View – the trail follows a lightly wooded ridge with views into Maggie Valley and toward the Cataloochee area. The end of the hike is the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center (Science Center) which is in an open highland field and provides a panoramic vista.
Hike Profile – an out and back hike that follows the Cataloochee Divide Trail from the entrance to the GSMNP on Cove Creek Road to the Appalachian Learning Center at an elevation of 4950 feet. The hike to the Center is a straight, gentle climb.
Trail Surface – mostly an easy walking dirt and grass trail.
Environment – an open forest on one side of the broad ridge with grass fields on the other. Wildflowers and shrubs will be in great abundance during the right time of year.
Navigation – the Cataloochee Divide Trail follows the straight line ridge that defines the southern boundary of the GSMNP from the trailhead to the Science Center. As you near the Science Center, the trail to the center will branch off to the left. Look for the signs to the center.
Directions to Trailhead – from I-40 west take Exit 20. After a short distance on US 276 take a right onto Cove Creek Road. Continue on Cove Creek Road to the entrance to the GSMNP at Cove Creek Gap. Just inside the park entrance there is a pull off for the trailhead on the right but no paved parking area. The trailhead is on the left.