Gatlinburg Hiking Trails - Tennessee Hiking in the Smoky Mountains Trail list

Tennessee Hiking and Trail Information for
the Great Smoky Mountains

Where to go hiking in the Smokies?

Use our Trail lists and learn about the best trails to hike in the Smoky Mountains and just what you can expect to see and do on them.

Get all the information and maps on hiking trails you'll need for just about anywhere in the area.

There are more than 800 miles of trails leading to cascading waterfalls, beautiful vistas, and quiet meadows in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area of the Great Smoky Mountains. The trails wind through deep forests, on high ridge tops, and along rushing streams offering spectacular views and awsome opportunities for taking pictures. Overnight camping permits are available for hiking on the Appalichian Trail. Self-Guided trails are ideal places to explore the Smokies' forests and learn about the area's rich natural -and cultural heritage. Numbered stakes found along the trail are keyed to leaflets available at trailheads, which describe points of interest along the way. Waterfalls are popular destinations for day hikes, especially on hot summer days. The trails range from easy to strenuous, but no matter what the effort required, the reward justifies the endeavor. The Back Country trails are for the more experienced, adventurous hiker. They offer an in-depth, backwoods experience. Finally, the Balds are mysterious treeless areas high in the mountains. Some speculate that they were caused by ice storms, insects, woolly mammoths, dry wind or fire.

Park officials advise hiking during daylight hours only and caution hikers to always stay on designated trails when you go hiking in the Smokies. During summer months, be sure to take along plenty of water, and in any season, a sturdy pair of hiking shoes is helpful. You can choose from self-guided trails, waterfalls, back country trails, and balds.

Below is a handy list of hiking trails you may want to explore on your vacation in the Smokies

Popular Self-Guided Hiking Trails:

1 Mile Round Trip -- Easy Hike
Introduction to the Smoky Mountains Natural History

3/4 Mile Round Trip -- Easy Hike
Second growth forest.

1 Mile Round Trip -- Easy Hike
A paved trail built in 1993 to accommodate visitors with disabilities. The level trail leads to distinct forest life zones, a river and the remains of pre-park dwellings. Special communications media assist in interpreting nature and is available at the Sugarlands Visitor Center. The trail is a favorite with visitors with mobility and sensory impairments as well as with older visitors and families with children in strollers.

Alum Cave
4.4 Mile Round Trip -- Moderate Hike
It includes Arch Rock, a natural arch, Inspiration Point, and the Alum Cave Bluff. Inspiration Point offers a spectacular view of the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River's upper basin. The bluff resulted from Confederate mining of saltpeter during the Civil War. This trail continues to Mt. LeConte, and its beautiful viewpoints. Roundtrip distance from the parking area to LeConte is 10 miles.

Cove Hardwood
3/4 Mile Round Trip -- Easy Hike
A grove of old-growth deciduous trees.

Albright Grove – Maddron Bald
7 Mile Round Trip -- Easy Hike
This trail follows a portion of Maddron Bald trail to the Albright Grove loop, which passes through one of the largest and most impressive stands of virgin poplar in Eastern Tennessee.

Anthony Creek Trail
12.8 Mile Round Trip -- Moderate Hike
This is Cades Cove's easternmost trail. It begins in the Cades Cove picnic area. The trail follows Anthony Creek to its headwaters. After three miles the trail reaches backcountry campsite #9. After another mile the path merges with Bote Mountain Trail. Destinations include Spence Field, the Appalachian Trail, and Rocky Top. Rocky Top holds one of the Park's best vistas.

Cades Cove Nature Trail
2 Mile Round Trip -- Easy Hike
This is a great trail for families. It is less than one mile past the Cades Cove Visitor Center, and begins along the loop road. The two mile loop hike takes about an hour. A brochure explains more about the Cove's cultural and natural history.

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Hikes to Beautiful Waterfalls:

Laurel Falls
2.6 Mile Round Trip -- Easy Hike
Laurel Falls is 60 feet high and is the the easiest and probably the most popular waterfall hike on the Tennessee side of the National park. It follows a paved trail which cuts through the middle of a series of cascades. This hike is heavily traveled by tourists, but offers great photo opportunities.

Abrams Falls 5 Mile Round Trip -- Moderate Hike
The trail begins in the back of Cades Cove loop road and is a moderate hike. This wide trail climbs two ridges and follows Abrams Creek to Abrams Falls, a 20-foot fall into a large pool perfect for swimming and wading. Abrams Falls has the largest water volume of any park fall, and is among the most photogenic.

Grotto Falls
3 Mile Round Trip -- Easy Hike
This trail is located off the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, through a hemlock dominated forest. Grotto Falls crosses three small streams and is distinctive as the only waterfall in the park one can walk behind.

Hen Wallow Falls
4 Mile Round Trip -- Moderate Hike
Near Cosby Campground, south of Cosby, Tennessee. The main trail leads to the top of the falls and a steep, narrow side trail leads to the bottom. Although it does not carry a high volume of water, Hen Wallow is a beautiful cascade that fans out as it slides down sheer rock for almost 100 feet.

Indian Creek Falls
2 Mile Round Trip -- Easy Hike
Start the hike out of the Deep Creek Area. This flat trail leads to picturesque Indian Creek Falls, which cascades 60 feet down a series of ledges into a wide pool.

Juneywhank Falls
1.5 Mile Round Trip -- Moderate Hike
The trail is located about one-fourth mile beyond the Deep Creek campground Amphitheater. The trail leads uphill through pine-oak forest to a lovely cascade.

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Rainbow Falls
5.5 Mile Round Trip – Moderate to Strenuous Hike
At 80 feet, this is the highest single plunge water takes in the park. This trail makes a good challenge for experienced hikers and reveals a beautiful waterfall at the end.

Ramsay Cascades
7.5 Mile Round Trip -- Strenous Hike
This is the park's highest waterfall, and the trailhead begins in the Greenbrier Area. The trail passes through an old growth of deciduous forest before reaching the magnificent 100 foot high Ramsay Cascades.

Chasteen Creek Falls
4 Mile Round Trip -- Moderate Hike
Hike out of the Smokemont Campground. A small, but graceful fall, this area makes a good moderate hike.

Beautiful Back Country Hiking Trails:

Boogerman Trail
7.5 Mile Round Trip - Moderate Hike
This trail takes you by some old growth forest, picturesque streams and falls, and the remains of early settlerÕs homesites.

Charlie's Bunion
8 Mile Round Trip - Strenuous Hike
Following the Appalachian Trail, this hike goes out to rocky crags along the state-line ridge. It has excellent views.

Chimney Tops
4 Mile Round Trip - Strenuous Hike
It is a steep climb to two rock spires 4,730 feet in elevation. From the top they provide a spectacular 360-degree view.

Mt. Sterling
12 Mile Round Trip - Strenuous Hike
Climb this trail through the changing forest of Spruce Fir, Fraser Fir, and Red Spruce. The Mt. Sterling trail will emerge atop a truly magnificent pinnacle where a park fire tower stands.

6.8 Mile Round Trip - Strenuous Hike
The steep terrain can be slick in snow or rain, or on fallen leaves. However, the excellent views of the Fontana Lake and the Smokies are worth it.

Smokemont Loop
5.7 Mile Round Trip - Moderate Hike
Enjoy mountain streams and wildflowers while hiking on this trail.

Magnificent Balds:

Andrews Bald
3.6 Mile Round Trip - Moderate Hike
This hike heads down slope to a bald. Excellent views open to the south, toward Fontana Lake, and in spring the azalea explode with color. This trailhead is not accessible by car from 12/1 to 4/1.

Gregory Bald
9 Mile Round Trip - Strenuous Hike
The Cove's most scenic, but strenuous, hike is the Gregory Bald Ridge Trail. The trailhead is on Forge Creek Road. Follow Forge Creek Road two miles. It ends as a parking lot. The trail to Gregory Bald begins here. This tough trip gains 3,000 feet in elevation. Old growth forest, with eight-foot diameter tulip poplars, and the 10acre bald highlights this trail.

Spence Field
11 Mile Round Trip - Moderate Hike
This trail features Bote Mountain trail, Spence Field and outstanding views.

14 Mile Round Trip - Strenuous Hike
This steep and strenuous trail feature Rocky top and panoramic views.

Hiking these trails is definitely a great way to get out and enjoy the breath-taking scenery here in the Smoky Mountains. Be sure to take your camera for lots of pictures along the trails!

If you are a biker - click here for a listing of biking trails

Smoky Mountain Hiking Information, Tennessee Hiking trails
Where to go hiking around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN

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