The Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains, have a wide range of elevations, making them home to over 400 vertebrate species, 100 tree species, and 5000 plant species. Hiking is the park's main attraction, with over 800 miles (1,300 km) of trails, including 70 miles (110 km) of the Appalachian Trail. Other activities are fishing, horseback riding, and visiting some of nearly 80 historic structures.
Eric S. on Chestnut Branch Trail to Mount Cammerer
Challenging hike, and be very aware of water availability before you begin. I backpacked up this the last week of September in brutal heat/humidity during the drought that preceded the Gatlinburg fires and really paid for not carrying enough water.
It's just shy of three miles to the tower, with no break in the elevation gain to speak of. A couple glimpses of pretty views along the way, but mainly trudging through the trees until the big payoff at the tower itself.
Really nice hike. It does get busy in the late morning/afternoon so plan ahead if you'd like to avoid the crowd. It's paved all the way from the road to the falls, but still has some steep inclines, broken concrete, etc.
You can go on past the falls, which will be much less crowded. It's a pretty hike, and fairly easy, but no scenic views of the area.
The views are comparable to the best in the park (Mt. Leconte); however, it is also one of the more strenuous hikes. Be prepared for a steady incline for the entirety of the trek to the watch tower. Once there, the views are phenomenal!