The Great Smoky Mountain National Park offers a variety of trails. We have done some of them but still have a lot to discover. My favorite app to search for trails/hikes is AllTrails. For updates on road closing/road condition or even for just more information about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park visit the park website.
Some of the hikes we have done so far :
- Abrams Falls Trail : (click to see pictures)
Fairly easy trail, would recommend to start early in the morning to avoid both traffic on the Cades Cove Loop and on the trail. We made it in around 2h - 2h30mn.
- Charlies Bunion : (click to see pictures)
Start at Newfound Gap parking lot (entrance for the trail by the rock at the entrance of the parking lot when coming from Gatlinburg). Be prepare for a longer hike (it took us around 4h30mn and 5h), the tougher part was on the way back from the end of the hike. Nice shelter on the way. I also enjoyed the idea of being on the Appalachian Trail even for a little bit :)
- Laurel Falls : (click to see pictures)
Very easy hike, one of our first in the park. Would recommend if you don't have a lot time ahead. We did in Winter the first time and were kind of disappointed. We just did it in May 2019 and it was very different :) Not at all disappointing !
- Alum Cave: (click to see pictures)
We discovered this hike (very popular one) this summer and we did it twice in three days :) It is a moderate hike, around 2h and 2h30. We particularly enjoyed following the river at the beginning then discovering the cave half way through and then the wonderful views at the end of the trail. We haven't tried to keep going to Mount Leconte but would like to :)Better to arrive early as the parking lot fills up pretty quickly. Our favorite trail so far in the park !
- Walker Sisters Home: (click to see pictures)
This hike was recommended by a friend and it didn't disappoint ! Very easy to find (park at Metcalf bottom picnic area and cross the bridge to start the hike). It is a very nice and easy hike with not much traffic, which was very nice. First interesting stop is the school and then the walker sisters home. We saw a bear on our way back (was crossing the trail behind us, very quietly).
- Chimney Top Trail: (click to see pictures)
So this is a hike I am happy I did but won't probably do again, was a bit too hard for me :) The first part of the hike is very nice (following the river) and then you start to climb.... The view was very nice but not maybe not worth all the stairs. On the way back, we saw a bear, probably 20 feet away, standing up ! Didn't even think about taking pictures !!
- Ramsey Cascades Trail (click to see pictures)
We did this hike back in February 2020, following a friend's advice. It is a moderate hike in the beginning and it gets harder when you get closer to the cascades, both because of the incline and the rocks. The trail offers lots of scenery and stunning trees along the way. We love the area (river on that side of the park is wonderful), a bit more quiet than other areas of the park. It took us 5h30 including multiple breaks for me to breathe and time to enjoy the fall :)
Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg offer a lot of entertainment, shopping and restaurants.
We haven' tried a lot of restaurants but we enjoyed Local Goat. We also greatly appreciate, Elvira's cafe located in Wears Valley close to Angels Rest, Valley View, Buds Ridge and Big Bear. If you are looking for something different, you might want to drive to Knoxville and check out JC Holdway.