The Grotto Falls Hiking Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a fun and easy hike that is perfect for a weekend morning. It’s a short hike, totaling less than 3 miles roundtrip, and it’s great hike for any fitness level. The old growth forest and waterfall make this a rewarding hike. If you are feeling adventurous, you can continue hiking the Trillium Gap Trail all the way to Mount LeConte.
The Debord Falls Trail in Frozen Head State Park is an easy hike that is just a short drive from Knoxville. Kyle and I hiked this trail a really long time ago when we started dating. This time we took the pups and hiked it with my sister-in-law, Staci, and her dog, Moose. It’s a short hike, only .6 miles from the parking lot to the waterfall, so it’s perfect for the whole family.
If you read my post last week then you know that Kyle and I took a Weekend Getaway to the Tri-Cities Tennessee. I always like to take mini-vacations whenever possible. One of the main reasons I wanted to go to the Tri-Cities area was to hike the Hawksbill Mountain Trail in the Linville Gorge Wilderness. My co-worker told me about this hike and, after looking at the gorgeous pictures on Google, I knew I had to go check it out for myself. There are so many awesome hikes outside of Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that I have yet to experience, so I’m glad I got to check this one off the list.
The Hawksbill Mountain Trailhead is about a 3 hour drive from Knoxville and is part of the Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina. You could make it a day trip if you wanted, but I prefer not to drive that much in a day. The trail is about 2 miles round trip. It is a good hike for the whole family, doggies included.
Last weekend, Kyle and I hiked the Ramsey Cascades Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s an 8 mile, round trip hike that is moderate to strenuous. (I wouldn’t recommend this hike for beginners.) It’s located in the Greenbrier area of the park. I don’t typically visit the Greenbrier area, so it was pretty exciting to explore this part of the park. We completed the hike in 4 and a half hours. And we were pretty tired (and hungry) at the end of it.
This was my first time hiking the Ramsey Cascades Trail and I really enjoyed it. The Ramsey Cascades is the tallest waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hiking through some of the old growth forests reminded me of trails at Olympic National Park. (You can read my post and see pictures from our Olympic National Park trip here.) The waterfall and the old growth forests and definitely the best parts of this hike. The worst part? What seems like neverending stone steps leading up to the waterfall. Oh, and the last mile of the hike felt a lot longer than a mile. Still worth it, though!