Top 6 Easy Hikes in the Smoky Mountains You Should Try

June 30, 2020
laurel falls smoky mountains

If you want to get out and explore the Smokies, you should go for a hike! Even if you have never hiked before, there are several easy hikes in the Smoky Mountains you can go on. These simple trails are perfect for small kids, senior adults, and everyone in between! Check out these top 6 easy hikes in the Smoky Mountains you should try:

1. Gatlinburg Trail

gatlinburg trailA popular trail that’s pretty simple is the Gatlinburg Trail. It is right outside of downtown Gatlinburg, making it pretty easy to get to. This trail is 3 miles roundtrip, and it follows along the west prong of the Little Pigeon River. You’ll cross over a footbridge and make your way through wooded areas. Near the end of the trail, you will see old homestead remains such as chimneys and fireplaces. The Gatlinburg Trail is one of the only trails in the national park that is dog friendly.

2. Laurel Falls

Want to see a waterfall but aren’t sure if you can make it through a moderate hike? Laurel Falls is an easy hike in the Smoky Mountains with a big waterfall at the end. This trail is 2.6 miles roundtrip, and the entire path is paved, preventing you from tripping over rocks and roots. It is named Laurel Falls because of all the mountain laurel you will see if you hike this trail in the spring. Once you reach the top, you will see a two-tiered waterfall that stands at 80 feet with a large amount of water gushing over the side.

3. Cataract Falls

cataract fallsIf you have small children with you, you should take them to Cataract Falls Trail. This trail is 1.1 miles roundtrip, and you’ll see all kinds of cool stuff along the way. There’s a creek, unique looking trees, and a few bridges you can cross. Near the end of the hike, you’ll see Cataract Falls. This waterfall is especially beautiful right after it rains in the Smokies. Want to see even more waterfalls? Check out these other waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains!

4. Metcalf Bottoms Trail

If you go for a picnic in the national park at Metcalf Bottoms, you should hike the Metcalf Bottoms Trail when you’re done. The roundtrip length is 1.5 miles, and you’ll see a ton of wildflowers in the spring and summer. Everyone will have fun exploring the old schoolhouse you will see on this trail and crossing the creeks.

5. Elkmont Nature Trail

elkmont nature trailIf you want to go bird watching or look for wildflowers, you should hike the Elkmont Nature Trail. This trail is 0.8 miles roundtrip, and it is a looped trail. You’ll walk beside creeks, and possibly be able to see fish, birds, and other wildlife, as well as wildflowers. There are a couple of footbridges you can walk on to cross the creeks.

6. Sugarlands Nature Trail

Another great easy hike in the Smoky Mountains is the Sugarlands Nature Trail. It is close to Gatlinburg, and the trail is 0.5 mile long. This trail is close to the Sugarlands Visitors Center, which has a small museum about the national park you might want to check out. The path is paved, making it easily accessible for strollers, and you’ll enjoy seeing the river along your walk. In addition to Sugarlands Nature Trail, there are a ton of other great hikes near Gatlinburg TN.

These are some easy hikes in the Smoky Mountains almost anyone can do. Since you know what you want to do when you’re in town, you just need a place to stay. Check out our Pigeon Forge hotel rooms and start planning your trip by booking one today!