There are few places better to hike than the Great Smoky Mountains. It has breathtaking landscapes and trees that are hundreds of years old. There are Pigeon Forge hiking trails near the town that are perfect for people of all different abilities; the hardest part will be choosing where to start your journey! Here are a few of our favorite hikes near Pigeon Forge.
Townsend, TN 37882
7:00 am to 7:00 pm
This is one of the most popular waterfall hikes in all of the Smokies. The trail is 5 miles long so you will get your exercise, but there is only a 200-foot elevation change, so it is easy enough for anyone to do. The trail follows Abrams Creek and goes to the falls, one of the most voluminous in the park. Plus, there’s a picturesque 100-foot-wide natural pool at the bottom of the falls, which is a perfect cooling off place in the summer. It is a great place for photo opportunities, and one of the best places for hiking near Pigeon Forge.
Buckeye Trail at Spruce Flat Falls
Spruce Flats Branch, Tennessee, Townsend, TN 37882
Open 24 hours
If you’re looking for a quiet out-of-the-way trail, look no further than this little-known spot. It is just two miles roundtrip. It is the perfect place for a solitary hike or a quiet romantic hike. The trail begins at the Tremont complex and ends at a quiet spot at the fall itself where there is a serene pool.
Old Settler’s Trail
This is the perfect Pigeon Forge hiking trail for the serious hiker. At 16.2 miles, it is considered to be of a moderate difficulty. It changes elevation often and you will not always be expecting it. It is an interpretive trail which means it tells a story as you hike. It is easy to follow because of all the markings you will see along the way. You will pass by a cemetery and you will see many historic sites. It teaches a history lesson for older children and adults as well.
Cove Hardwoods Nature Trail
Chimney Picnic Area
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Tennessee is famous for its wildflowers and you’ll see some of the most beautiful flowers on this easy trail. Cove Hardwoods Nature Trail winds through an old-growth forest with plenty of wildflowers in it. The loop trail is less than a mile long and offers plenty of wonderful photo opportunities.
Little River Road
One of only three paved trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this easy 2.5-mile trail meanders through mountain laurel and native rhododendron groves and into the mountains, over a narrow wooden bridge to the 80-foot falls. It’s one of the more popular waterfall trails, plan on starting your hike early to avoid most of the crowd. And this is also a great spot to see a black bear, so keep an eye out!
Trillium Gap Trailhead or Rainbow Falls Trailhead
There are so many great hikes in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, but we like the hike to Grotto Falls because it’s one of the few waterfalls where you can walk behind the falls. An easy-to-moderate hike, Grotto Falls is located off the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail (a beautiful driving trail with amazing scenery) and is a short hike of about 1.3 miles (one way) and a slow elevation gain of less than 600 feet. It’s a great hike for kids with a nice, wide path that winds through old-growth eastern hemlock trees as you near the waterfall. Grotto Falls is another popular trail, so get there early. Spring is the best time for this hike, when the white violets, white and yellow trillium, and Dutchman’s breeches are in bloom. It, too, is a great spot to see black bears, so be aware!
A Few Notes for Your Hiking Trip
We have just a few things to mention while you’re getting ready to start your hike. Keep to the paved or marked pathways. Steep drop-offs along the way may not be visible until it’s too late, and the rocks can be slippery. Wear close-toed shoes with good traction, and layer your clothing. It will get colder the higher you hike, and it’s better to have to carry that extra jacket in your pack than spend the afternoon shivering. Keep an eye on the weather, it can change drastically very quickly. Be sure to pack some raingear just in case.
And lastly, be on the lookout for black bears and other wildlife. Do not approach a bear, or any other wildlife for that matter, and stay at least 50 yards away. Please don’t feed the wildlife, and pack out whatever you packed in. Oh, and don’t forget your camera! You’re going to be hiking along some of the most scenic trails in the country.
Where to Stay When Enjoying Hiking Near Pigeon Forge
After all that hiking near Pigeon Forge, you are going to need a good place to rest up. The Cabin Rental Store has some truly wonderful rental homes in the Great Smoky Mountains. Our cabins are rustic on the outside and modern on the inside. Our homes go fast, so give us a call today!