June 18-19, 2021
Cabin Flats is a very short trail at .8 miles. For some reason, I had never hiked it before, even though I’ve hiked Dry Sluice Gap Trail and Bradley Fork. Aside from hiking the Smoky 900 challenge, why would one hike this trail? Well, it has one of the best campsites in the Smoky’s. Campsite #49 is nestled right beside the roaring Bradley Fork and can accommodate 12 people. Unlike most campsites, it is not circular, but long and rectangular and each spot is separated by a copse of trees. The campsite might be full, but you cannot see nor hear anyone else.
I hiked in on a Friday solo from Smokemont Campground. It’s 5.1 miles to #49 and not very difficult at all. In June, the biggest issue were the persistent flies that wanted to crash into my eyes. I set up my hammock and thoroughly enjoyed the sound of rushing water and privacy. Two other small groups came to camp, but I didn’t so much as hear them.
As I was about to fall asleep around 9:45 pm, the late season fireflies lit up the mountainside. I’m unsure if they were of the synchronous variety, but they lit up the night like a string of Christmas lights.
Total mileage is 10.2 miles.