Just off of North Carolina State Route 28, on the north shore of Lake Cheoah, there is a ranger station called Twentymile. This out-of-the-way section of the park is really a reward for hikers who seek solitude. The trails accessed from here are:
Contrary to the name, Twentymile Trail extends only 5 miles into the backcountry of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A 20-mile trip can be made by linking to other trails around it or by just continuing along the Benton MacKaye Trail, which Twentymile trail is a section of.
Starting from the Twentymile Ranger Station, the trail goes 0.5 miles in before seeing the Wolf Ridge Trail branch off to the left. After this, the trail goes 2.6 miles through Campsite #93 and to the trail junction meeting of Twentymile Loop Trail and Long Hungry Ridge Trail. Continuing on, Twentymile Trail runs 1.9 miles to where it ends at the intersection of the Appalachian Trail near Shuckstack. After this, the Twentymile Trail section of Benton MacKaye Trail becomes the Lost Cove Trail.
Being only 2.9 miles in length, Twentymile loop Trail helps connect Twentymile Trail and Wolf Ridge Trail. Most people use this trail as a loop system with the other two trails. A person could hike 0.5 miles into the backcountry using Twentymile Trail and then take Wolf Ridge Trail to the right for 1.1 miles. At the Twentymile Loop Trail intersection, take it, going 2.9 miles to where it comes out at the trail junction of Twentymile Trail and Long Hungry Ridge Trail. Twentymile Trail can be taken back 3.1 miles back to the road.
After going 0.5 miles in on Twentymile Trail, Wolf Ridge Trail branches off to the left. From here, it extends 1.1 miles before Twentymile Loop Trail leads off to the right. After this, Wolf Ridge Trail winds 5.2 more miles, passing by Campsite #95. At the tail end, Wolf Ridge Trail runs up to Parson Bald before ending at Campsite #13, near Gregory Bald. Wolf Ridge Trail is 6.3 miles long.
Long Hungry Ridge Trail is 4.6 miles in length. It runs from the trail junction of Twentymile Loop Trail and Twentymile Trail to another trail junction consisting of Gregory Bald Trail and Gregory Ridge Trail. Gregory Bald Trail runs horizontal at the junction, with Gregory Ridge Trail continuing on the other side. Long Hungry Ridge Trail provides access to Campsite #92 as well.
Connecting Forge Creek Road with the Appalachian Trail, Gregory Bald Trail provides access to many of the trails in the Twentymile area. Starting at Forge Creek Road (a one-way unpaved road coming out of Cades Cove), Gregory Bald Trail winds 4.1 miles to Campsite #13. Itís here where Wolf Ridge Trail branches off down mountain toward the ranger station. Gregory Bald Trail then continues 1.2 miles, going over Gregory Bald and to the junction of Gregory Ridge Trail (to the left) and Long Hungry Ridge Trail (to the right). The trail then continues 2 miles to Doe Knob, where it meets the Appalachian Trail. Gregory Bald Trail is 7.3 miles in length.
Following the ridgeline, Gregory Ridge Trail extends 5 miles from the trail junction of Gregory Bald Trail and Long Hungry Ridge Trail to the Forge Creek Road that comes out of Cades Cove. It is at this point the Forge Creek Road switches from a two-way to a one-way road. Gregory Ridge Trail also provides access to Campsite #12.
View the main Smoky Mountain Trails here