Turkey Flyup via Thomas Divide Trail
This is a easy out and back trail to Turkey Flyup in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
This trail goes by Nettle Creek Bald.
This is a trail that might be described as a footpath on Thomas Ridge. It is an easy narrow trail with 712 feet of ascent and 709 feet of descent. Along the way you will see a variety of tree species and in the spring time wildflowers. You might also note some of the interesting fungi along the trail.
Even though the name might lead you to believe that you will find a clearing on the mountain this is not so. This is not a natural bald but was cleared by settlers in the past for farming or grazing. Since the National Park Service took possession of the land it has been restored to its natural condition and is now covered with trees. There are no reliable vistas along the way but you will be able to see adjacent mountains through the trees at select spots. There are no water crossings or streams that cross this section of the trail making this a dry trail from the trailhead to Nettle Creek Bald.
This segment of the Thomas Divide Trail is marked for hikers only by the National Park Service. If you continue to the intersection with the Sunkota Ridge Trail the National Park Service marks the trail for both hikers and horses for the remainder of its length. The National Park Trail Map may be found here.
Please remember to practice “Leave No Trace” – Take out what you take in.
The trailhead is 3.4 miles from Newfound Gap parking area or 9.3 miles from Smokemont Campground or 12.2 miles from the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. There is parking for about six cars on US 441 at the trailhead and there are no facilities.
Remember to check the weather for this area and prepare accordingly, dress correctly and carry water and food (or at least snacks).
This can be a fun hike in the woods for families. Along the way you might try to spot one of the live traps set for feral pigs.
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