Explore the most popular trails near Gatlinburg with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking

forest

views

walking

nature trips

no dogs

wild flowers

birding

wildlife

trail running

kid friendly

backpacking

river

waterfall

camping

horseback riding

wheelchair friendly

Gatlinburg, Tennessee Map
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hiking
1 day ago

My wife and I enjoyed this hike. Some nice water along the way and small waterfalls along the way.

hiking
2 days ago

This hike was recommended to us by a staff member in the visitor center. He said it is his favorite hike in the whole park, and we could see why! Gorgeous scenery along the way, including wildflowers, the river, and old trees that are huge. And the view of Ramsey Cascades at the top of the hike is incredible! Well worth the strenuous trip up. However, be warned--LOTS of rocks and roots the entire hike once you get off the old logging road. So it's a workout on the way up, but you have to be especially careful on the way down. There are a lot of opportunities to trip or twist an ankle. We started the hike at 3pm and saw about 10 people on our way up, but on the way down we didn't see anyone.

Great hike, nice virgin timber, nice way to spend the day, but please stay off the falls!!

hiking
4 days ago

Challenging but a fun trail. Hiked this with my wife and daughter, neither have been hiking for some time but still made it. It still has burnt trees as a reminder of the terrible fires from 2016.

Beautiful hike Starting from Sugarlands trailhead, not
too bad of an incline. Just remember if you head back, it’s mostly downhill.

hiking
5 days ago

Spring budding and plenty of water at the falls made this hike exceptional

crowded right now! April.

Absolutely love this trail. The trail itself is pretty steep on the way up, but there are views all around, so take your time and enjoy the scenery. Every time I drive through the Smokies I make sure to stop at this trail, especially if it's clear and sunny. Last time we were able to spot a black bear alongside the road as we drove to the trail head. There are also plenty of wildflowers growing along the trail as well.

flowers were beautiful. trail was well maintained. Needed to be careful of tree roots

Second time doing this hike, always a good one to stretch the legs. Nice time chatting with the thru-hikers this time of year and spreading a little trail magic!

Great hike. Stopped at Jump Off as well. Beautiful views!

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer

First I did this as a scenic drive. The Roaring Fork Nature Trail is one of the highlights of the GSMNP. I been at least 4 times. There are abundant wildflowers thru the month of April. There are scenic cabins. There are 4-5 pullouts with scenic creeks/rivers. And there is one scenic view of the mountains.

The only downside is the the road is VERY busy after Memorial Day and it’s also narrow. You can only park at the pull offs and sometimes that means you’ll need to walk back to the photo you want.

Great hike with awesome views along the way! Hiked this with my wife two days ago and it took us about 4.5 hours. We are novice hikers in fair shape and found it moderately difficult. There were snow flurries during our which made the trail a little slick but was manageable. Pretty steep, steady incline throughout, mainly during the last half, but well worth the effort when you get to the end and see the Falls.

hiking
8 days ago

Wonderful hike. Snowed yesterday and there was still a dusting on the way up. Wild flowers were out in full on the way back down. Lots of roots and rocks on the trail along with two very large old growth trees that had fallen across the trail and had to be climbed over, manageable but they are BIG trees. Overall just a beautiful hike.

Nice paved trail. Takes some effort getting up but it’s totally worth it. It is a little colder at the top but so so beautiful. My husband proposed to me up there and it was a wonderful memory I’ll never forget!!

Moderate may be a conservative classification of this trail, but a great trail nonetheless. The trail is well marked. Between the trailhead and the Grotto Falls Trail, the trail is lightly trafficked. The Grotto Falls portion of the trail is highly trafficked. We were fortunate to arrive at the end of a cold snap, so there was still a lot of snow on our trail. It was a beautiful reminder of what nature offers.

Hiked yesterday. It poured with light rain throughout the entire trek. Beautiful misty waterfall at the end, at the second log bridge (you can't miss it). Saw very few other hikers thanks to the weather.
This is a great hike if you want something slightly more challenging. However, anyone can do it if you just go at your own pace.

Nice trail, not too long and you’re rewarded by a beautiful waterfall at the end.

Walked this on 4/12; it’s not closed.
Spotted a couple of nice “jack-in-the-pulpit “ with other flowers emerging... should be more during the few days since. Amazing to view & study Ogle’s building skills of the house, barn & mill-stream area! Took ingenuity & perseverance to scratch a living from this boulder-strewn landscape.

hiking
9 days ago

I hiked this back in 2015, before the wildfires. It was a pain in the butt but well worth the experience. Looking forward to hiking it again.

Awesome! We loved it! It’s cold up there and VERY windy so be prepared. Totally worth it though. With the paved path easy for the kids too!

Always love the drive, whether spring or when open in the winter.

Check out our video of this hike here: https://youtu.be/YLY6yx6LmkQ

After driving 9 hours, we arrived in Gatlinburg TN. We dropped a car at the Big Creek Ranger station ending point and got a hotel in Gatlinburg for the night. The NOA in Gatlinburg has any last minute hiking supplies you might need. Then we took off for the Starting trail head at 6:30am the following day. Unfortunately we had to make this an overnight trip due to time (2 days, 1 night) which meant 16-17 mile days.

This hike starts at the New Found Gap Trailhead at about 5,000 feet. The Parking lot actually straddles the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. I was concerned during our Easter Weekend trip that the parking lot here would be jam packed, but at 7AM on good Friday the parking was almost completely empty. However, we did notice while driving up to Newfound Gap that the Alum Caves trailhead was pretty full of cars even early in the morning.

After snapping some pictures of the Appalachian Trail sign and the sunrise from the magnificent lookout over the mountians, we began our hike. The 1st four miles to Charlies Bunion had some ascent, but were not as tough as expected. Especially with fresh legs. There were also some great lookouts along the way with far reaching views of the mountains.

When we reached the Charlies Bunion junction, the side trail was very short (maybe 50 feet) and worth every step. We we finished taking in the sights and climbing up some of the short rock faces, we headed back to the AT on the same side trail. We found out that the Charlies Bunion side trail actually loops around to meet up with the AT a little further down so we could've continued on the side trail instead of backtracking the way we came in.

Over the next 12 miles to our shelter for the night (Tri Corner Knob) we noticed very little water along the trail. Each shelter has a reliable water source, but inbetween them there were only a few unreliable trickles of water. I would recommend re-filling if you are running low and near a shelter since most of the shelters are at least 5 miles or so apart and the hiking is strenuous.

Just before we reached Tri COrner Shelter there was a long ascent that was probably the most strenuous to us. This might've been due to being exhausted from already hiking 15 or so miles, but I think it would've been difficult either way. If I did it again, I would've made this a two nighter and stopped at Pecks Corner Shelter and then at Cosby Knob or Davenport Gap Shelter. Staying at Pecks the first night would've been just right for us, Tricorner the first night had us totally exhausted, and staying at Cosby Knob the first night would've been near suicide for our abilities.

Once at the Tri Corner Shelter, we encountered a full house. This was due to the time of year and the large number of AT thru hikers on the trail in early April. However, we had permits and were able to squeeze into the bunks. The shelter was so full that there were even some hikers sleeping on the floor. The thru hikers were mostly very nice and interesting to talk with. The shelter had a fire pit, water, and convenient bear cables to hang everyone's food bags (hanging the whole pack was not feasible with the number of people).

On day 2 we were first up in the shelter at 6:30am. We departed as quietly as possible and hit the trail at 7. From here to Cosby Knob there were some good elevation gains that were much easier to tackle after a good night sleep.

When we reached the junction with the low gap trail just after cosby knob, we had to decide if we wanted to continue on the AT and go over MT. Cammerer or take low gap and avoid some elevation. We opted to check out MT. Cammerer despite being tired and immeadiately discovered that we would have to work hard for the View at MT. Cammerer. The trail picks up in elevation right after the junction and was probably one of the most strenuous portion of the trail for us.

After stopping for a quick lunch, we continued to the MT. Cammerer trail junction at about the 26 mile mark and diverted to check out the old fire tower lookout at the end of the side trail. This side trail is a bit more of an investment than the Charlie's Bunion Side trail. The round trip is an additional 1.2 miles and it is not flat. The views at Mt. Cammerer are the gold at the end of the rainbow though. I think it was probably the best view of the trip. After returning to the appalachain trail its about another 6 miles to the Big Creek Ranger station where we dropped our car. And this section is almost completely downhill. It was so much descent, we were actually hoping for some ascent at a certain point as the steep descent is very hard on the toes and feet in general. However it was quick moving.

We made it back to our car at Big Creek after taking the Chesnut Branch Side trail (more direct route).

The best tips I can give after doing this hike is:

1. Do this a

One of the most beautiful wildflower trails in April. Little river trial is gorgeous anytime, it is minimal grade following Little River for most of the hike.

10 days ago

More of a quiet walk than an easy trail. Beautiful, but not challenging for a hike. Husband and friend recovering from health challenges, so we wanted to start "easy". The other easy trails we have done diversity in grade of trail. Not this one.

Trail was pretty with blooming trillium. However, this trail runs along with the road which made it very noisy.

hiking
11 days ago

Wow...moderate maxed out!

Pretty cool cabin. Easy, kid friendly trail.

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