East Tennessee Hiking Trails
When planning a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains what’s the first thing you think of? Lions, Tigers, and Bears, OH MY! (Just kidding) 😉 What makes The Great Smoky Mountains popular is the beautiful scenery, peaceful flowing creeks/rivers, and the sightings of wildlife in their natural habitat. There is no better way to truly experience all the Great Smoky Mountains has to offer, than by hiking the East Tennessee Hiking Trails. there are a multitude of trails, over 800 miles to be exact. The East Tennessee Hiking Trails are suitable for all ages. I’m going to go over a handful of popular trails to see what all the hike, I mean hype is about.
If you are a beginner hiker and need something that is classified as easy and under 2 miles then be sure to check out these trails.
- Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail
- Fighting Creek Nature Trail
Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail is located in Gatlinburg, TN. The trail is 0.5 mile and is perfect for any skill level (wheel chair friendly). It features a waterfall (who doesn’t love a pretty waterfall?) and is available for walking, hiking, and nature trips year round! Be sure to leave your dog at home, they are not allowed on this trail.
Fighting Creek Nature Trail is also located near Gatlinburg behind the Sugarlands Visitor Center. This wooded trail is a little bit longer at 1.4 miles and makes a loop. You can access this trail year round and be sure to bring your camera because you have a good chance at seeing some wildlife, mainly bears!
Now if you still need an easy hike but can handle more distance than these next few trails are definitely for you. Among this list are some of my favorite hikes (and I am not much of a hiker) but these are trails you do not want to miss.
- Laurel Falls Trail
- Grotto Falls Trail
- Walker Sisters Place via Little Greenbriar
Hands down, Laurel Falls Trail is my absolute favorite. Before moving to Tennessee, this is a trail my parents and I would hike when we came up for vacation. Since then, I’ve hiked this trail with my husband, and now with my children. This is a beautiful trail, and the waterfall you see at the very end is worth every drip of sweat to get you there. I highly recommend packing a snack or lunch. You can sit on the flat rocks near the waterfall and simply enjoy the view. Laurel Falls Trail is located near Gatlinburg, TN and is 2.4 miles round trip. It is not a flat walking path so be sure to wear good shoes. This hiking trail is accessible from March thru November.
Grotto Falls Trail is a family favorite. 2.9 miles of moderately trafficked point to point trail. This hiking trail features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. Horses are able to use this trail also and is open from April to October.
One of the most popular and historical hiking trails, the Walker Sisters Place via Little Greenbriar Trail is 2.6 miles. This is a nice wide, mostly gravel hiking trail, perfect for the little ones in your life. Definitely bring your camera on this hike. Lots of amazing historical structure on this Hiking Trail. It’s been a long time since I”ve hiked this trail, but I am definitely adding it to my Spring/Summer to do list for me and my family.
There are over 800 Trails here in The Great Smoky Mountains, so where do you start when figuring out which trail to hike? How do you know where exactly it is and what to expect? There is a great website out there www.alltrails.com that can help you find any trail just by typing in a city, park or trail name. This website is FREE to sign up, but also has a pro version that you can pay for, which offers more features. You can save trails, and create a favorites list to come back to later. When you find the trail you are looking for, it offers a brief description, reviews from other hikers, pictures, and a map showing exactly where the trail is located. What a great way to plan your next Pigeon Forge Vacation!
Hiking is a must do when visiting The Great Smoky Mountains. Not only is it a great personal accomplishment, you can truly appreciate the beauty that surrounds us here in East Tennessee. Be sure to check out our Last Minute Deals to get the best rate on your home away from home. You will appreciate the comfort and peacefulness after your long hike. Are you ready for your next adventure? Let’s do it!