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Top 5 Places to Go Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains

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ramsey cascades

If you love to hike, then you have to check out some of the best places to go hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. You can see waterfalls, mountain views, and many other natural features people love to experience. You won’t want to miss out on these incredible hikes! Look at these top 5 places to go hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains:

1. Alum Cave Trail

alum cave bluff in the smoky mountainsAlum Cave Trail is one of the best trails to hike in the Smokies. It is considered moderate and is 4.4 miles roundtrip. For the first portion of the trail, you will follow Alum Cave Creek. A little over a mile in, you will reach Arch Rock, a huge rock formation where you will climb rock stairs. At a little over 2 miles, you’ll reach the concave bluff, which is about 500 feet wide and 80 feet tall. You’ll also have beautiful views of the mountains and surrounding woods. If you keep following the trail, you can reach the summit of Mt. LeConte!

2. Ramsey Cascades

Do you love seeing waterfalls? The largest is Ramsey Cascades, which is an 8-mile roundtrip trail. It is considered difficult because of the terrain and 2,200-foot elevation gain. Along the trail, you will see some of the largest trees in the national park. It was one of the only areas where logging wasn’t permitted. You will cross footbridges over creeks and see all kinds of native plants. Finally around the 4 mile mark, you will come to the cascades. They are 100 feet tall, and water rushes over multiple tiers of rocks.

3. Andrews Bald

andrews bald in the smoky mountainsWant to see beautiful mountain views? You should hike Andrews Bald. This trail is 3.5 miles roundtrip and considered moderate. You’ll make your way through a spruce and fir tree forest, and then you will eventually reach the bald. A bald is a grassy meadow on top of a mountain. It is not known if this is a natural bald or a manmade one. Many people love hiking to this spot and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy the incredible mountain views and flame azalea in the area.

4. Grotto Falls

Another great place to go hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains to see a waterfall is Grotto Falls. This trail is considered moderate and is 2.6 miles roundtrip. You’ll hike alongside the creek for most of the trail and have beautiful views of the forest. Once you reach the falls, you’ll see the 25-foot-tall waterfall. Grotto Falls is unique because it is one of the only waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park you can walk behind. If you decide to walk behind the falls, please use caution since algae and mist make this area slippery.

5. Little River Trail

little river trail in the smoky mountainsA pretty simple trail you should do is the Little River Trail. It is considered moderate and is about 5 miles roundtrip. You’ll hike alongside the creek and even see cascades. There are old cottages that were used by wealthy families as a getaway back in the day. Little River Trail is a great hike, especially if you want to see wildflowers. There are rhododendron, crested dwarf iris, yellow trillium, and much more.

Any of these trails are great for hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. Since you know what you will do when you visit the national park, you just need a place to stay! Look through our available Smoky Mountain cabins and start planning your trip today!