The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known for its hiking trails. You can see waterfalls, incredible views of the mountains, and enjoy being outside basically any time of the year. Some trails are more popular than others, and we want to share some of the more unique hiking trails. Check out these top 6 unique places where you should go hiking in the Smokies:
1. Cataract Falls
Cataract Falls is considered an easy trail with a roundtrip distance of 1.1 miles. It’s perfect for small kids and people who can’t do moderate or difficult hiking trails. The trail is easy to follow and runs alongside a creek. It is perfect for bird watching, and near the end of the hike, you’ll come across the waterfall. The falls are really impressive, especially after it rains!
2. Twin Creeks Trail
Another easy place to go hiking in the Smokies is Twin Creeks Trail. This out-and-back trail is 4.5 miles roundtrip. This trail gets its name from the creeks that run along the path. You will have to cross some footbridges to get over the creek to continue along the path. Twin Creeks Trail is pretty any time of the year because you’ll see wildflowers, green foliage, and brightly colored leaves in the fall. There’s even an old cabin along this trail you can explore around!
3. Porters Creek
Porters Creek is a moderate hiking trail in the Smokies that is an out-and-back style with a roundtrip length of 7 miles. Horses are actually allowed on this trail, so you might spot some along your hike! You’ll cross the creek on a footbridge, and you’ll definitely want to stop for pictures along the water. You’ll pass an old barn, which is neat to see. There’s also a waterfall where water trickles over layers of rocks; the water has more volume after it rains.
4. Spruce Flats Falls Trail
Want to see another waterfall? Spruce Flats Falls Trail is one of the less-traveled waterfall hikes in the Smokies. Even though this trail is 1.8 miles roundtrip, it is considered moderate. There are quite a few rocks along the trail, so you’ll want to be careful. There’s also a footbridge to cross the creek. Once you’re at the end, you’ll see Spruce Flats Falls. Don’t forget to take pictures!
5. Chimney Tops Trail
Chimney Tops Trail is considered difficult even though it’s 4 miles roundtrip. You gain 1,400 feet of elevation on this hiking trail. Just take it slow, and go at your own pace. The wildfires in 2016 have caused the NPS to close the last 0.25 miles of this trail, but there’s a new lookout where you’ll have great views of the Chimney Tops!
6. Ramsey Cascades
Want to see the largest waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains? You should hike to Ramsey Cascades! This trail is considered hard and has a roundtrip length of 8.1 miles. There are footbridges along the path, and you might just see some wildlife along the way! Once you reach Ramsey Cascades, you’ll find water rushing over multiple layers of rocks at 100 feet tall. There are pools of water at the bottom of the falls where you might spot some salamanders!
You have plenty of unique places to go hiking in the Smokies! These trails we’ve talked about aren’t as frequently traveled as some of the others you could hike. Want to know what you should do while you’re in town staying with us? Check out these Pigeon Forge attractions you’ll love!