Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Best trails in Townsend

6,026 Reviews
Looking for a great trail near Townsend, Tennessee? AllTrails has 59 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we've got you covered. You'll also find some great local park options, like Ijams Nature Center or Haw Ridge Park. Ready for some activity? There are 36 moderate trails in Townsend ranging from 1.7 to 31.2 miles and from 1,135 to 5,036 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Show more
Map of trails in Townsend
Top trails (59)
#1 - Abrams Falls Trail
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1539)
Length: 4.9 mi • Est. 2 h 24 m
Abrams Fall is a popular waterfall with a 25 foot drop over a rocky cliff beside it. The trail is well maintained. It does have a few spots with roots and rocks. The trail gets a lot of use. Expect other hikers. At certain times of the year, it will be extremely crowded. Note: The park closes the Cades Cove Loop Road to motor vehicle traffic all day on Wednesdays between early May and late September of each year, to allow cyclists and pedestrians to enjoy the cove.Show more
#2 - Spruce Flats Falls Trail
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(739)
Length: 1.8 mi • Est. 1 h
Although short, this route includes some steep rocky sections that may require a bit of climbing.Show more
#3 - Indian Flat Falls via Middle Prong Trail
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(490)
Length: 8.2 mi • Est. 3 h 2 m
#4 - Cades Cove Loop Road
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(431)
Length: 10.5 mi • Est. 4 h 14 m
This road through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park runs through a lush valley, see wildlife & historic buildings. Only bicycle and foot traffic are allowed on the loop road on Wednesdays all day from early May until late September. Otherwise the road is open to motor vehicles from sunrise until sunset daily, weather permitting. Cades Cove is a broad, verdant valley surrounded by mountains and is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokies. It offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park. Large numbers of white-tailed deer are frequently seen, and sightings of black bear, coyote, ground hog, turkey, raccoon, skunk, and other animals are also possible. For hundreds of years Cherokee Indians hunted in Cades Cove but archeologists have found no evidence of major settlements. The first Europeans settled in the cove sometime between 1818 and 1821. By 1830 the population of the area had already swelled to 271. Cades Cove offers the widest variety of historic buildings of any area in the national park. Scattered along the loop road are three churches, a working grist mill, barns, log houses, and many other faithfully restored eighteenth and nineteenth century structures. An 11-mile, one-way loop road circles the cove, offering motorists the opportunity to sightsee at a leisurely pace. Allow at least two to four hours to tour Cades Cove, longer if you walk some of the area's trails. A visitor center (open daily), restrooms, and the Cable Mill historic area are located half-way around the loop road. Numerous trails originate in the cove, including the five-mile roundtrip trail to Abrams Falls and the short Cades Cove Nature Trail. Longer hikes to Thunderhead Mountain and Rocky Top (made famous by the popular song) also begin in the cove. Several designated backcountry campsites (camping by permit only) are located along trails. Accessibility: This trail is paved, smooth, wide (typically at least five feet), and most of it has a grade less than 5%. The steepest points are around 2.0 miles and 4.6 miles, where the grade is between 10% and 13%. Wheelchair/mobility equipment and stroller users may find these sections too steep without assistance. The Cades Cove Visitor Center, bathrooms, and drinking fountains are accessible, as well as the Becky Cable House in the historical building area. Most of the older, historical buildings are not wheelchair accessible and the surface is gravel or dirt around many of the buildings.Show more
#5 - West Prong Trail
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(211)
Length: 5 mi • Est. 2 h 56 m
#6 - Rocky Top from Lead Cove Trailhead
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(163)
Length: 10.5 mi • Est. 6 h 51 m
This route is a combination of Lead Cove Trail, Bote Mountain Trail, and the Appalachian Trail. This hike will begin on the Lead Cove Trail, which will follow the creek and then turns and follows the ridge. At 1.8 mi you will turn right on Bote Mountain Trail. This trail has been used since the early 1830s and was developed as a road during the 1850s. At 3.0 mi the trail intersects with the Anthony Creek Trail and you can see a huge open area, which until the late 1960s you could drive your car here and a short hike to Spence Field. You will continue on the Bote Mountain Trail. At 4.7 miles you intersect with the Appalachian Trail. Turn left and rising above you is Rocky Top. Over the next mile you will go up and down through some wooded area before you pop out in a rocky bare spot that will offer you 360-degree views. From one spot you can see Fontana Lake, Clingmans Dome, Mount LeConte and Cades Cove. Return via same route. The route to Rocky Top from Anthony Creek Trail is also on AllTrails - "Rocky Top via Anthony Creek Trail".Show more
#7 - Gregory Ridge Trail to Gregory Bald
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(192)
Length: 11.6 mi • Est. 6 h 57 m
#8 - Rich Mountain Loop Trail
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(198)
Length: 8.3 mi • Est. 4 h 41 m
Rich Mountain Loop Trail is a great way to enjoy Cades Cove without the crowds. The trail starts at the beginning of the Loop Road, skirts the edge of some fields before reaching the John Oliver Cabin. It then climbs toward the crest of Rich Mountain then continues on to Indian Grave Gap Trail and Crooked Arm Ridge Trail. It's a good place to see deer and the occasional black bear. Show more
#9 - Meigs Creek Trail: Short Version
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(198)
Length: 3.5 mi • Est. 1 h 55 m
#10 - Lynn Camp Via Middle Prong Trail
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(161)
Length: 3.1 mi • Est. 1 h 34 m
Showing results 1 - 10 of 59