5 of the Best Hiking Trails Near Gatlinburg You’ll Love
When you visit Gatlinburg, you’re right in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. While you’re here, you should go on a hike! There are a wide variety of trails, from easy to expert, and many features on each one. See a gorgeous view of the mountains or a waterfall on these trails. Here are 5 of the best hiking trails near Gatlinburg you’ll love:
1. Cataract Falls
For an easy hike, you should go on Cataract Falls. This hiking trail is 1.1 miles roundtrip, making it perfect for beginners and small children. The path is simple to follow since it is laid out. You’ll cross over creeks, walk through wooded areas, and eventually come across the waterfall this trail is named after. This trail is great during the summer since it is heavily shaded. Your whole group will enjoy hiking this simple trail!
2. Gatlinburg Trail
If you’re looking for an easy trail that’s a little longer, you should hike the Gatlinburg Trail. You’ll walk along the Little Pigeon River and eventually cross over it on a footbridge. Throughout most of the trail, there are old homestead site remains, from foundations to fireplaces. It’s a great hiking trail near Gatlinburg because it’s close, and you get to be out in nature without a strenuous hike. The Gatlinburg Trail is the only hiking trail near Gatlinburg that allows dogs. It is 3.8 miles roundtrip.
3. Twin Creeks Trail
Twin Creeks Trail is another easy trail that is an out and back. Its roundtrip length is 4.5 miles. If you enjoy bird watching or walking along and looking at native plants, this is a great hiking trail near Gatlinburg for you to go on! You’ll find many wildflowers along the path during the spring and early summer. You’ll find an old cabin along the trail, which is neat to see. There’s a creek along this trail too, so you can stop and enjoy listening to the water rush over the rocks before you keep going.
4. Bullhead Trail
You can consider Bullhead Trail moderate or hard. If you only travel the Bullhead Trail, it is 5.9 miles roundtrip and would be moderate. If you use this trail to get to Mt. LeConte, it is hard and 12.9 miles roundtrip. It is the least used trail to get to Mt. LeConte, making it nice for people who want to hike in solitude. Along this trail, you’ll have great views of the mountains. There’s a large rock formation known as “The Pulpit.” This is where the Bullhead Trail ends and the hike to the top of Mt. LeConte begins.
5. Trillium Gap Trail
Trillium Gap Trail is considered a difficult hiking trail near Gatlinburg. That is 6.8 miles roundtrip. In the spring, you’ll find all kinds of wildflowers along this trail. You’ll eventually come across Grotto Falls. This waterfall is unique because it’s the only waterfall in the park you can walk behind. The pool of water Grotto Falls pours into is full of salamanders, fish, and frogs. Horses are allowed on this trail, and Trillium Gap is used to take supplies to the top of Mt. LeConte through llamas, so you might spot them while you’re hiking this trail!
There are plenty of hiking trails near Gatlinburg you will enjoy while you’re visiting the park. For other activities, check out our things to do page!