Route: Rocky Top - Thunderhead - Brier Knob Loop (TN)

Submitted by Luke Bollschweiler on Sun, 06/21/2020 - 10:53am
Tennessee, US
25.8 mi
Vertical Gain
6,200 ft

View the below link for the Strava on this run:


Smoky Mountain Marathon including 3 significant summits along the Appalachian Trail: Rocky Top (5441 ft), Thunderhead Mountain (5528ft), and Brier Knob (5215ft)! The most significant and beautiful is Rocky Top with a 360 degree panorama. The course includes a 3 mile section of gravel road, an all trail ascent up to the AT, then a traverse across arguably hardest 6 mile section of the AT in the Smokies, and then a long descent back to the Tremont valley. 

Recommended Course Direction:

Begin at the end of the Upper Tremont Rd at the Middle Prong TH. Warm up your legs with a 3.2 mile descent of the road to the West Prong Trail Head. Ascend West Prong Trail 2.7 miles to the Bote Mtn Trail and continue up the Bote Mtn Trail 5.4 miles to its junction with the AT. Continue Northbound on the AT 6.2 miles over the tough ascents and descents to the Greenbrier Ridge Trail, and descend it 4.2 miles to the Middle Prong Trail and continue descending 4.1 miles to the Middle Prong Trail Head. 

Highlights of the course: 

- Great views from several sections along the AT and during the ascent of Bote Mtn

- Enjoy the Middle Prong's beauty over it's many cascades

- The descent of Greenbrier Ridge Trail and Middle Prong Trail (2900 ft in 8 miles = ~6%) is one of the most runnable descents in the entire Smoky Mountains! Although there are several technical sections, you can let your legs go! 

GPS Track