Mt. Sterling Ridge TrailModerate

Mount Sterling / Waynesville, NC

Mt. Sterling Ridge Trail

Distance (One Way)

5.3 miles

Elevation Gain

716 feet


Mount Sterling


Waynesville, NC

Trail Description Written by Caroline Sullivan

Mt. Sterling Ridge Trail is a 5.3 mile horse and hiking trail on the west side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It provides access to the Mount Sterling fire tower at the junction with Baxter Creek Trail.

From the junction with Mt. Sterling Trail near the fire tower, you will descend rapidly about 500 feet in elevation. The first half of the trail is mostly up and down, but the last three miles of the trail provides some of the flattest ground you can find in this high of an elevation in the national park.

#horse trail
#mt sterling
#waynesville nc

Mt. Sterling Ridge Trail Elevation Profile

Mt. Sterling Ridge Trail Elevation Profile Tom Dunigan's Elevation Profiles

Trail Difficulty Scales Explained

Elevation Grade


Fairly Flat

Paul Petzoldt Scale






Shenandoah Scale






Photo Gallery (6)

Trail Map

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Mount Sterling: History & Hiking to the Fire Tower

Mount Sterling is located on the east side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and features a fire tower with the highest elevation of any fire tower in the eastern United States. The abandoned metal spire reaches 60 feet over the 5,...

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Horse Trails: Top Destinations For Horseback Riding In The National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is host to more than 800 miles of hiking trails, about 550 of which permit horseback riders. You'll know you're on a horse trail when you make a quick lateral move to dodge some road apples. There are...

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The above list of hiking trails in the Smokies is incomplete and constantly being updated. If you have information or photos you would like to contribute, please contact [email protected].

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