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Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains are one of the most beautiful places in America. Home to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the nation’s most popular national park, the area offers great natural scenery, plus plenty of things to do. Whether you’re an avid hiker or just want to get a taste of nature, the Smokies offer great hiking trails that allow you to see wildlife, lovely plants, and cooling waterfalls. When you plan your visit, check out these three amazing hiking trails.
1. Abrams Falls
If you want a kid-friendly hike that ends with a beautiful waterfall, then Abrams Falls is the right trail for you. Located right off Cades Cove, this path is great for those who don’t do much hiking, as it’s only five miles roundtrip and only goes up about 200 feet in elevation. Even though it’s not very long in length, it will still take you about 4-5 hours to travel the entire thing, as well as however long you plan to spend at the waterfall. If you’re hiking with little ones, be sure to keep that in mind, as you’ll definitely want to pack snacks, bug spray, and any other necessities. Along with the waterfall, this trail will show off incredible pine-oak trees.
2. Chimney Tops Trail
If you want to take in some incredible views, then Chimney Tops Trail is a great hiking choice for you to explore. This trail is located 7 miles past Sugarlands Visitor Center, and the entire trip is only 4 miles. However, unlike Abrams Falls, you will climb 1,650 feet in just two hours, and if you make it all the way to the end, you’ll find yourself 4,755 feet high. Due to the creeks and springs along this path, it can be very slippery, so you may not want to bring little ones along for this experience, unless you can be sure to keep an eye on them. Once you reach the end, you’ll find yourself face to face with a 360-degree view of the Great Smoky Mountains.
3. Appalachian Trail
Have you always wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail? A trip to the Smokies means you can do that, or at least hike enough to say you did. The Appalachian Trail stretches over 2,000 miles from Maine to Georgia. While tackling the trail is only for those with hardcore hiking experience, you can check out smaller paths along the Appalachian Trail within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Along the way, you’ll see a variety of streams, wildflowers, animals, and plenty of great views that you’ll enjoy experiencing. Since you can pick and choose how far you go, the Appalachian Trail is a great choice for those with kids too, as you can keep your exploration simple if you’d like.
Unless you plan to rough it with a backpack and tent, you’ll need a place to stay. One great option is to book a Pigeon Forge cabin rental. A cozy log cabin can put you near the trails you want to explore, and still offer a relaxing retreat after a long day’s hike. Plus, Pigeon Forge has a lot of other fun activities to explore and enjoy.