The Smoky Mountains are beautiful all year round, especially in the fall! There are about 100 different species of trees in the Smokies and most of them are deciduous. So, as the leaves change, the mountains transform from gorgeous shades of green to vibrant oranges, yellows and reds. Hiking is one of the best ways to experience all the colors of fall and there are more than enough trails near Pigeon Forge to choose from! To help you decide, we’ve made a list of the top 4 hiking trails to visit this season.
1. Gatlinburg Trail
If you’re looking for a more laid-back hike, the Gatlinburg Trail is the one for you! The trail goes 1.9 miles one-way from the Sugarlands Visitor Center to the outskirts of Gatlinburg. It is also relatively flat, making it great for runners, cyclists and people walking their dogs. It is one of two trails in the park that allows dogs. You can bring your furry friend along on your hike and then come back and relax in one of our pet-friendly cabins!
2. Laurel Falls Trail
Laurel Falls is one of the most popular hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and it’s no wonder! The trail comes alive with vibrant colors during the fall, making for a scenic route to the 80-foot waterfall! This multi-tiered waterfall is divided into two sections by a walkway that provides picture-perfect views of the falls. This 2.6 mile round trip is considered to be moderate in difficulty.
3. Porters Creek Trail
This trail near Pigeon Forge is known for its beauty during the spring and summer months. However, Porters Creek Trail makes for a gorgeous hike in the autumn as well. About a mile into your hike, you’ll come across a fork in the road. If you veer right, you can explore the historic John Messer farm site. This site features a barn built by John Whaley around 1875 and a cabin that was built by members of the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club in the 1930s. You can also choose to continue left toward Fern Falls, a beautiful 40-foot waterfall! This is where most hikers choose to rest up and take some pictures before heading back.
4. Alum Cave Trail
Admire the fall foliage and the geological markers along the Alum Cave Trail. At roughly 1.3 miles from the trailhead, you will come across eye-catching rock formations like the Arch Rock and just beyond that, the Alum Cave Bluff. When you are about 2 miles into your hike, you should reach Inspiration Point, an overlook with scenic views of the mountains. The trail is named after the Alum Cave Bluff, a concave towering about 80 feet high. From here, you can either choose to head back or continue on to the summit of Mount LeConte.
We would love to share more of our favorite trails near Pigeon Forge with you. Book with us today and start planning an unforgettable vacation to the Smokies! We look forward to seeing you this fall at Eagles Ridge!