Want to get out in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and explore? There are so many trails you can hike near Gatlinburg. Whether you want to just enjoy a hike through the woods or you want to see some cool features, there’s a hiking trail for you! Here are the top 5 hikes near Gatlinburg you should explore:
1. Gatlinburg Trail
An easy trail that’s right outside of downtown Gatlinburg is the Gatlinburg Trail. This trail is 3.8 miles roundtrip. You’ll hike through the woods and have beautiful wooded views. This is one of the only trails in the national park that is dog friendly. You’ll cross over the Little Pigeon River on a footbridge, and later on the trail, you’ll see old remains of homes from the pioneer days, such as chimneys and fireplaces. This is a great family trail since it is easy and relatively flat.
2. Grotto Falls
If you want a more moderate hike near Gatlinburg, then you should explore Grotto Falls. This trail is 3 miles roundtrip, and it follows alongside the creek for most of the trail. The path is rocky and has a ton of tree roots, so you’ll want to be careful. Grotto Falls is near the end of the trail, and it stands at 25 feet tall. This is the only waterfall you can walk behind in the national park, but the rocks around the falls are slippery. If you get near the pool of water, you might see some salamanders, because this is the perfect condition for them to live in!
3. Rainbow Falls
Another hike near Gatlinburg you won’t want to miss out on is Rainbow Falls. This is a moderate trail that is 5.4 miles roundtrip. This trail can be used to get to the summit of Mount LeConte, or you can take it to get to the waterfall. There are beautiful wooded views all along this trail, and the path has quite a few rocks and roots along the way. Once you reach Rainbow Falls, you’ll see why people enjoy hiking here. This is the tallest single-drop waterfall in the park at 80 feet tall. It’s pretty impressive to see in person!
4. Twin Creeks Trail
Twin Creeks Trail is an easy trail at 4.5 miles roundtrip. You’ll hike through the woods and beside a river. This is a great family trail because kids can easily keep up. There are historic buildings along the trail you can explore, which is neat for people who love history. One of the coolest things about this trail is the House of the Fairies. It’s slightly off trail, but when you find it, you’ll definitely want to take pictures!
5. Baskins Creek Trail
Baskins Creek Trail is a hike near Gatlinburg you’ll want to check out. The trail is considered moderate, and just to the waterfall, it is 3 miles roundtrip. There’s a short climb at the beginning of the trail, and then you’ll see a mountain view. You’ll continue along the trail through the woods, and then come to a steep descent. At the end of this section, you’ll see Baskins Creek Falls. This is one of the most underrated waterfalls in the park, standing at 40 feet tall with two tiers.
These hikes near Gatlinburg are a great way to spend time outside with friends and family. Want even more ideas of what you should do when you stay with us? Check out these attractions in Pigeon Forge for more ideas!