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Hiking Trails in Gatlinburg, TN and the Smoky Mountains

Area Info : Explore : Hiking Trails

Hiking in Gatlinburg and the SmokiesHiking Trails in the Smokies

When asked why he scaled the world's tallest peak, George Mallory answered: "because it was there." If anyone asks you why you want to explore hiking trails in Gatlinburg, you can answer that it's fun, healthy, and relaxing! There are many wonders to see in the national park and you won't want to miss them during your vacation in the Smokies!

There are about 900 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park ranging from short nature walks to rugged multi-day hikes. Our guide can help you find the perfect hike for your trip! There are many great trails near Gatlinburg that offer waterfalls, mountain views, or gorgeous old growth forests.

Deciding on your Smoky Mountain Hike

A good strategy to use when picking a hike is deciding what you'd like to see. Are you interesting in walking along a high mountain ridge with spectacular views? Are you planning to beat the heat with a trip to a cool Smoky Mountain waterfall? Or would you just like a long peaceful walk in the woods away from more crowded trailheads? Hiking Trails Near Gatlinburg, TN

Also, many hikes in the Smokies are quite long with many trails stretching longer than 5 miles or more. Some destinations, like Rocky Top near Cades Cove are day trips that require 12 miles of hiking. Given the fact that most hikers hold a pace of 1.5 miles per hour, this means a trip to this mountain peak will take 8 hours of hard trekking. It is also worth considering how much time you have to hike. You will want to plan a turn-around time so that you won't get caught by sundown.

An excellent way to find the right hike for your group's ability, desires, and schedules is to stop by Sugarland's Visitor's Center. For most of the year, there are rangers stationed here who would be happy to provide you with maps, directions, and general information to find the right hike for your group!

Things to Pack For Hiking in Gatlinburg

Depending on the season and difficulty of your hike you'll want to bring some extra gear to ensure your hike is safe and pleasant. Smoky Mountain Hiking Trails

    • Sturdy Foot Wear – Boots to protect your feet.
    • Clothes For Weather - Cold, hot, and wet weather is likely depending on the season.
    • Water – Staying hydrated, especially in the heat of summer is important
    • Food – Hiking in the mountains burns calories. Be sure to eat often to enjoy your hike.
    • Map – A trail map can save a lot of trouble. Backcountry trails in the Smokies may not be well marked and it's easy to pick up a map from a national park visitor's center.
    • Flashlight – Bring one - it's not a bad idea if you get caught after dark.

Extra Tips For Hiking In Gatlinburg and the Smokies

In much of the national park, cell service is hard to find. Be sure to do your hiking trail research before you go into the park.

Check the weather. There is a huge range of temperatures and precipitation to deal with. Some high elevation trails can become icy so use extreme caution.

On some trails, you may see wildlife like bears. Black bears in the Smokies are not aggressive and can often be scared away with shouting and loud noises. Bears are not keen on encountering people. Simply singing songs or having a conversation on your hike warns them you are coming on the trail. There have been hikers who chased bears a mile or so to deter them from sniffing around a campsite.

Some trail heads can become very crowded. The earlier you can begin your hike, the better your chance you will find safe and convenient parking. Also, you will have more time to enjoy your hike in the daylight.

Final Thoughts on Hiking in the Smoky Mountains

Hiking in the Smokies is a favorite activity of vacationers and locals alike. With a little preparation and research, you are sure to love experiencing the wild beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. There is a lot to explore. Locals in the area have spent lifetimes visiting waterfalls and mountain peaks only to discover new wonders every year. From the convenience and comfort of a nearby cabin, you can spend long days exploring the gorgeous mountains of Tennessee.

A Walk In The Woods Smoky Mountain Tours

A Walk in the Woods

Enjoy a expertly guided Smoky Mountain tours at A Walk in the Woods. From short day hikes to backpack trips, you can see the Smokies at your own pace. Your guide will inform you on the history and flora and fauna of the area you're hiking through.
Guide To Visiting Clingmans Dome In The Smoky Mountains

All About Clingmans Dome

Clingman's Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A short hiking trail offers magnificent views from an observation tower and the chance to explore some unique ecology.
Andrews Bald Hiking Trail

Andrews Bald Hiking Trail

Searching for stunning views of the Smokies on your hiking trail? It's hard to beat the vistas at Andrews Bald. Our trail guide will help you plan a great hike at this gorgeous trail near Clingmans Dome.
Charlie's Bunion Hike | Trail Reviews Great Smoky Mountains

Charlie's Bunion Hiking Trail

Experience beautiful views by hiking to Charlie's Bunion in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Pass through high elevation forests and beautiful rock formations on this popular hike.
Chimney Tops Hiking Trail – Great Smoky Mountains

Chimney Tops Hiking Trail GMSNP

The Chimney Tops hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the best hikes in the Smokies. This short, strenuous hike yields big rewards for hikers. At the top, you can scramble up rock faces to see incredible mountain views.
Laurel Falls Hiking Trail Tips, Photos, And Directions

Laurel Falls Trail Smoky Mountains

Come see why Laurel Falls is one of the most popular, easy waterfall hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Located only a short drive from Gatlinburg, this waterfall trail in the Smokies is simply gorgeous and draws thousands of hikers.
Middle Prong Trail Smokies | Directions And Trailhead

Middle Prong Trail in Smokies

Spend some time on a less crowded trail that's no less beautiful in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! The Middle Prong Trail in Tremont offers views of gorgeous waterfalls, wildflowers, historic artifacts, and more!
Hiking Trail To Mt. Cammerer - Great Smoky Mountains

Mt. Cammerer Hiking Trail

We've got tips, pictures, directions, and a video of hiking Mt. Cammerer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On this trail, you'll enjoy panoramic views of the mountains and a historic western-style fire tower.
Ramsey Cascades Trail | Large Waterfall And Old Growth Forests

Ramsey Cascades Trail

Ramsey Cascades Trail is one of the most popular hikes in the national park. With old growth forests and the tallest waterfall in the national park, it's no wonder why so many take on this challenging and rewarding hike.
Spence Field Hike In The Smoky Mountains National Park

Spence Field

Hike to Spence Field in the Great Smoky mountains National Park to see some of the most gorgeous views in the national park. This high elevation field offers a challenging hike with a huge payoff.

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