smoky mountain hiking

Looking for to visit the Smoky Mountains for your next vacation? Are you a lover of all things outdoors? Do you love to become ‘one with nature’?

If you answered yes to these questions, you should definitely consider planning to go on a Smoky Mountain hiking trip. The mountains are truly great for hiking.

The Smoky Mountains are absolutely beautiful! Taking a Smoky Mountain hiking trip is perfect for the adventure that you’re looking for.

Need more reasons to plan a Smoky Mountain hiking trip? Here are our top 5:

1. You Can Go Smoky Mountain Hiking at Any Time of the Year

One of the best parts of hiking in the Smoky Mountains is you can go at any time of the year. No matter when you will go, you will experience an incredible hiking adventure.

Each season, the mountains have something to offer their visitors. For instance, during the winter, hikers will see that the leaves have fallen from the trees. This enables hikers to see hidden stone walls and take in stunning views that would otherwise be hidden by trees.  While we often think of snow in the winter months, the Smoky Mountains don’t often see large accumulation.

If you decide to go Smoky Mountain hiking during the Spring, you’ll be able to see all of the pretty wildflowers and the flowers grown on the trees. In the summer, hikers can find mountain streams and waterfalls.

Hiking in the Smoky Mountains is nice in the fall too. The air gets crisp, and the trees become full of colorful leaves. You can enjoy each season’s unique qualities when you plan a trip to hike the Smoky Mountains.

2. Hiking the Smoky Mountains Gives You Lots of Options

You don’t need to settle for just one type of hike in the Smoky Mountains. There are many trails to choose from. They vary by length, intensity, and what you will see once you get down the trail.

You can decide whether you want to plan a short hiking trip or hike a trail that is a little bit longer. If you love to hike, you may want a long and more challenging hike. If you are someone who isn’t a particularly experienced hiker, you may want to pick an easier and shorter trail.  Keeping your fitness level in mind is always important when venturing out onto the trail.

In addition, each trail will guide you toward different beautiful points of the Smoky Mountains. For example, you can hike to Rainbow Falls, which will lead you toward a magnificent waterfall. To get to the waterfall, you will need to hike uphill approximately 2.7 miles.  This means it’s nearly 6 miles round trip.

Alum Cave Bluff in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Brian Stansberry [CC BY 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons
Another hiking path will take you to the Alum Cave. Along the trail, you will be able to go through the Arch Rock – a tunnel naturally carved from freeze-thaw cycles throughout the centuries.  Catch your breath at Inspiration Point and view the Chimney Tops from a whole new angle.  Finally, reach the bluff and the amazing desert microclimate found in the “cave.”  The Alum Cave Bluffs hike is about 5.2 miles round trip.

Moreover, if you are traveling with children, you may want to plan a kids-friendly Smoky Mountains hiking trip.  You want to make sure to keep your kids safe, so going with an easier, child-appropriate hike will be your best option.  Porters Creek to the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club Cabin is only 2 miles round trip.  There’s lots to see and plenty of history to absorb on the way.  On your way back to the car, stop and cool off in the creek. Or, gently flip small rocks over in the shallows and look for salamanders!

3. The Views from the Tops of the Smoky Mountains are Incredible

So obviously one of the biggest reasons to come visit the Smoky Mountains is for the views.  Are you the kind of person that loves to take pictures of your trips? Really capture some unbelievable shots from the tops of the Smoky Mountain trails.  You will not want to miss out on these photo opportunities!

Ready to hike up the stunning Appalachian Trail?  Your destination is called Charlies Bunion, and it is 8 miles round trip from Newfound Gap parking area.  The view from the Bunion looks like it came straight out of a painting.  Make sure to give yourself a full day to complete this hike.

Andrew’s Bald is a shorter and easier option. Park at the busy and popular Clingman’s Dome parking area.  The crowds will be headed to the top, but you’ll go a different direction!  Take the Clingman’s Dome Bypass Trail a short distance to Forney Ridge.  At the junction, take a left on Forney Ridge and hike out to the stunning and quiet Andrew’s Bald.  A favorite for many locals to view the flame azalea in June.

The only way to witness these amazing views is by planning a Smoky Mountain hiking trip.

4. Plan a Smoky Mountain Hiking Trip for the Whole Family

Smoky Mountains Hiking Club Cabin in Greenbrier.
Smoky Mountains Hiking Club Cabin on Porters Creek Trail, Brian Stansberry [CC BY-SA 3.0]
Planning a trip to hike the Smoky Mountains is a fun activity for the whole family.  Whether you decide to go with young children, adolescents, or just adults, you are guaranteed to have a great time on your trip.

The child-friendly hikes may not be as long or as challenging as other trails.  However, hiking with your kids will enable you to form a strong bond with them, and share something that you love to do with your kids.  The hike may start out as a struggle for them, but in the end, it will be extremely rewarding for them too.

Head out into the woods and play wildlife bingo.  Or stop by the Sugarland Visitor Center and pick up the Junior Ranger Badge kit for only $2.50.  Your kids will have plenty of fun earning their Junior Ranger status.

Additionally, hiking is also a great form of exercise.  As you hike in the Smoky Mountains, you will be able to enjoy the nature, views, and the workout you’ll get from all the walking.

5. Plan the Hiking Trip to Spend More Time in Nature

Are you a nature lover?  Taking a hiking trip to the Smoky Mountains will be perfect for you!  Planning a Smoky Mountain hiking trip will let you spend more time in nature.

Take a breath of the freshest air while you’re out there. Enjoy the scenery, the environment, and the peacefulness. How often do you get to hang out in forests or climb up the Smoky Mountains?

You can use your time in nature to reflect on yourself, meditate, or just relax. Spending time in the Smoky Mountains will enable you to appreciate the beauty that people often forget about.

We hope that you’re already convinced! Don’t miss out on what is sure to be a beautiful hiking trip to the Smoky Mountains.

Swinging Bridge quiet walkway

Look through our vacation guides to learn more about the Smoky Mountains and the types of trails you can hike here.

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