Cooper Road Trail

Cooper Road Trail

The first leg of this trail begins at the upper end of Abrams Creek Campground and follows a smooth, gravel track through a corridor of tall white pines. Just beyond the crest of a rise, the trail overlooks a scenic bend in Abrams Creek Above the campground, a stream emptying into Kingfisher Creek may involve a wet-foot crossing, but there is a good path over slippery rocks, even when rock-hopping is not possible.

A bit under a mile up the Cooper Road Trail from the Abrams Creek Campground, the Little Bottoms Trail intersects the Cooper Road Trail before crossing Abrams Creek at Cooper Road Backcountry Campsite (Site #1).

When leaving the camp, the road retains the character of a rough road, wide and well traveled, which sometimes flows through a muddy areas. At the campsite, it reaches the Gold Mine Gap, where it intersects the eastern terminal of the Gold Mine Trail.

Gold Mine Gap

Above the Gold Mine Gap, the Cooper Road Trail descends to Cane Gap before turning sharply right and continuing to the top of Hatcher Mountain. The road here is dry and sandy, badly damaged and often full of roots and stones.

When the Cooper Road Trail reaches the top of Hatcher Mountain, it enters the intersection of the road that marks the intersection of Cooper Road with the Hatcher Mountain Trail and the Beard Cane Trail before descending into the gorge, a stony path to the intersection of the creek. The slope is gentle, as the road leads to the cold in a shady hole, where it immediately crosses the tributary of the Wilson branch. At the front, the track completes the Wilson Branch junction and then turns and continues into a hole that follows the track to a small feeder.

Stony Ridge

At the head of the draw, the track crosses the feeder and enters a steep climb to the top of Stony Ridge. To clear Stony Ridge, the trail descends at the Stony Branch fast junction and then turns and begins to climb to the top of Arbutus Ridge. From a berm, the path turns sharply back to the left to follow the mountain for a while before falling into a steep descent in the drainage of the Arbutus branch. Here there can be a very strong wind through the passage, which is wide, smooth and shaded by pine trees, before ending at the branch of Arbutus Branch.

On the other side of the Arbutus junction on the concrete trail, the path leads a short way along the river and leads to Cades Cove before crossing the upper end of the Wet Bottom trail before ending the track.

A concrete causeway crossing Arbutus Branch allows you to proceeds downstream an approaches Cades Cove before intersecting the upper portion of the Wet Bottom Trail right before the end of the trail.