Gatlinburg is nestled right beside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which leads to having great access to some amazing hiking trails. When you visit Gatlinburg, not only will you be close to all the attractions, but you can also experience the serenity of the mountains. Here are 4 of the best summer hiking trails near Gatlinburg you have to explore:
1. Gatlinburg Trail
If you want to experience the beauty of nature without having to make a steep climb, the Gatlinburg Trail is the best option. The trail consists of two walking paths where visitors can enjoy a nice stroll. Overall, the trail covers 1.9 miles one way from the Sugarlands Visitor Center to the edge of Gatlinburg. The best part of this trail is that it is relatively flat. As you walk, you will travel beside the West Prong of the Pigeon River. At one point during the hike, you will come to a pedestrian foot bridge where you get some great views of the water. Another good thing about this trail is that it is one of only two hikes in the Smoky Mountains where bicycles and pets are welcome. This allows you to either enjoy a nice walk with your dog or get some exercise by taking a bike ride through the Smokies.
2. Twin Creeks Trail
Twin Creeks Trails is one of the best hiking trails near Gatlinburg due to the combination of sights to see and a short distance. Overall, the trail runs 4.5 miles and is used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips. The sights to see on this trail is what makes it one of the must do hikes in the Smoky Mountains. On the hike, you will take in great views of the creek, but the real treasure comes if you take the cutoff to see the Fairy House. Soon after you pass the Resource Center, you will see a path that will lead you there. Once you reach the Fairy House, you will see an arch wall with an open door that has stairs leading up to the top. The thing that makes this such an amazing sight is the exterior of the building. The foundation is completely built from stone and is covered in moss. It truly looks like a house you would see in a fairy tale tucked back in the forest!
3. Baskin Creek Falls
The hike to Baskin Creek Falls is a great hike if you want to see one of the area’s best waterfalls. The trail covers 3.1 miles and is rated as moderate in difficulty. After a quarter of a mile, the terrain levels out to create an easier hike. The view of Baskin Creek Falls will make it well worth the trip. Compared to some of the other waterfall hikes in the Smoky Mountains, Baskin Creek is a little more off the beaten path, which makes it a great trail to avoid the crowds while still seeing a spectacular waterfall!
4. Rainbow Falls Trail
The first mile of this hiking trail near Gatlinburg can be a little strenuous, but the views at the end make it well worth the effort. Not only will you be treated to an 80-foot waterfall, you will also pass through an area full of teaberry and rhododendron. If you hike Rainbow Falls Trail in the spring, the blooming flowers will create an amazing scene for your hike to the falls. Another interesting fact of this trail is how the name came to be. The title “Rainbow Falls” comes from the way the sun sneaks through the trees and reflects off the water.
More Fun Trails
If you are staying at one of our Pigeon Forge cabins and want hiking trails that are closer to you, be sure to check out some of the best Pigeon Forge hiking trails, including Porters Creek Trail and Laurel Falls.
Now that you know about some of the best summer hiking trails near Gatlinburg, be sure to check out some nearby attractions for you and your family! We hope to see you soon in the Smoky Mountains!