Hiking in the Gatlinburg area is a wonderful and fun experience in so many ways. If you are renting a mountain cabin, there are numerous trails that run through the mountains and range from very easy to difficult and challenging. Hiking in the Smokey Mountains is an exciting way to experience the beautiful surroundings of the mountains, including enjoying the rocks and trees, the beautiful fall foliage and the many streams and creeks that appear in abundance.
When you go hiking, you should always remember to take precautions and be safe.
• Carry a flashlight.
• Carry water.
• Carry a small amount of food provisions.
• Hike with a buddy.
• Notify someone of your planned trail.
• Dress appropriately, including sturdy hiking shoes and adequate clothing.
• Treat any water from streams and creeks.
• Be aware of weather conditions.
• Carry your cell phone with you, especially if it has GPS tracking.
Roaring Fork Motor Trail
This is a trail that originates from downtown Gatlinburg. It is called the “motor trail” because it is accessible to cars, but large vehicle such as motor homes, buses and trailers are not allowed because the road is narrow and twisting. There are multiple places along the trail where you can pull off to walk along one of the nature trails that coincide with the motor trail. In addition to nature trails, you can explore any of the preserved pioneer buildings along the road path. There is also a mill – the Reagan tub mill – in which corn meal is ground. The Roaring Fork Motor Trail is approximately ten miles long and takes approximately two hours. It is an excellent way to blend walking and riding as you explore the Gatlinburg area.
Rainbow Falls Trail
If you are looking for a hiking trail that gives you a challenge, then consider taking the Rainbow Falls Trail. This hiking trail will take you approximately and hour and a half and has an incline of over 4,000 feet in elevation. If you decide to take the trail all the way to Mt LeConte then it may take you as long as four hours to complete. The majority of this hiking trail is in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. The highlight of this challenging hike is reaching Rainbow Falls itself, where you can rest and enjoy the gorgeous falls as the water flows down the rocks. The falls are located at mile marker 2.8 along the trail.
No matter what kind of hiker you are, there are many wonderful and adventurous choices for walking and hiking in the Gatlinburg area. If you are renting a cabin, it is a great place to use as your base camp as you explore the beautiful landscape and surroundings that Gatlinburg has to offer.