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Top 4 Family Friendly Hikes in the Smoky Mountains

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Laurel Falls

Hiking in the Smoky Mountains is both good exercise and a way to experience nature in the area. However, if you have young children it can be hard to find a hike that they are able to do and enjoy. Luckily, the Smoky Mountains have many hiking trails that are suitable for people of all ages. Here are 4 of the best family friendly hikes in the Smoky Mountains:

1. Porters Creek Trail

Porters Creek Trail makes the list of best family friendly hikes for two main reasons. First of all, the hike itself is not extremely difficult, which makes it easier for children. The roundtrip of this hike is only four miles, and is relatively flat compared to some of the other hikes in the Smoky Mountains. The other reason this is a great family hike is due to all the different things to see along the way, which makes it easier for children to stay engaged and entertained. On this short hike, you will see an old cemetery, a historic farm site, beautiful flowers, and even a waterfall! This trail is perfect for all times of the year, but is especially nice in the spring. During this time of year, one of the sections of the hike is covered with white wildflowers, which will be a great sight that every member of the family will enjoy!

2. Gatlinburg Trail

Gatlinburg TrailAccessible from the Sugarlands Visitor Center, the Gatlinburg Trail is the perfect venture for families with younger children. It is a paved walking path that is very level which makes walking it easy for all members of the family. The best feature of this hike is that it is one of only two trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that allows bicycles. Therefore, if you have older children and want to enjoy a nice family bike ride, you are able to do that on the Gatlinburg Trail. This hike also features beautiful views of the Pigeon River as well as history about the early settlers of the area.

3. Laurel Falls Trail

The hike to Laurel Falls is one of the most popular hikes the Smoky Mountains has to offer. The combination of scenery and the short distance makes this one of the best hikes for everyone in the family. At just 2.3 miles roundtrip, this hike is perfect for a quick afternoon hike before going to do other things in the area. While this is one of the shorter hikes in the Smoky Mountains, the prize at the end is also one of the best. Laurel Falls is an 80-foot waterfall divided into two sections by a walkway to get some amazing pictures. The combination of the shorter hike and the opportunity to see a beautiful waterfall makes this one of the best hikes for the whole family!

4. Baskins Creek Falls

Baskins Creek FallsWith a roundtrip length of only 3 miles and an easy rating, Baskins Creek Falls is another great hike for the entire family. The best features of this trail include the falls and Baskins Cemetery, which is a great historical site for kids! The elevation of this trail is manageable for people of all ages, and it levels out about a quarter of a mile in. The beauty of this hike is the 40-foot, two tiered Baskins Creek Falls. The views of the Smoky Mountains and the spectacular waterfall makes this one of the must do hikes in the area!

Where to Stay

Our cabins will put you in a prime location to access all the best family friendly hikes in the Smoky Mountains! Take a look at our Gatlinburg cabins and choose a place that will put you close to all the great hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains.