Swallow Fork TrailModerate

Big Creek Trail

Swallow Fork Trail

Distance (One Way)

4.0 miles

Elevation Gain

2,210 feet


Big Creek Trail

Trail Description Written by Caroline Sullivan

Swallow Fork Trail is a fairly difficult 4 mile hike from Big Creek Trail to Mount Sterling Ridge Trail. During the spring it is an excellent place to see a variety of wildflowers.

The trail has around 4 unbridged water crossings (Swallow Fork & McGinty Creek) as well as one footbridge crossing around the 1 mile marker. The footbridge marks a lovely place to stop for lunch or a snack.

The majority of the trail is very foresty. Just after the 3 mile marker, you'll begin to see some nice mountain views (including Mount Guyot) through a few breaks in the trees.

Some of the wildflowers you might see on this trail include Fraser’s sedge, Jack-in-the-pulpit, ramps, trout lily, spring beauty, trillium, yellow goldenrod, purple aster, jewelweed, and wild stonecrop.

#mt sterling

Swallow Fork Trail Elevation Profile

Swallow Fork Trail Elevation Profile Tom Dunigan's Elevation Profiles

Trail Difficulty Scales Explained

Elevation Grade


Fairly Steep

Paul Petzoldt Scale






Shenandoah Scale


Moderately Strenuous




Photo Gallery (7)

Trail Map

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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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