Date: April 23, 2016
Miles: 2.6 miles Elevation Gain: 259↑ ** Elev./Mi: 99 Grade: 2%
Difficulty: Class 1 Hiking Time: 0:57 Pace: 2.73 mph Avg. Temp.: 63
Section: Cades Cove
** This section was documented from Bote Mountain Trail, descending to the trailhead at Laurel Creek Road. From the trailhead up, the elevation gain is 459 ft., Elevation/mile is 176 at a 3% grade.
The trailhead for Finley Cane Trail is on Laurel Creek Road, 5.5 miles from the Townsend “Y”. It is shared with Lead Cove and Turkey Pen Ridge Trails providing the 900 miler with several options for loop hikes. This section was hike a part of a loop with Lead Cove to Bote Mountain and is documented from Bote Mountain Trail. There is ample water along the path with several creek crossings. The closest campsite is about 0.9 miles from the Bote Mountain intersection down West Prong Trail to CS #18.
From Bote Mountain Trail, the path is level to a slight incline for the first 0.4 miles, then descending to Finley Cove Creek at 1.0 miles. The creek is typically dry in the summer. Flowing Finley Cove Creek, there is a slight rise and then a pleasant descent to Hickory Tree Branch and Laurel Cove Creek, two crossing that occur at 2.0 miles. This section passes through mixed hardwoods, some of which are remnants of virgin timber forests. The gentle descent continues on the the trail head at 2.6 miles at Laurel Creek Road.