Check Out the Best Hiking Trails in Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a place of natural wonders and scenic mountain views, not to mention the doorstep of the Great Smoky Mountains which means you can find some of the best hiking trails here and in Gatlinburg. The Smokies blossoms in life, from its natural beauty, forestation, and wildlife. The chance of seeing these things are one of the most exciting things about the Great Smoky Mountains. And here, you can enjoy the wonders of its natural beauty as Gatlinburg has a lot of fun and exciting outdoor adventures from skiing, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and biking. But one of these outdoor activities exceeds the list, and it’s no other than hiking.
Hiking is one of the best outdoor activities that you must try when staying and having a vacation in Gatlinburg. It such a favorite activity in the Smokies, that majority of the tourists that visit are definitely going to hike the mountainside. The Great Smoky Mountains offers hikers, backpackers and tourist a vast array of hiking opportunities as it has more than eight hundred and fifty hiking trails that you can choose from to travel through the Great Smoky Mountains while enjoying the views of its landscapes and wildlife.
Different Levels of Best Hiking Trails in Gatlinburg
These trails range from easy to difficult. That means that on a minimum you can go on hikes that provide half-hour walks or on the more challenging side week-long backpacking hikes. Some trails easy enough to accomplish for beginners, elderly or even PWDs. But there are trails with challenging trek involving climbing and river crossing that would require a permit. It will take a week to accomplish. If you love nature or hiking or mountain, then The Smoky Mountain National Park is what you dream off. And Gatlinburg has taken advantage of this, as many trails would start and end just outside the city. We have listed the top 5 of the most famous hiking trails from easy to hardest.
List of the Best Hiking Trails in Gatlinburg
The Gatlinburg Trail
This is one of the spots to be considered as the family-friendly and easy hiking trail. This is the only trail that allows dogs to come with you. It is an easy hike of 1.9 miles. This trail is famous for joggers, walkers, and cyclists as it is just a flat path which winds from Little Pigeon River through the forest and through Cataract Falls. If you are looking for something easy, this trail is just for you.
Clingman’s Dome Tower
This trail is also considered as an easy trail because it is only a two-mile round trip paved path which is accessible by wheelchairs and strollers. There are restrooms and benches along the way for resting and replenishment.
It is a three-mile hike round trip. However, this trail is not a popular as the others. But if you want to get away from the crowd and enjoy the magnificent view of a waterfall in Gatlinburg, TN then this trail is up for a try. As its views of the mountain ranges are enticing, and it’s a beautiful spot for hikers to stop and have a picnic.
Grotto Falls Trail
It is a 2.4-mile round trip hike. If you take a hike on this trail, you need to be more cautious as this trail has a hemlock forest and arrays of wildflowers on its way to the Grotto Falls. For hikers who love a thrill, then this trail is worth the hike for you.
Alum Cave Trail
It covers an area of 4.4 miles which include the Arch Rock and Inspiration Point. This is the longest trail on the list. It can really be a wild adventure if you want to experience hiking on a different level. Whether you’re alone, a couple or a family group, this trail is worth your time and energy to hike.
However, there are more hiking trails around the Great Smoky Mountains. And some are up to an eleven-mile hike which would take more than a day. Whether or not you’re an avid hiker or just a sight-seeing person, the trails in Gatlinburg offers the magnificent beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Prepare for the Best Hiking Trails in Gatlinburg
However, hiking is not just like walking. This is because, with hiking, you need to be prepared. You need to exert energy and time and hiking in the Smokies is something you need to have a conditioned body and mind. It’s not like walking around the park where you can bring only umbrellas or handbags or nothing at all. In hiking, in you need things to bring and you need to prepare your body. To help you, we have listed ten essential things you should be bringing in every hike.
- Appropriate Footwear – Walking over a long distance of rough terrain in chucks would definitely be troublesome. But hiking boots or trail shoes would let your foot be relaxed, and it would be a more easy trail to take.
- Map and Compass or GPS – Going on a hike in unknown place you need to get a map or get lost.
- Extra Water – Without water, you can’t perform well, and your body will likely be dehydrated.
- Extra Food –You need more food if you’re going on a hike to replenish your strength. Both food and water are essential as they are the source of nourishment and energy to our body.
- Rain Gear and extra clothing – Due to unfamiliar terrain and unknown weather, you should be prepared for the worst. Any spare clothing for a rainy day will do.
- Safety Items – These are small items like matches, light, and a whistle. These can help you in your trail. Matches can help create fire, and it would be essential to create a bonfire to keep you warm during cold nights. On the other hand, lights would be helpful if you’re walking in dark places in the trail. A whistle can serve as an alarm for your group or other hikers if you’re having any difficulty or if there is a presence of any threat or danger on your hike.
- First Aid Kit – It is one of the essential things you must have when hiking because it is a pre-requisite in hiking. You can use it for emergency situations if you get hurt.
- Knife or Multi-purpose tool – It is crucial to have tools so you can fix what needs to be fixed.
- Sunscreen & Sunglasses – These are important as the sun grows hotter every day. You can protect your eyes and your skin on very sunny days.
- Daypack or Backpack – you can’t bring all these things with bare hands. You need to pack these items in on place, and a backpack is all you need.
The Best Time to Visit Hiking Trails in Gatlinburg
After all your preparation, now you’re ready to go on a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains. You should consider the best time to visit the place. June, July, and August are the best time to visit the Smokies. If you don’t want a crowd then what you do is avoid July as it is the busiest time of the year. If you want to enjoy fall, then try visiting from September to mid-November, and on these months low rates are offered for your stay in the Smokies. From mid-November to February, the temperature is low, and the weather will sometimes go extreme cold. If you want to experience snowfall on the Smokies those months are the best for you.
For hikers, hiking has become a way to enjoy the beauty of nature, fresh air, and to stay away from the stress filled city streets. As hiking is a good cardio workout that can lower heart diseases, improve blood pressure, boost bone density, help controls weight, improve balance, and boost your mood. So if you’re into walking then try hiking. Not just hiking anywhere, but go for a hike in the Smokies.