Explore the most popular forest trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
9 hours ago

The waterfall at the end is a great payoff. Not very many people on this trail. The scenery changes often which makes it very entertaining. There are some great views at the beginning. The incline on the way back is quite challenging. Definitely a more difficult trail of the moderate category

This trail was great. It’s within walking distance to cafes cove camp ground right across from a visiting center with trail maps. Trail is marked really well and easy to follow. Definitely on the upper scale of moderate a lot of elevation. We saw a lot of bear poo on the trail but no bears.

This trail was great, it’s right in the camp ground and is a great way to begin your hiking weekend . There are a lot of information about the trees, pretty easy walk.

This was the first hike we did in the Smoky Mountains. The first three miles are tough, as it’s just up, up, and more up. This is where most of the elevation gain occurs. After the first few miles the trail connects with the Appalachian Trail, which you then take to the Mount Cammerer lookout trail spur. The views from the lookout are spectacular and make the tough hike up worthwhile and rewarding. It’s also cool to go inside the lookout tower on top. This hike was very quiet and peaceful as well. We only saw a few people on our way up, and this was on a weekend in June.

One more thing of note: The bugs were bad on this hike. I get bothered easily by the constant buzzing and flying around my face, so I wore my Buff pretty much the whole hike. I didn’t notice the bugs being a problem on any other hikes in the park except this one.

Fun hike! Although Mother Nature did not cooperate (it was rainy and cloudy all the way up and halfway down) this was still a great hike. I just wish we got the great view from the top that everyone was raving about! Next time :).

I loved the varying terrains throughout the hike. You never seemed to be bored! My wife remarked that she enjoyed being cliff side for most of the hike instead of in the woods/forest (like Mt. Cammerer). It offered more scenic stopping points and small payoffs.

This was our favorite hike in the Smoky’s! We included the Jump Off on our way to Charles Bunion (an extra 0.6 mile). The trail starts at the Newfound Gap parking lot, and it’s about 4.4 miles until the Charles Bunion lookout, which is absolutely breathtaking. We could have spent all day at the lookout! Highly recommend.

hiking
18 hours ago

This is one of my favorite trails in the park. We hiked this fairly early in the day with two as school-aged children after going to the Clingman's dome towee. 100 yards down the trail and we bradf left 99% of the crowds behind. We saw only a handful of other hikers on our way out to the bald. Trail goes downhill most of the way to the bald, meaning you are hiking uphill on the way back, edith the steepest section right before the parking lot. Trail is varied with a lot of neat sections of spruce forest. The bald was spectacular. The flame azaleas were blooming and the views were fantastic on the day we hiked. Highlight of the hike for us was seeing a mother bear and two cubs of the side of the trail about a quarter mile before the bald.

Steep but not very far, and the views from the observation tower are spectacular. You can take a side trail and a bit of the AT if you want to avoid the main paved trail with the zillions of people. Go early for easier parking and avoiding the massive crowds.

hiking
18 hours ago

Great trail for families. The trail is rocky in parts and covered in tree roots in others, so I definitely recommend a good pair of shoes. Also recommend going early, parking is very limited and people around up parking along the sides of the road a good distance from the trailhead.

We hiked this today, a Wednesday. We headed out early so we wouldn’t get caught in the slow moving
Cades Cove Loop traffic. But we outsmarted ourselves, since the Loop is open to only bike traffic until 10:00 am on Wednesdays and Saturdays. If you want an early start go a different morning. The trail is as advertised, moderate ups and downs all the way. Some parts are more rocky than I like. The mountain laurel was still blooming in many places. The falls are quite pretty with nice areas to rest and regroup before heading back.

hiking
1 day ago

This was a very well kept trail. It was a steep climb but had a beautiful view at the end. There's 4 bridge crossings with great rock formations along the trail too. We started before 9 am and it wasn't heavily trafficked until on our way down closer to 11.

A tough hike for sure but a very beautiful waterfall reward at the end! I recommend having a hiking stick. I didn’t have one and wished I did the whole time I was descending. I will mention that at the falls there are tons of bees. They appear to be common honey bees and not aggressive but they were everywhere. I had intended to sit at the falls and enjoy a snack but I literally had bees crawling all over me. One was crawling down my boot even. None stung me but if you are freaked out by bees or super allergic then be advised.

Love this trail, even in the pouring rain! I wish there were more signs on the trail to Myrtle Point. We saw a couple turned around after seeing a pile of rocks and so we did too. After talking to other hikers, they suggested to keep going. The view was priceless!! We took 3 hours up to LeConte Lodge and about 2.5 hours down to our car.

hiking
2 days ago

Wonderful hike.

Had a good time with family with 2.5 year old boy. Interesting and pleasant trail with lots of stuff to see along way. Lots of small boulders and roots however. Not hard, bur not for individuals with limited dexterity. Certainly not stroller friendly. Easy going besides that. Nothing to lose your breath over.

the trail infrastructure was top notch. My son and i hiked to the top in 2hrs, hung out at the lodge and the cliff summit then took another 2hrs to hike down. Breathtaking views! maybe it was the hike up that took my breath ... lol.

hiking
2 days ago

The trail has a slow elevation climb to the top of the falls so you never have to worry about a steep climb. Hardest part of the trail were stepping over large rocks/tree roots. Trail is well maintained. There are some creek crossings so if it rains heavy the day before, you may get your shoes wet. We got to the trail at 9am and it wasn't crowded, took us 3 hours round trip and on the way back there were lots of people. I'm your average couch potato and I made the hike, but plenty of people were stopping along the way for breaks. Keep in mind there are some small falls you'll see along the way, so if you don't feel like you can make the journey and want to turn back, you will have still seen some beautiful scenery.

hiking
3 days ago

Great loop, started thunder storming about 2/3 of the way through. Going clockwise the the trail climbs a decent bit before coming down and remaining level. Had to ford the creek 7 times, once by choice because the bridge looked more dangerous. Plan to go on a dry day after a couple more dry days or the water will be quick and high. My only complaint is a lack of viewing spots, you're in dense trees the entire time.

Steep but paved. Wide enough for a vehicle. Very crowded, but worth it for the view on top.

Overall good experience. Had to turn back halfway due to part of trail being closed off. Very quiet. Our group was only ones on trail during that time.

Lots of roots to trip on and not much to see as you go up as far as overlooks. Steady incline and the azaleas are amazing. Worth the hike, it was a workout!

Hard hike, beautiful at the bottom and the top. Azaleas in bloom in June.

Easy and very shaded hike. Great for a summer day with family of all ages. Awesome to go behind the waterfall and kids loved spotted salamanders.

hiking
4 days ago

Great trail, well maintained, and the payoff of seeing Rainbow Falls at the end is totally worth it. Note that the trail is currently closed for maintenance Mon-Thurs through the summer 2018 season. We hiked this with family ranging in age from 7-70. It took us a little under 4 hours round trip, but that includes a long stop at the falls and a bunch of snack/water breaks for the kids. We started around 8am Amy's it wasn't crowded at all on the way up but as we were heading down we passed about a zillion people just starting out on the hike. Definitely pays to get there early.

on Chimney Tops Trail

hiking
4 days ago

Pretty view at top (which really isn’t the top, but actual top closed since fire). Nice short hike with pretty much all elevation in last mile. Very doable though. Would rate as moderate even with steep last mile.

hiking
4 days ago

Nice hike. Azaleas were in bloom so very pretty at top. Gradual elevation gain of around 3,300 feet makes it a moderate hike.

Trail has some great views

Strenuous hike with the best views in the entire GSMNP.

4 days ago

Good short hike with a rewarding fall. We recommend!

We did this trail from the Cades Cove Picnic Area to Anthony's Creek to Rote Mountain to the AT.

Rocky Top is amazing, Thunderhead is less so but still a beautiful view. This is a worthwhile, 14-mile hike. The mountain laurel and flame azaleas are starting to bloom. Raspberry bushes and blueberry bushes are common on the AT before Rocky Top.

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