Yellow Creek Mountain Trail #48

The Yellow Creek Mountain Trail starts at the Burchfield Trailhead on Meadow Branch Road, just off Route 129 in northern Graham County, and across the road from Tapoco Lodge.  Named for a Forest Service worker who maintained the trail for several decades, this was part of the original Appalachian Trail until 1947.  In 2014, it was designated as part of the route of the Benton MacKaye Trail.

From the trailhead, the trail rises steeply for a short distance, before becoming a more level route with great views of the Hangover Lead Ridge.  At 1.8 miles, the trail crosses Old Field Gap Road and follows a gated Forest Service Road for 0.5 miles before leaving the road and regaining the ridge.  Generally climbing, the trail crosses Forest Service roads at 3.2 and 3.8 miles, then joins a Forest Service road at 5.0 miles, following that easterly for 0.3 miles.  From that point, the trail descends, then rises to a powerline crossing with great views.  Continuing easterly through small powerline access roads, the trail leaves the road and descends to Kirkland Gap.  The next 1.4 miles is a series of up and down hill sections, finally reaching the summit of Yellow Creek Mountain.  A 1.0 mile downhill section leads past Lookout Rock, with great views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, to Green Gap.  At that point, the Benton MacKaye Trail turns left and goes downhill on the Lookout Rock Trail.  The Yellow Creek Mountain Trail continues easterly along the ridge, terminating at Walker Gap 1.2 miles later, at a junction with the Appalachian Trail.

Trail Length: 9.8 Miles

Difficulty: Strenuous

 Usage: Light

Average Hiking Times: Five Hours



Day Hiking


Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities