Use the Caldwell Branch Trail for the first .8 miles to get to the Boogerman Trail. This trail starts just past the Cataloochee Campground on the Cataloochee Road.
The Cove Creek Road on the way to the trailhead.
Good footbridges across Caldwell Fork.
The first section of the hike is on the Caldwell Branch Trail. This is a combination horse/hiking trail. As such, it is often muddy, if not downright mucky. One will have to share the way with riders and their horses. Not a problem for me, but I know some hikers who loathe horses and the shape of the trails they use. The first .8 mile to where the actual Boogerman Trail begins is pretty level and follows along the Caldwell Branch, a good, solid, typical Smokies stream. At the junction, the Boogerman Trail turns sharply left and is hiking-only. About 80 feet from the trail, look leftward for the enormous Boogerman Pine, the world's record white pine.
The trout stream Caldwell Fork.
The Boogerman Trail soon begins to ascend steeply up Half Acre Ridge and the slopes of the Cataloochee Divide. It passes through an unending grove of old growth trees. Cove hardwoods. Pines. Hemlocks. On and on, one walks for 3.8 miles of gigantic, cathedral stands of ancient trees.
Huge trees are everywhere in this forest.
The Boogerman ends again at the Caldwell Fork Trail. One can either turn back the way you came, or return to the trailhead via the Caldwell Fork Trail, sharing it, possibly, with riders and suffering with the poor trail condtions and the accompanying horse dung. If you go back via Caldwell Fork, the trail is pretty level and you're back where you started after another 2.8 miles, for a round trip loop of 6.6 miles.
The beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains cove hardwood forests.
Good hiking boots. Trekking pole (at least one). Plenty of water. A camera.
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