Explore the most popular hiking 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
12 hours ago

This was the best hike I’ve ever been on. Very surprised at how beautiful the Great Smoky Mountains were. We had to cross numerous points where the falls went over the trail. We had to take off our boots and wade through the freezing water. We felt super accomplished once we made it to the spectacular falls at the end. Beautiful scenery throughout and very rugged. Had a great time!

Great trail. Saw the biggest trees in GSNP yet. It is a continual uphill hike but it’s gradual & not that steep. If just trees & plants bore you it’s not the trail for you, for us it was a beutiful hike for the day & a reminder that the GSNP is a rain forest.

18 hours ago

We had a big group on Memorial Day weekend and it was crowded! Constant flow of people around you, without our holiday timing - it would be really nice for a large group of various skill levels and strollers too. I found the end terrifying with small children and a crowded precipice. Hands on kids, beautiful falls. No opportunity to swim at this one.

Definitely a favorite of ours. We hiked this one twice now. Last time with all our children. They truly love this trail. follows the river through most of it so can always stop and take a break, especially with little ones and let them splash around. The waterfall is beautiful and some areas shallow enough to walk around and enjoy the water before heading back. We also started at the Abrams trail head, so was only just over 5 miles for us.

Did this in January '18. Went counter clockwise due to not getting started until noon. Pretty steep for the first 2 miles. Had campsite 6 all to myself which was awesome. With no leaves I had a few good views, but don't expect much with leaves on.

A little to easy for my kids. They are 12 and 14.

Great hike. Easy for little kids.

not a bad overall hike, basically following an old logging road. if your not paying attention you will miss the hiker signs for the car and the falls, redid the wood arrows while I was out.

This trail offered various terrain and so many amazing fews! Definitely harder the last 2.7 miles to LeConte but worth it! We saw the llamas before they headed back down! Hit hard rain on the way back which kept many off the trail which was nice. We had it mostly to ourselves.

This is my all time favorite hike in the Smokies. Ramsey's Cascades being a close second. The views and variety on this trail are fantastic. It is not an easy trail once past the Bluffs, but it never fails to deliver and I have hiked it in two days of perpetual rain, 15 inches of fresh snow, and a recent cloud burst that turned the trail into a river and spots of small ponds. It is my go to trail if training for a trekking trip, as I found it to be perfect for preparing for the Inca Trail in Peru. The trail surface is very similar to what you will experience there, with the exception of the altitude, of course. It is an easy trail to tackle solo as it is popular, but if hiking during the week the crowds are not an issue that impacts your enjoyment of this beautiful trail.

Some truly breathtaking views along the AT

Very easy walk along the river. Used heavily but well maintained. Favorite among locals. I have seen birds, squirrels, deer and elk while on this trail. Some people use this as a light jogging trail in the mornings like I did. Has a little bridge and a few benches to sit and rest on along the way. There are a few story boards on this trail that tell of the Cherokee history. This trail is easy enough for older folks too. There are a few access points to the river with small beaches and you pass under a bridge. Lovely little walk. Seems like only a mile and a half walk.

hiking
1 day ago

Great trail. Not crowded. Road to trailhead is a little rough (for a minivan).

scenic driving
2 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous!   This is probably my favorite part of the National Park.  Just a beautiful drive with plenty of stop offs.  Great valleys and mountain ranges in the background.  It does not open till 10am on Wednesdays and Saturdays so plan accordingly.  Also it is kind of way off in a separate area of the park so if you are thinking of stopping at the various historic buildings along the way and maybe adding in the hike to Abrams Falls plan this to be the only thing you do that day.  Plus the drive out there is just nice with some places to pull over and look at the view of the river.  Finally, we went in early May and there was a lot of traffic, as it gets closer to the summer expect significant traffic and delays.

hiking
2 days ago

This is one of my most favorite hikes in the smokies. The terrain is manageable if hailed from the top down. Through the whole trail from start to finish you will experience the vast wild flowers that the smokies are famous for. The trail was in excellent shape given the amount of rain it had a week before. Very few campers in the area.

This was a very nice and easy trail. It is a beautiful area and the falls are really nice. This is a very popular trail for many and the only advise I would recommend is to go early and you may the place all to yourself. Parking is also a problem with only a number of parking spots at the trailhead. More parking is allowed along the road, but it adds to your walking and hiking distance.

Beautiful hike on a true nature trail complete with all the natural rocks and roots. Falls at the end was beautiful. Highly recommend.

Took the trail from the newfound gap parking lot. There’s a lot of uphill hiking at first (nice to get out of the way though because it’s all downhill for the way back). Charlie’s bunion is not listed on the first wooden sign at the 1.7 mi split. However, just keep following the Appalachian trail and you’ll eventually see signs for it. The view was incredible and worth every step. The trail is well maintained and just absolutely beautiful. If you have the time- definitely do this trail!

I took this hike while visiting the Clingman's Dome tower. This was a nice hike downhill from the parking lot. it is rocky some places but levels out a bit towards reaching Andrew's Bald. The hard part is the hiking upward towards the parking lot. it is a good workout and just taking your time it will be a pleasant experience.

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer.

The trail is typical Eastern US woodlands. Nothing special to set it apart from the other dozens of woodland trails in the Smokies. No epic scenic views. The only thing that sets this trail apart are the school and sister's cabins. If you like photographing log cabins and such is is the trail for you. I

if you are looking for scenic views, waterfalls, etc. pick another trail.

Having said that, I'll probably return in the fall to photograph the cabin with the fall foliage.

Terrific hike! This was my fav hike I have ever done. We climbed about 3,600 ft in elevation in rainy weather. We started at the trailhead about 7am and we seemed to be the early birds. We did run into about 12 people coming down from staying overnight at the lodge as we got closer to the top.. We ran into 20+ people on our way down as they hiked up. The majority were probably stopping at the Alum Cave and turning back. I recommend hiking sticks for the way up and down. They really saved my knees. Also the trail follows the edge of rock ridges that are very slippery when wet. Thankfully they have cables you can hold while walking along most parts like that. The first point of interest on the trail is the Arch Rock. It is a arch in a rock and you walk up a winding staircase through it. I want to say it was the half way point to the Alum Cave. The Alum Cave was not what I was expecting. Here in New York, we have ice caves you literally walk into. Not this one. This consists of 80-100 foot cliff/bluffs that tower and bend overhead.. and there is a big area of very dry sand that is mostly shielded from the rain when it storms. It was impressive. We hiked all the way to the Mt Leconte Lodge. but we did not venture further to the Cliff Tops because we knew there wouldn't be any view thanks to the fog. We also almost hiked alil further to the rock pile but I recently saw a pic from other hikers of it and it seemed to be demolished :-( We got to the top about 1115am.. They do not serve any food or drinks until 12 noon so we were not able to partake in that. The ladies who worked at the lodge, did welcomed us to sit in the dining room and snack on the protein bars we had brought with us. I definitely recommend wearing waterproof clothing. I was soaked when I got to the top from rain and sweat but did not realize it until I stopped sat down and it didn't help that up top it is like 30 degrees below the temp at the bottom. It was a foggy day but we were able to see a good bit. I heard that in the smoky mountains there are 2 bears for every 1 square mile, so I brought bear spray. Luckily we did not see any, maybe the rain kept them away I am not sure. There is an outhouse with a toilet up at the top which I was very thankful for as well. The hike took us 7-8 hours. The lodge has log cabins that bring you back in time. The fog rolling through also helps to create a unique atmosphere.

super steep, lots of stairs, but well worth it at the top. Beautiful streams along the way near bottom.

For the serious hikers only. Lots of covered, tight forestry to go through. we started backwards and did 3 miles up first instead of ending it that way. Glad we did, made the ending to the falls well worth the intense hike and challenge. Not recommended to go alone.

This was an easy, beautiful trail! It was pretty crowded, which was a bummer, but it was still worth it! It only took us about an hour and a half total, but we did hang out at the waterfall for about a half hour. I really don't think it would be good for strollers/wheel chairs, but is accessible for children.

Excellent trail. Varied terrain of forest, rocks, and vegetation. The falls were awesome as well. It is a bit strenuous if you're not experienced, but definitely one of my favorites yet.

Beautiful trail run.

Beautiful hike with some epic views. Was a bear near the trail, but we had just missed it. Been wanting to hike the AT, now just have to do the whole thing some say.

Peaceful hiking trail, didn't see anyone else while trail running it.

Beautiful hike. Clouds were rolling in at the top, only saw the chimney mountain for a minute, the trail to it was closed. We did it with our 5 yr old son & daughter in tow. Would hike again.

Great hike, beautiful river went up to husky gap. Plenty of fishing holes. It loops if you take Jacobs trail back but it's the next parking area over.

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