Ramsey Cascades Hike Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Hiking National Park Tennessee

7 Must Hike Trails In The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of my favorite places in the world. Since it is so close to home, I have been lucky enough to spend my free time exploring the park. With more than 800 miles of trails throughout the park, it might be difficult to decide which trails are worth your time. I’ve come up with 7 of my favorite must hike trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Must Hike Trails In The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

7 Must Hike Trails In The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

#1 – Ramsey Cascades

Roundtrip Length: 8 miles

Location: Greenbrier

This is one of my new favorite hikes. Ramsey Cascades is quite impressive. The hike itself is a beaut with old growth all over the place. It’s a more lengthy hike, but I like how it is not as crowded as some of the other ones on the list. Read more about my hike to Ramsey Cascades.

Ramsey Cascades Hike Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Ramsey Cascades

#2 – Mount LeConte via Alum Cave

Roundtrip Length: 11 miles

Location: Newfound Gap Road

Mount LeConte is one of the most iconic hikes in The Smokies. It was on my bucket list for a long time, but it took me a while to actually hike it because I was worried about the length. 11 miles is a lot to hike in one day, but it is 100% worth it! The views at the top are hard to beat. This was probably the most rewarding hike that I have completed in The Smokies, and I highly recommend it. Read more about my hike to Mount LeConte.

Mount LeConte Hike Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Mount LeConte

#3 – Chimney Tops

Roundtrip Length: 3.8 miles

Location: Newfound Gap Road

The Chimney Tops Trail is a great day hike. It’s short, challenging, and has amazing views at the top! Unfortunately, the fires last year caused a lot of damage to the trail. The actual Chimney Tops remain closed due to fire damage, but they have reopened the trail with a new platform to enjoy the views. Climbing to the top of the Chimney Tops was my favorite part of this hike, so I hope they will be open again in the future. Read more about my hike to Chimney Tops.

Chimney Tops Trail Great Smoky Mountains

Part of the Chimney Tops Trail

#4 – Rainbow Falls

Roundtrip Length: 5.4 miles

Location: Roaring Fork Motor Trail, Gatlinburg Area

Rainbow Falls is a fun hike to a beautiful waterfall. You have to drive the Roaring Fork Motor Trail to get to the trailhead, which is a nice drive itself. The hike is moderate with nice mountain scenery that is typical in The Smokies. This is a rewarding day hike that is good for any skill level. (Tip: Don’t hike this trail when it’s frozen and you are wearing tennis shoes. You probably won’t enjoy it as much.)

Frozen Rainbow Falls Great Smoky Mountains

Frozen Rainbow Falls

#5 – Abrams Falls

Roundtrip Length: 5.2

Location: Cades Cove

Abrams Falls is another beautiful waterfall hike and is located in Cades Cove. You will have to drive about halfway through the Cades Cove loop to reach the trailhead. This is a very enjoyable hike in one of the prettiest spots in the park. What’s not to love about a rewarding hike to a beautiful waterfall?

#6 – Spruce Flats Falls

Roundtrip Length: 2 miles

Location: Tremont

Spruce Flats Falls is a short hike with an impressive waterfall. This is a great hike to complete anytime of the year (we hiked it when it was super cold and the waterfall was half frozen). It’s also great for any skill level. Read more about my hike to Spruce Flats Falls.

Half Frozen Spruce Flats Falls

Half Frozen Spruce Flats Falls

#7 – Little River Trail

Roundtrip Length: 4.9 miles

Location: Elkmont

The Little River Trail is definitely a unique hike. There are a handful of old cottages near the entrance of the trail, which are pretty neat to check out. It’s an easy and beautiful hike that follows the Little River. You can read more about the Little River Trail here.

Little River Trail Great Smoky Mountains

Little River TrailĀ 

Well, there you have it! Some of my personal favorite hikes that I hope are now on your bucket list as must hike trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Hannah Bubp
<p>Hannah Bubp lives in Knoxville, TN with her husband, Kyle, and their two dogs. They will be welcoming a new addition to the family, a baby girl, this October. She is a professional photographer who spends her free time writing, hiking, cooking, and exploring beautiful East Tennessee and beyond.</p>

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