Must Hike Trails in the Smoky Mountains

The Derosia Team highly recommends taking a trip into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on your visit to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  The Smoky Mountains is the most visited national park in the United States attracting more than 9 million visitors each year.  The park emcompasses 522,419 acres which is home to more than 4,000 species of plants, 1,600 kinds of flowering plants, over 130 species of trees, dozens of native fish, more than 230 species of birds, and 65 varying species of mammals.  The Smoky Mountains also have about 150 hiking trails covering over 900 miles of beautiful nature.

Here is a list of some of the most popular short trails, along with the distance (round trip), difficulty, and a brief description.  
Abrams Falls
  • Distance: 5 Miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Abrams Falls trail is located inside Cades Cove and begins at the covered bridge over Abrams Creek.  The trail takes hikers on a fairly level course with only a couple steep climbs along the way.  The path leads to Abrams Falls one of the largest waterfalls in the park.  While up there enjoy a swim in the natural pool and take time to observe the beauty before hiking back down.

Chimney Tops
  • Distance: 4 Miles
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
The Chimney Tops Trail can be accessed from Newfound Gap Road. While this is a fairly short hike it is also very steep but the breathtaking view at the top of the trail makes the hike well worth it.  The Chimney Tops mountain is at an elevation of 4,800 feet and is one of the most recognizable mountains in the national park.

Clingman's Dome Tower
  • Distance: 1 mile
  • Difficulty: Easy
Clingman's Dome is at an elevation of 6,643 feet, which makes it the highest point in the Smokies, Tennessee, and also the highest point along the Appalachian Trail.  This trail is wide and paved which makes it one of the easiest trails for families with children and strollers.

Grotto Falls
  • Distance: 2.4 Miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
The trailhead to Grotto Falls is located off the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.  The trail is short and the slope is easy to travel.  Grotto Falls is a 25 foot waterfall and is the only waterfall that visitors are able to walk behind.

Rainbow Falls
  • Distance: 5.4 Miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
The trailhead to Rainbow Falls is accessed by taking Cherokee Orchard Road.  This hike is consider one of the most difficult short trails but is worth the trip when you reach the 80-foot falls at the top.  Rainbow Falls is the highest waterfall in the Smoky Mountains and makes a great place for taking pictures and also a perfect spot for taking in the beauty of the falls and the calming sounds of rushing water.

These are just some of the recommended short trails in the Smoky Mountains.  The Smoky Mountains also offer day hikes for those who would like to take a full day exploring the beautiful nature of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  


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