The Smoky Mountains is America's most visited National Park. With diversity of plant life, animals and historical Appalachian cabins still standing, these mountains are alive with adventure possibilities. Hiking provides visitors with opportunities to stroll by streams or climb to the highest point in Clingman's Dome to observe the grandeur from the heights typically reserved for Eagles. Below we have compiled a sampling of some of the hiking trails you may enjoy while visiting the Smokies. For more information visit then National Parks website to learn more about the Great Smoky Mountains.
New Found Gap
Hike the crest of the Appalachian Mtns. The most popular section of the Appalachian Trail. Overall distance 25.5 miles with an elevation gain of 2766 ft.
The trail to the waterfall gains over 2,000′ in elevation over its 4 mile course. The 8-mile round trip hike is considered strenuous. It follows rushing rivers and streams.
Trillium Gap Trail meanders through an old-growth hemlock forest and runs behind the 25 foot high waterfall. The hike is 3 miles round trip and is considered moderate difficult.
The trail to the falls traverses pine-oak forest on the ridges and hemlock and rhododendron forest along the creek. The hike is 5 miles roundtrip and considered moderate in difficulty
Laurel Falls is one of the most popular destinations in the park and parking at the trail head is limited. The round trip distance to the waterfall is 2.6 miles and the hike is considered moderate in difficulty.
Rainbow Falls Trail gains about 1,500′ in elevation. The 5.4 mile round trip hike is considered moderate to in difficulty. The Trail continues for approximately 4 miles beyond the falls to the summit of Mount Le Conte.
The hike begins with a descent down the southern flank of Clingmans Dome, also known as Forney Ridge. Through a forest that empties out into a wide grassy bald with great views. 4 mile round trip with an elevation gain of 2,320 feet. Trail is considered moderately difficult.
Juney Whank Falls
Trail has an upper and lower section. Both can be viewed from the footbridge which crosses Juney Whank Branch at the falls. Together they drop 90 feet from top to bottom. The trail to the waterfall is 0.8 miles round trip and is considered moderate in difficulty.
Mouse Creek Falls
Big Creek Trail follows an old railroad grade used to haul lumber out of the mountains during the logging boom. At 1.4 miles the trail passes Midnight Hole, a deep, pool below a 6′ falls. At 2.1 miles a short side trail on the left leads to a bench where hikers can rest.
Hens Hollow Falls
The trip to Hen Wallow Falls is a pleasant walk through hemlock and rhododendron forest. A signed side trail leads to the base of the falls by way of steep switchbacks. Hen Wallow Creek, only two feet wide at the top of the falls, fans out to 20 feet at the base. The waterfall is 90 feet high.
Little River Trail
The Little River Trail ascends a gentle grade along an old gravel railroad bed that parallels the river with the same name. The river itself is a beautiful cascading stream with large boulders. Hikers will reach Huskey Branch Falls, a small 20-foot cascade that tumbles into the Little River.
At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is the highest point in Tennessee, and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi. A 0.5 mile trail leads to the summit. The trail is paved but steep, and leads to an observation tower on top.