Gilbert Gaul Trail

Date Hiked: 01/16/10

Park: Fall Creek Falls State Park

Address: 2009 Village Camp Road, Pikeville, TN 37367

Latitude: 35.65629, Longitude: -85.38054

Trail Rating: easy

Round-Trip Mileage: 4.4 miles, the trail is a loop

Other Trails in the Park: Many! Lower Loop, Piney Mountain Bike, Lake Path, Fall Creek Falls Trail, Fall Creek Falls Path, Piney Path, Woodland Trail, Overlook Trail, Turkey Pen Ridge, Paw Paw Trail, Map Only for Day Hikes

For Map, Trail Mileage, GPS, and Trail Notes go to Page 2

Pre-Hike Comments

The trail uses old fishing roads and a new trail along the shore built by Ranger Ray Cutcher and an Americorps team. It is a great addition to the trail system.

The Trail

Directions: Fall Creek Falls is located on hwy 284 between highways 111 and 30.

Gilbert Gaul Trailhead

Parking at the Trailhead outside the gate to Group Camp ll

Once in the Park, follow the signs to the Inn. The road crosses the Lake at the dam and curves along to the first junction - the road to Fall Creek Falls. Stay left. At the second junction - to Group Camp ll, go right on the paved road. The parking for the Gilbert Gaul Trailhead is a quarter of a mile on the right.

Trailhead sign

Across the road from the parking area

A few feet after leaving the trailhead the roads fork. There is no advantage for going right or left. The directions will be going to the right, counter clockwise.

Split in the trail

Immediately the trail splits

Going right the trail follows an old fishing road toward the head of the lake. The trail is relatively flat.

At one mile the road forks. Go left (or straight) and soon the trail enters a large opening. The old Gilbert Gaul Homestead site is down and to the right.

looking at the field at the homestead site

Looking back up the field, the homestead site would be on the left

Continue through the field and back into the woods. The head of the lake is .35 miles from the last fork.

near the head of the lake

The trail near the head of the Lake

The head of the Lake is a nice often secluded area. Fall Creek enters the Lake from the right.

head of the lake

Frozen head of the lake

The trail leaves the area to the left. Following the shore the trail weaves in and out going from point to cove and back again. Drainages are crossed in each cove.

drainage crossing

Drainage crossing

At 1.05 miles from the head of the lake, is the Frazier Rain Shelter. The lean-to was built as a shelter for the boaters and fishermen; but the hikers also, take advantage of the structure.

Frazier rain shelter, lean-to

The Frazier Rain Shelter

From the shelter, continue around the lake. After .45 miles is a beaver lodge built almost next to the trail. What a treat! Watch, but do not disturb the beavers.

beaver lodge

Beaver Lodge

The trail passes a couple of fishing roads on the left along the way. Just continue straight along the shore. At .90 miles cross a drainage and come to a junction. The cabins on the Lake are straight ahead. To return to the trailhead, turn left.

Junction with the spur trail that leads to the cabins

After crossing the creek (or drainage) the trail comes to the junction with the Cabins Spur Trail

The trail re-crosses the drainage and then climbs a hill with a couple of switchbacks.

climb up out of the ferns

Climbing from the Lake to the high ground

It is a .15 mile climb to junction with another old road. Go right.

junction sign, go right

At the top of the climb, the trail come to a road (the sign points in the opposite direction)

After .20 miles the road junctions another road on the left. Stay straight.

Another .30 miles of walking on the easy road and the trail returns to the trailhead.

The total length is 4.4 miles.