Explore the most popular horseback riding 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.

Wonderful hike.

2 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.

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.

3 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.

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.

Wonderful hike in the back of Cades cove with views of the valley. First half of the trip follows the stream until the campsite, then a steady uphill climb to the top. Flame azaleas in mid June are worth the trip.

4 days ago

This trail is very easy to access from Townsend. While this trail can't boast of the spectacular views that some others can, it was quiet and enjoyable. Backcountry Campsite 18 was a great spot to relax. The rhododendrons were in bloom.


A gorgeous hike. It starts off next to a rushing creek with many bridges and waterbeds to cross (wear boots- almost wore my sneakers to save my older boots the wear and tear, but I was thankful I opted boots once I hit a few spots where you're forced into shallow mud or water.) After you leave the rushing waters it pretty much a gradual uphill with some areas steeper than others but there was usually always a slight reprieve somewhere. The whole route in general is fairly smooth. At the very end toward the bald I would say it was the steepest and had some loose rock but nothing serious. I loved the different environments the trail enters and even with a packed parking lot, the trail was secluded and we rarely came across anyone. Overall, I would say if you are in okay shape (can walk on the treadmill for extended amounts of time at above a 10 incline) then this is actually a moderate trail. One last thing.. LEAVE EARLY TO GET THERE!! I did not look at the route to drive in.. did not realize it makes you take the one way loop through Cades Cove... so if you leave late.. you will arrive very very late ( and frustrated). Also the Azaleas are blooming right now!

Great waterfall! My wife enjoyed this easy hike and the waterfall.

This was my Family's first hike together. I was a great one to start with. The trail was not to rough or steep for us first timers. Had beautiful little waterfalls every couple once in awhile. The waterfall at the end of the first part of the trail was gorgeous. Can't wait to do the complete trail next time.

Beautiful trail. It says easy but near the last mile it gets a little harder if you are just a beginner.

6 days ago

Great short hike. Waterfall was cool. 1.5 hours round trip.

This is a great family friendly trail for all ages. Be sure to bring water shoes, as it is more fun to get up close in the water. I found a few large pieces of clear quartz here, my boyfriend found and attempted to catch a salamander and a snake, and my parents and uncle, his girlfriend, and kids loved the photo ops.

It's great for all ages. I am a nature photographer and the photo ops are perfect. my boyfriend loved it, and it was his first time here. My parents, uncle, his girlfriend, and his kids all loved it, too. We found beautiful rocks, flowers, and even a cave!

Nice hike until the Buchanan Cemetery. After that point, marshy, narrow trail to the park boundary. Lots of creek crossings as others have mentioned. Lots of mushrooms, frogs, and a copperhead!

Beautiful but heavily trafficked.

Fantastic hike! Even with thunder, lightning and hail!!

We increased our adventure level with getting to hike down the trail in a thunderstorm today but it was truly a beautiful hike! Our group would classify it as a moderate hike due to the incline and all of the rocks and roots you got to climb over and I believe 3 small streams you had to cross. The parking is crazy and we got to pre-hike our hike with a 0.5 mile uphill climb to the trailhead. We had 2 people in their late 60’s, an almost 4-year-old, and a 32-week pregnant woman who all made the trek without any issues. Definitely wear the appropriate footwear and with mountain weather, I was thankful for my waterproof raincoat to protect the backpack of stuff we had! Oh! And go to the bathroom prior to the one-way road otherwise you will get to be even closer with nature to take care of business!

on Grotto Falls Trail

8 days ago

This is not an easy trail, it’s more of a moderate trail. The trail conditions the entire way consist of exposed roots and rocks, you must look at the ground for every step you take. There are a few stream crossings where you must step from rock to rock. In addition it’s really busy. At the falls there are slippery and uneven rocks. Use common sense and wear appropriate shoe gear.

on Middle Prong Trail

9 days ago

Great hike with our grandkids (ages 6 and 8). Trail is wide with a gradual incline so we rate it as easy. Beautiful views of the creek running beside the trail and we loved the waterfalls.

9 days ago

Beautiful trail. We completed the entire loop, starting with the more moderate hike through Cucumber Gap and ending along the river on Little River Trail. Hiked this in the rain and it was actually quite nice - a little muddy and some stream crossings, but overall very peaceful. Some tips if you would like to hike this loop: Waterproof boots! We got to the trailhead before 8am and it said the road was closed. After 8am we were able to enter. There are two parking lots right next to each other. If you want to hike along the stream first, park in the first lot. If you want to hike the more moderate part first, then park in the 2nd lot. If you do the full loop it will end in the lot that you likely did not park in, so you have to walk a little bit further. Finally, as we were finishing up the hike it was becoming very highly trafficked. Enjoy!

Not exactly what I would classify as an easy trail for everyone. We brought my 72 year old mother in-law and my 4 year old son. My mother in-law completed it, but it was a struggle. Our 4 year old did well, but needed assistance in several areas. It gets more difficult near the waterfall with more rocks and roots. It’s not difficult in the sense that there are steep inclines or anything, but there are lots roots and rocks, which can be pretty significant tripping hazards for those that aren’t steady walkers. The trails is also crowded, but still beautiful. Overall, the trail is nice and there is a beautiful reward at the end.

10 days ago

June 2018. From Gatlinburg we followed a one way road to the trailhead. Today was very crowded and very difficult to find a parking spot. We actually had to walk about 0.3 miles from our car to the trailhead (uphill). The trail is well traveled. Rocky at times and lots of tree roots on the trail. We crossed a couple of very small streams. The trail is a steady climb to the waterfall. Be sure to follow the trail behind the waterfall and get a picture!

One of my favorite hikes. Walking along the creek was so relaxing and beautiful.

This is a beautiful place. nice trail, with 3 waterfalls. it is a very busy trail. lot's of people, using trail for tubing. I would recommend, early morning, or winter time.

This is a fairly easy trail and one of my all time favorites. It has beautiful cascades along the way to the pretty waterfall.

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