The Great Smoky Mountains are an ideal escape into nature on your next family vacation. There are many options of hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains and other natural attractions around Gatlinburg, as well as opportunities for shopping and dining in the city. These hiking trails are among those you can choose from on your next adventure into the Great Smoky Mountains.
Family Hiking Trails In The Great Smoky Mountains
Families will small children will want to opt for an easy trail that can be completed within a short time. Hiking trails are rated on a number scale. Trails rated five or lower are suitable for those with little hiking experience, including kids. Those over a ten are best for experienced hikers looking for a challenge. Some of the easiest trails in Gatlinburg include Grotto Falls and Baskins Creek Falls. Grotto Falls is the easiest at a rating of only 3.7 while Baskins Creek Falls has a difficult rating of 4.91.
Grotto Falls is a trail that is about three miles round way. The trail is accessed through the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and features a stunning waterfall. This trail continues on for those seeking a tougher or longer hike so make sure that you know when to turn back by taking along a map of the area along with other supplies. The Baskins Creek Falls trails is a three mile hike that takes you to beautiful waterfalls. This trail is also accessed through Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.
Exploring More Difficult Hiking Trails In The Great Smoky Mountains
Some trails in the Smoky Mountains are rated well over twenty on difficulty, while others fall in the mid-range. There are several hikes that can be completed within a weekend in the Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg. Some trails for weekend hikes include Alum Caves, Chimney Tops and Rainbow Falls. Chimney Tops is among the most popular trails in Gatlinburg and also has the advantage of being recently renovated to make the hike a little easier by adding natural rock steps over the steepest part of the trail. At the end of the hike through Chimney Tops trail you will find the panoramic views that make this one of the most trekked in the region.
Alum Caves, Rainbow Caves and Chimney Tops are in the medium range which means that they are rated under ten on the difficulty scale. The most challenging trail in the Gatlinburg area is the Mt. LeConte trail. Mt. LeConte can be accessed through Alum Caves or via Bullhead or Trillium Gap. This trail is an excellent option for experienced hikers who have a few days to spend in the wilderness. Among the features of the Mt. LeConte trail are panoramic views, waterfalls and, when you choose to hike the trail through Alum Caves, unique geological features that you can explore. The Rainbow Falls trail also hooks into the Bullhead route, so you can use this option if you want to circle back for easy access to your car.