4 Smoky Mountain Hiking Trails You Probably Don’t Even Know Exist
When you visit the Smokies, you definitely don’t want to miss out on some of the most popular hidden gems in the area. Why not spend a little time exploring some of the more “hidden” hiking trails in the mountains? Here’s a few Smoky Mountains hiking trails you’ll want to experience, but probably didn’t even know much about:
1. Hen Wallow Falls
Hen Wallow Falls is known for its waterfall that stands 90 feet tall. The roundtrip distance to this hiking trail is approximately 4.5 miles, so we recommend planning for at least 4 hours for your hike.
Most of the time, when you arrive at the waterfall, you will see many different salamanders. After all, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known as the “Salamander Capital of the World.” This is also a very popular hike in the spring season because there are numerous wildflowers that bloom throughout the area.
2. Gabes Mountain Trail
After making it to Hen Wallow Falls, many hikers continue onto Gabes Mountain Trail to see the diversity in old-growth forest. If you continue along Gabes Mountain Trail, be sure to add a couple more hours to your hiking time. We recommend getting an early start if you plan this hiking adventure, so you can make it back before evening. You can learn more about this hiking trail and others like it by clicking here.
3. Greenbrier Hiking Area
The Greenbrier area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is popular for many visitors, but not as many hike in the area as you may think.
Ramsey Cascades is likely the most popular of the Smoky Mountains hiking trails in the Greenbrier area. This trail leads to Ramsey Cascades which is the tallest waterfall in the national park, with water that drops over 100 feet.
The Ramsey Cascades hiking trail is an 8 mile round trip hike, and it’s not an easy trail. Since the trail is quite difficult due to the increase in elevation, it’s not as highly hiked as you’d assume.
4. Rich Mountain Road
Rich Mountain Road reaches from Cades Cove over Rich Mountain to Townsend TN. This is an 8 mile, one-way road that is most known for the showcasing the views of Cades Cove. The road can be winding, but it’s nothing to be worried about! The picture-perfect views are enough to make up for the slightly winding road.
For more information about this trail and others that are ‘off the beaten path,’ click here.
Tell us your thoughts!
Have you ever gone hiking in the Smoky Mountains? In the comments below, let us know if you loved the hike!
Paulette BFebruary 1, 2017 at 10:38 pm
Thanks for reminding me of Henwallow Falls; I haven’t been there foe a while and will add that to my April trip. Rich Mountain Road is a delight . . . and much easier than Parsons Branch, which I’ve done several times in my low-slung Civic Si, most recently 2015. I’ve done Ramsey Cascades twice, through two boughts of hail last time. As I was coming back down the old fire road portion, I had to laugh at the young couples heading up in totally inappropriate footwear (flip-flops and dress sandals, really?), for some reason thinking the entire trail was like that. One couple even asked me if the falls were “much farther.”