When you’re looking for a great outdoor adventure, there’s no better place to head than the Gatlinburg area! The mountains and forests here are full of trails for hikers of all levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, you’ll find a trail that’s perfect for you. You can also check out places you can stay in Gatlinburg.
In this blog post, we’ll describe some of the best places to go hiking near Gatlinburg. If you are new to hiking don’t forget to check out our Hiking tips and accessories. So pack your gear and get ready for an amazing hike!
The Best Places to go Hiking Near Gatlinburg
One great place to go hiking near Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park has over 800 miles of trails, so you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for your abilities. The park also has a variety of scenic views and wildlife, so you’ll have plenty to see on your hike. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the country, so you’ll definitely want to check it out!
another awesome thing about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is that it’s free to enter! so you can hike to your heart’s content without spending any money.
What’s special about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?
- 800 miles of trails
- Variety of scenic views and wildlife
- Popular hiking destination
- Free to enter!
2. Trail of Tears National Historic Trail:
The trail runs from Chattanooga to the North Carolina border, following the path of the Cherokee people who were forcibly removed from their homes in 1838 and sent to live in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). The trail is more than five thousand miles long and includes a number of sites where you can learn about the history of the Cherokee people.
The trail is also a great place to hike, with beautiful views of the Smoky Mountains and plenty of opportunities to see wildlife.
3. The Cascades trail
If you’re looking for an easier hike, The Cascades trail is a great option. The trail is only half a mile long, and it’s relatively flat. The highlight of the trail is The Cascades waterfall, which is 40 feet tall. The waterfall is fed by a stream that runs alongside the trail, so you can cool off in the water if you get too hot on the hike.
The Cascades trail is a great option for families with young children, or for anyone who wants to enjoy a short and easy hike. The trail is located in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and it’s open year-round.
Why you should Hike at The Cascades trail:
- The Cascades waterfall is a beautiful sight, and it’s only a half-mile hike to get to it.
- The stream that runs alongside the trail is a great place to cool off on a hot day.
- The trail is located in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so you can enjoy hiking
Have you ever been on The Cascades trail? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!
4. Appalachian Trail:
Another great place to hike near Gatlinburg is the Appalachian Trail. The trail runs for over two thousand miles from Georgia to Maine, and it’s a popular destination for hikers of all levels. The Appalachian Trail is a great place to hike because it offers beautiful scenery, challenging trails, and the opportunity to see wildlife.
The trail is also home to some of the best views in the Smoky Mountains. If you’re looking for a challenge, the Appalachian Trail is definitely worth checking out.
Why you should hike at The Appalachian Trail:
- The Appalachian Trail is a popular destination for hikers of all levels.
- The trail offers beautiful scenery, challenging trails, and the opportunity to see wildlife.
- The trail is also home to some of the best views in the Smoky Mountains.
Have you ever been on The Appalachian Trail? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!
5. Gatlinburg Trail
This is a moderate, six-mile loop hike near Gatlinburg that features old-growth forest and an abundance of wildflowers in the spring. The trailhead is located at the Sugarlands Visitor Center. You’ll love this pick for its seclusion and beauty!
Why you should pick Gatlinburg Trail for your next hiking experience:
- The trail is pet-friendly
- The trail is great for all skill levels
- The trailhead is located near the Sugarlands Visitor Center
- The trail features an old-growth forest and an abundance of wildflowers in the spring.
What are you waiting for? Pack your hiking boots and head to Gatlinburg Trail for an unforgettable experience!
6. Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte:
The Alum Cave Trail is a strenuous, yet rewarding, hike that offers hikers stunning views of the Great Smoky Mountains. The trailhead is located just outside of Gatlinburg and is easily accessible. The trail itself is approximately five miles long and takes you through an array of different landscapes including forests, meadows, and streams. The highlight of the hike is definitely Alum Cave, a large rock shelter that is covered with beautiful plants and flowers. The views from the top of Mount LeConte are absolutely breathtaking and definitely, worth the effort, it takes to get there!
What we love about Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte:
The trail is relatively easy to follow and is well-maintained. The scenery is absolutely beautiful and there are plenty of places to rest along the way.
The views from Mount LeConte are definitely some of the best in Gatlinburg!
7. Rainbow Falls:
The trail to Rainbow Falls is a bit more difficult than some of the others on this list. It’s five miles round trip, with an elevation gain of about 800 feet. The views from the top are well worth the effort, though! You’ll get to see several different types of flowers along the way and possibly even some wildlife.
The falls themselves are beautiful and you can usually find a rainbow in the mist near the bottom. The best time to hike this trail is early in the morning before it gets too hot. Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, as there are no facilities along the way.
Why you should pick Rainbow Fall for your next hiking experience:
The views from the top are well worth the effort, The falls themselves are beautiful and you can usually find a rainbow in the mist near the bottom. The best time to hike this trail is early in the morning before it gets too hot.
8. Grotto Falls
The Grotto Falls trail is one of the most popular trails in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The trail is an easy, out-and-back hike that leads to a magnificent 25-foot waterfall that flows into a small grotto. The waterfall is especially beautiful in the spring when the water flow is at its highest.
The trailhead for Grotto Falls is located just off of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. The round-trip hike is only two miles, making it a great choice for families with small children or hikers who are short on time. The trail is also popular with photographers due to the numerous photo opportunities that it provides.
Have you thought about going on a hike to see Grotto Falls? The next time you visit Gatlinburg, be sure to add this trail to your list! You won’t regret it!
9. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
This is one of the most popular Gatlinburg trails and for good reason! The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a beautiful, easy-to-moderate trail that follows along Roaring Fork Creek. You’ll be treated to amazing views of the Smoky Mountains, as well as several historic buildings and landmarks.
The trailhead is located just outside of Gatlinburg, so it’s easy to get to. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is definitely one of the best places to go hiking near Gatlinburg!
10. Trillium Gap Trail to Grotto Falls: The
Trillium Gap Trail is one of the best Gatlinburg hiking trails because it’s short, easy, and takes you to Grotto Falls – a 25-foot waterfall that you can walk behind! The round-trip hike is only three miles, making it perfect for families or beginners.
The trailhead is located at the Sugarlands Visitor Center, and the hike itself is relatively flat with only a few small inclines. The Trillium Gap Trail is one of the most popular Gatlinburg hiking trails, so it can get crowded during peak times. However, the crowds thin out considerably once you reach Grotto Falls.
11. Laurel Falls:
The trail to Laurel Falls is an easy, family-friendly hike that rewards hikers with stunning views of the 80-foot waterfall. The round-trip hike is only two miles, making it a perfect choice for those looking for a short hike with a big payoff. The trailhead is located just off of the Gatlinburg Bypass, making it easily accessible from anywhere in town.
If you’re looking for a longer hike, consider adding on the Laurel Falls Loop Trail which brings the total length of the hike up to four miles. The loop trail takes hikers through a dense forest and offers views of several small waterfalls in addition to Laurel Falls. The loop trail is considered moderate in difficulty and can be a bit rocky in places, so use caution if you’re hiking with small children or pets.
No matter which trail you choose, a hike to Laurel Falls is sure to please.
12. Gregory Bald Hike:
The Gregory Bald hike is a strenuous 11-mile loop that rewards you with views of wildflowers, streams, waterfalls, and an old-growth forest. The trailhead starts at the Cades Cove Picnic Area. The first part of the hike is a gradual incline as you follow an old roadbed.
The trail then crosses a stream and climbs steeply for about a mile to reach the summit of Gregory Bald. The bald is named for its abundant wildflowers, which bloom from late May to early June.
The best time to hike this trail is from April to November.
If you’re looking for a challenging hike with stunning views, the Gregory Bald hike is a great option. The trail is well-marked and there are plenty of places to rest and take in the scenery.
Be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks, as the hike can take up to six hours to complete.
13. Chimney Tops Trail
One of the most popular trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Chimney Tops Trail is a challenging hike that rewards you with incredible views. The trailhead is located just outside Gatlinburg, making it easy to get to.
The trail is four miles round trip and takes you to the top of one of the park’s namesake mountains. The views from the summit are breathtaking, and you can see for miles in every direction. The Chimney Tops Trail is a must-do hike when you’re in Gatlinburg.
In conclusion, there are many great hiking trails near Gatlinburg for you to explore. The three trails described above are just a few of the options available to you. No matter what your hiking goals are, you’re sure to find a trail in Gatlinburg that’s perfect for you. So get out there and start exploring!
Do you have a favorite hiking trail near Gatlinburg? Let us know in the comments below.
Title: The Best Hiking Trails Gatlinburg Has to Offer!: You’ll Love These Picks! | Hogbayhill
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