It's 3500' at the junction with the Appalachian Trail. It's an uphill climb to the junction with Mount Cammerer Trail at 4900' and peaks at a little over 5000'. Trail descends to 4250' at Low Gap junction then back to 2300' at Cosby Campground.
How to get to the trail: Cosby campground is located at 127 Cosby Park Rd. in Cosby, TN, off TN 32.
Return from Mount Cammerer to Scenic Hikes