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

hiking
1 day ago

This wide, well-maintained gravel trail is quite easy due to the gentle grade and offers outstanding views of the Middle Prong of the Little River. You will find a nice bench and awesome waterfall photo-ops at both mile 0.4 and 0.75. We continued on to the Indian Flats Falls turn-off, which is approximately 4 miles from the trailhead, shortly after the footbridge. While the Middle Prong Trail is wide and easy, the spur trail to the falls is narrow, a little tougher and in some places a bit of a scramble. Overall we really enjoyed this scenic hike; there are countless spots along the way where the side of river easily and safely accessible so you can take pics of the various cascades, fish, or just relax with your feet in the water.

Wonderful self guided drive through the Cade’s Cove area of park. No “ hiking” necessary so this is good for seniors or mobility impaired. The midpoint offers an excellent place to stop and learn the history of the area. Don’t miss the sawmill and a chance to buy authentic stone ground cornmeal and sorghum. Behind the buildings, a small riverside trail leads left to where you might see a family of river otters! Traffic is steady, so allow 2-3 hours for the11 miles if you want to stop along the way

scenic driving
5 days ago

This where my heart lies at rest! I fell in love as a little girl and return as often as I can! Kid friendly take them teach them show them! Enjoy and respect! Please

hiking
8 days ago

This is the second trail I have took in the smokies. It has a steady climb then back down. I nice spot to sit by a small fall and have a quick bite to eat to refuel. Love the campsites and plan to camp there on day. Watch out for the turkeys seems there all over the place here.

hiking
8 days ago

This is the second trail I have took in the smokies. It has a steady climb then back down. I nice spot to sit by a small fall and have a quick bite to eat to refuel. Love the campsites and plan to camp there on day. Watch out for the turkeys seems there all over the place here.

I was too late to see the mountain laurels and rhododendrons in bloom, I'll have to come back!
The views from Rocky Top as well as from the junction between Spence Field and Bote Mountain Trails are amazing. The weather was cloudy and it might be useful to know that it gets dark fast on some of the trails, especially on the Bote Mountain portion (which is also where I saw bears, a bit too close to the trail for comfort). When I hiked this, it was drizzling, but there are a bunch of picnic areas along this trail, so it's easy to find a dry spot to rest, eat and enjoy the views. Highly recommended hike!

Beautiful drive. We went in the afternoon on a Tuesday and it wasn’t too crowded at all. The only wildlife we saw were turkeys. There are lots of places to stop and take a hike or walk. We loved it!

Great hike, even with children. Recommend hiking and then letting the kiddos play in the river. My young children who are known to complain did not want to leave after SIX hours 

Great hike.

hiking
1 month ago

The most beautiful hike that I have done!!! Waterfalls and stream along the whole hike! So breathtaking! Will definitely do it again!

Took my 2 and 5 year old by myself. Got there around noon. Was a perfect day. Seemed busy but didn't seem rushed when we were looking at stuff nor did we really wait on people in front of us. As soon as we exited the park, the kids fell asleep, so perfect length of time to keep them entertained. Bring food to entertain in the car.

scenic driving
1 month ago

Get there early!!! We took the advise of many other travelers and left at dawn arriving around 9ish which we thought was late. However within a half mile of the loop we spotted our first black bear in the trees getting a morning snack. We were delighted to see many more sightings through the loop. Several other Bears, deer, and wild turkeys that liked my son so much they followed us back to the car after a little stroll....a great scenic ride that gets congested later in the morning and the summer heat keeps the wildlife out of view.

Great hike! Great views at the top!

scenic driving
1 month ago

We drove this route and got off at many of the historic sites. Beautiful views of the mountains. Saw some deer, fox and bear and lots of birds and butterfly. Before 10am this is a bike trail, which would be cool if we had our bikes! It’s about 10 miles straight though the loop, but longer when you include the side trips to the buildings (which require you to park and walk) lots of old cemeteries and barns. We saw a really cool spring house. Kids loved it, but then started to get repetitive and they were bored. If you do it, def plan to take a side trip to the falls. It’s a long trek but worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail, with great views of 3 waterfalls. The hike to just see the waterfalls is less than 2 miles. The trail is well maintained and easy enough for almost anyone to hike. If you are interested in adding a little more distance at 1.9 miles from the trailhead there is a side trail that takes you over a small berm where a rusted out 1920s Cadillac sits. If you are interested in more information you can read my full review here: http://thefamleelife.com/middle-prong-trail/

Enjoyed this hike! We have a book that told us to look for the log benches. There was an amazing waterfall at the first bench. The next bench was further up up hill on an open trail. Beautiful scenery along the way but we turned around after a few more bends in the trail. Easy walk down hill to the vehicle.

scenic driving
2 months ago

Very pretty, a lot of wild animals with was cool

So pretty! Saw lots of wildlife and the kids loved it! We got out and walked at a few spots! Great if you don't like to hike but still like to see the views!

on Cades Cove Loop Road

scenic driving
2 months ago

Absolutely beautiful view. A good place to view the mountains from the ground level. We even saw a few animals, black bear, fox, turkeys, deer. A few of old houses.

The loop didn’t open until 10 am so unfortunately didn’t beat the crowd. Cars were bumper to bumper. A few trails off the loop were good but loop itself was not worth making the trip for. One bear so far away you couldn’t tell what it was without binoculars. Cars were too back up to get a good glimpse.

Great trail. Very much enjoyed the river along the trail. There were many beautiful cascades and small falls along the way. Learned lots of history about the area from our knowledgeable guide. Great day hike for families, but a bit long for small children. Indian Flats Falls was beautiful. Well worth the hike.

Nice trail, not much to see until you get on top of the ridge, then beautiful. Saw two on the trail. Pretty cool.

Hiked with partner over two days in Spring 2017. Options for camping and access to stream water (we boiled for drinking) were plenty. A couple long ascensions. Lots of shade. Relatively quiet considering the volume of visitors in the park. When hiked clock-wise, the home stretch is pretty easy and follows a beautiful creek with cascades.

scenic driving
2 months ago

Saw a bear near the end! Great views!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail. Not too strenuous, but still a decent workout if you keep a good pace. The trail looks like it was an old road at one time, so it's very wide and in good shape, overall.

scenic driving
2 months ago

Beautiful views! Interesting historical buildings. Plenty of places to pullover and enjoy the view without feeling rushed. Highly recommend for an easy scenic drive.

Very tough trail for the occasional hiker. Round trip took about 6 hours. views were fantastic at the top even with cloud cover. Bring plenty of water and snacks along with a blanket or eno to enjoy the views at the top

hiking
3 months ago

I need to go back and ride my bike early morning. I went during the afternoon and didn’t see any wildlife.

Amazing!!! Love it every time.

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