Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a nature lover’s dream as there are a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy, especially since this town is the gateway to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Everything from fishing to hiking to whitewater rafting in Gatlinburg is available to guests.

Rafting in Gatlinburg

Summer is a fantastic time of year to try rafting in Gatlinburg.  This Smoky Mountain vacation addition is a thrilling good time. In addition, it’s extremely affordable due to steep discounts from Gatlinburg rafting companies.

Current Deals on Rafting in Gatlinburg

 

Many of the whitewater rafting companies are located in Hartford, Tennessee, which is located about 45 minutes northeast of Gatlinburg. The area is home to the Pigeon River, which follows the eastern boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains. It is a beautiful place to visit, and provides a gorgeous setting for a Smoky Mountain rafting trip.

Visitors can choose to go on a moderate, kid-friendly adventure or can up the ante a bit and go on a more thrilling adventure that includes Class III & IV rapids. The Lower Pigeon River area is suitable for children 3 years and older, and for those that weigh less than 70 pounds. The Upper Pigeon River is for passengers 8 years and older, as it features the higher class rapids.

Other outdoor adventures that await visitors to Gatlinburg include Fishing in the Smokies, horseback riding at Five Oaks Riding Stables and ziplining in Gatlinburg. A few of the ziplining options include Adventure America Ziplines and Adventure Park Ziplines.

Reserve your Gatlinburg vacation today to experience all of the outdoor fun available!


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

When you visit Gatlinburg, Tennessee you’re going to want to explore The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The best way to do so is to lace up your hiking shoes and hit the trails.  To help you on your way, put this concise list of Gatlinburg hiking tips to use.  Read on to learn the need-to-know basics about Gatlinburg hikes.

Gatlinburg Hiking Tips (Hiking_465912421)

5 Helpful Gatlinburg Hiking Tips

1) Bring Plenty of Water
I suggest a minimum of two quarts per person per day.  Never drink out of local streams.  Seriously.  You might think those mountain streams will quench your thirsts but they’ll only delay your further days of exploration.

2) Wear Appropriate Footwear
Hiking shoes or boots are recommended, but even sturdy sneakers will work for short hikes.  Whatever you do, don’t wear flip flops or sandals.  You’ll slip and slide across the terrain and might end up hurting yourself.  Not a fun thing to do on vacation!

3) Dress in Layers
This is especially true when you hike trails with elevation gains, as the weather can cool down unexpectedly.  Wear layers that can be easily removed or added, so you can be comfortable throughout the duration of your Gatlinburg hike.  Packing a light rain jacked is helpful, too, as you never know when a Smoky Mountain rain shower might pop up.

4) Bring a Backpack
Fill it with some of the above items such as water and rain gear, but be sure to pack snacks, sunscreen, bug repellent, a camera, a first aid kit and even a flashlight so you’re fully prepared for your day of discovery.

5) Stop by a Visitor Center
Visitor center’s are useful resources for anyone planning a an outdoor trek in Gatlinburg. For instance, you can pick up a trail guide at locations like Sugarlands Visitor Center.  Trust me, it’ll be useful.  If you’re like me, you’re dependent upon your cellphone for information in everyday life.  On the trails of the Smoky Mountains, though, you will not get reception.  Plan accordingly.

Follow these hiking tips and you’re sure to have an enjoyable experience in the Smoky Mountains.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

The Smoky Mountains are beautiful any time of year. That said, the springtime is a favorite for the blooming, budding and bountiful activities the outdoors present. Read my top five reasons to visit the Smoky Mountains in spring and you’ll be convinced to travel to the Gatlinburg. Right now.

Smoky Mountains in Spring

1) Fewer Crowds
April and May are prime time to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as crowds are small. This makes hiking and viewing wildlife more enjoyable. Plus, the scenic views offered during the Smoky Mountains in spring are even prettier when they’re private.

2) Wildflowers in Bloom
The Smokies host an annual Wildflower Pilgrimage April 23-27, but the entire months of April and May are beautiful times to see the Smokies in bloom. Blossoms include orchids, irises, violets, and 1,500 other wildflower species.

3) Seasonable Weather
Temperate weather in the 70s makes trekking the great outdoors of the Smoky Mountains comfortable. Summer weather can sometimes get fairly warm, so April and May are the perfect time to visit.

???????????????????????????????????????????????4) Black Bears
The Smokies are known for their black bears and during the spring time, they come out of hibernation. Now is a wonderful time to see cubs in the wild.

5) Fishing
Fishing is an angler’s dream during the spring, especially in May. You’re sure to reel in a catch, with brown trout, brook trout, and rainbow trout biting.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Hiking to Grotto Falls is a unique experience as it’s the only waterfall in the Smokies you can stand behind.  Plus, the location of Grotto Falls trail is minutes out of Gatlinburg off the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, so make it the first stop on a day trip into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Ready to learn more about hiking to Grotto Falls?  Read on.

Grotto Falls Trail

Trailhead

To access the trailhead for the Grotto Falls trail, turn onto Historic Nature Trail/Airport Road at Traffic Light #8 in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Make your way to Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.  The parking lot for the trail is located on the left hand side of the road, about 5 miles from Traffic Light #8. 

The Hike

The length of the hike is relatively short–2.6 miles roundtrip–and is considered an easy one as the elevations gains are minimal.  To reach Grotto Falls you’ll follow the Trillium Gap Trail for most of the way.  Many large hemlock trees can be seen during this hike, which meanders though a beautiful old-growth forest.  Well-worn and easy to follow, the trail to the falls crosses four small streams (without any foot bridges) so be sure to wear waterproof shoes.  Around mile 1.2 hikers will notice a small cascade, with Grotto Falls coming into view just beyond this point. 

Grotto Falls

Once you reach Grotto Falls, climb behind the waterfall and bask in the shady and cool retreat the waterfall provides.  Tumbling 25-feet, the falls are an enjoyable place to visit not only for the views but for the exploration available.  Where else can you walk behind a waterfall and enjoy the perspective from the other side?  It truly is a unique experience and well worth the short hike.

Springtime Surprise 

If you visit in May, you’re in for a real treat.  A variety of wildflowers will be in bloom, including white violets, yellow trillium and Dutchman’s breeches.

Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Get ready for mountains of winter fun at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort. The Gatlinburg attraction is your home for all ski sports. With tubing and skiing available, plus an on-site ski rental shop and instructors on site, Ober Gatlinburg caters to every visitors needs ensuring they have a spectacular time on the slopes.

Put on your snow bunny suit and hit the slopes of Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort. Activities include:

Skiing and Snowboarding
Ski and snowboard one nine trails, serviced by two quads, one double and one surface lift. The set-up means you hardly ever have to wait in line and can spend more time on the slopes. Various trails also appeal to an array of skill levels, from beginner to expert. Full day ski and lift tickets range from $30-$55, while special twilight tickets are available for $25-55.

Snow Tubing
If you or your family members aren’t up for skiing, try snow tubing. It’s an easy yet enjoyable activity for ages 3 and older. At Ober, you’re allotted a 1 hour and 30 minute session. During this time, you can tube down the mountain as much as you please. It’s as much fun as sledding, without the hassle of having to walk back up hill. Tickets for this activity do sell out. Reservations aren’t accepted so be sure to get to the mountain early! Should the session you wish to tube be sold out when you arrive, you may purchase a session for later in the day or the next day if space is available. Cost ranges from $20-25.

Ice Skating
When you’re ready to warm up, make your way inside for ice skating. For only $9, you can skate to your heart’s content for three hours. Grab a cup of cocoa, a snack, then lace up your skates on Ober Gatlinburg’s Ski Resort huge indoor ice arena.

Thanks to a state-of-the-art snowmaking system, this winter sports headquarters has snow as soon as the temperatures drop. All slopes are coated with artificial snow until Spring 2016. If the real stuff falls, even better!

Don’t have any snow gear? Don’t worry about it! Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort has a full rental facility. Almost 2,000 pairs of skis and 400 snowboards, as well as ski pants, jackets and helmets are available to rent. Plus, the trained staff can help gear you up so you’re ready for winter fun!

Before you take to the slopes at this unique attraction in Gatlinburg, get a birds-eye-view of the area by taking the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. The tram departs every 20 minutes for the 10-minute journey up the mountain.

Please note: On average, the slopes are open early to mid December and close in early to mid March. Exact opening and closing dates for the ski slopes are determined by Mother Nature.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Eager to see fall foliage in the Smoky Mountains? One of the best ways to tour the Gatlinburg area while viewing brilliant autumn color is with a scenic drive. You’ll be able to cover a wide stretch of land, crisscrossing mountains, valleys and vistas discovering a new scene at every turn. Follow these scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains to enjoy the colors of autumn.

Roaring Fork 163730579 scenic drives in the smoky mountains

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

Auto-tour this one-way loop road to take in historic and scenic sites. Highlights of the trail include wildlife watching, historic log cabins, streams and optional hikes. While driving this route be sure to stop at the Noah “Bud” Ogle Cabin to see the rustic structure framed in fall color. Then, continue along Roaring Fork Motor Nature Rail through thick, vibrant forests. Available hikes include the 2.6 mile roundtrip Grotto Falls and 5.4 mile roundtrip hike to Rainbow Falls.

Directions: Turn at Stoplight #8 off the Parkway in Downtown Gatlinburg onto Historic Nature Trail-Airport Rd.

Blue Ridge Parkway 134579706 scenic drives in the smoky mountains

Blue Ridge Parkway

Starting at the Cherokee Indian Reservation, this auto-tour gives a glimpse of the North Carolina side of the Smoky Mountains. The scenic route follows the crest of the mountains, with frequent parking areas along the way for motorists to enjoy the view. For Gatlinburg visitors, getting to the Blue Ridge Parkway is long, but its excellent vistas are worth it.

Directions: Turn onto the Blue Ridge Parkway, just north of Cherokee, NC on US 441. The Parkway is near the entrance to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Newfound Gap Road 462399331 scenic drives in the smoky mountains

Newfound Gap Road

Newfound Gap is one of the original scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains. In 1872, it was discovered to be the lowest drivable pass through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ever since, people have been traversing this route en masse.

Follow this stretch of road to travel straight through the heart of the Smoky Mountains. The 33-mile stretch climbs all the way to the top Newfound Gap, offering spectacular views along the way. In addition, there are several pull-offs with panoramic views of the mountains dotting the highway. For this reason, and many others, Newfound Gap Road is the most popular auto-tour in the Smokies. Further, there is an optional hike to Clingman’s Dome, Tennessee’s highest peak, available on this route.

Directions: From Gatlinburg, take Hwy 441 through The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The drive ends in Cherokee, NC, although you can turn around at different locations on Hwy 441.

Cades Cove 452361587 scenic drives in the smoky mountains

Cades Cove Loop Road

A one-lane, paved scenic drive through Cades Cove valley offers views of the area prior to the creation of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 11-mile loop provides wonderful opportunities to view wildlife, including bears and deer, and historic structures likes cabins and churches. Likewise, access to Abrams Falls hike is located off the loop. All in all, you can make a full day of it as Cades Cove Loop is open sundown until sunrise

Directions: Located about 27 miles from Gatlinburg, off Laurel Creek Road.

Choose any of these scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains for magnificent views of the mountains and valleys of this one-of-a-kind landscape.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Autumn is one of the most scenic times of year to hike in the Smoky Mountains.  The bright colors of fall are painted across mountains and valleys, creating a setting that beckons one to explore.  With over 500,000 acres comprising the Great Smoky Mountains National Park choosing where to hike and sight see can be a bit overwhelming.  Use this helpful list of the best fall hikes in the Smoky Mountains to get a head start on your journey.

Fall hikes in the smoky mountains

Best Smoky Mountain Hikes to See Fall Foliage

Albright Grove Loop Trail
Trail Location – Cosby
Distance – 7 miles roundtrip
Difficulty – Strenuous

An excellent example of a hardwood forest, Albright Grove is one of the most diverse forests in America. Hiking here during the fall offers a rich blend of different colors and foliage. Plus, come of the oldest and tallest trees in the Smokies are found along the way.

Alum Cave Flickr CC hikes in the smoky mountains

Alum Cave Trail: Flickr/Daveynin

Alum Cave Trail
Trail Location – Gatlinburg
Distance – 5 miles roundtrip
Difficulty – Moderately Strenuous

Hikes in the Smoky Mountains don’t get much better than Alum Cave Trail. With an elevation of almost 5,000 feet, Alum Cave Trail offers outstanding views of the Smoky Mountains. Sweeping views of Little Duck Hawk Ridge to the west and Myrtle Point to the Northeast give hikers quite the reward.

1280px-Leaf-Colors-at-Newfound-Gap-NPS1 RSZ hikes in the smoky mountains

View from the Appalchian Trail

Appalachian Trail
Trail Location – Clingmans Dome or Newfound Gap Road
Distance – Varies
Difficulty – Moderate

I recommend hiking the 7.5 mile section of the Appalachian Trail located from Clingman’s Dome to Newfound Gap.  Canvassed with color, the peaks and valleys you pass through are a true highlight this time of year.

Roaring Fork 163730579 RSZ

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a favorite route for fall color

Baskins Creek Falls
Trail Location – Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Distance – 3 miles roundtrip
Difficulty – Easy

Hike to Baskins Creek Falls to enjoy a canopy of fall foliage complemented by a two-tiered, 40 foot waterfall.

639px-Littleriver Wiki hikes in the smoky mountains

The Little River Trail follows the river of the same name: By Brian Stansberry via Wikimedia Commons

Little River Trail
Trail location – Elkmont
Distance – 4.9 miles roundtrip
Difficulty – Moderate

History and outdoor beauty combine at the Little River Trail. The entire length of the trail hugs a river of the same name, with a slow elevation gain making it an easy climb.

1024px-Sterling-from-cammerer-nc1 hikes in the smoky mountains

Mount Sterling, looking south from the Mount Cammerer lookout: By Brian Stansberry via Wikimedia Commons

Mt. Cammerer
Trail Location – Cosby
Distance – 12 miles roundtrip
Difficulty – Strenuous

If you’re up for a challenge the 12 mile roundtrip hike to the summit of Mt. Cammerer is a fantastic fall hike. The summit offers exceptional views of peaks and valleys; Some say they’re the best in the National Park.

Mountain ridges glow with autumn color, Great Smoky Mountains National Park hikes in the smoky mountains

Mountain ridges glow with autumn color, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Mt. LeConte
Trail Location – Newfound Gap Road
Distance – 11 miles roundtrip
Difficulty – Strenuous

Mt. LeConte rises 6,593 feet, making it the third highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains. The reward at the top are endless views. In addition, the hike can be combined with Alum Cave so you get two experiences in one.

Fall 001 Pixabay RSZ

A walk through the woods doesn’t get prettier than this!

Old Settlers Trail
Trail Location – Greenbrier
Distance – 17 miles one way
Difficulty – Moderate

Old homesteads and a diverse collection of flora and fauna make the Old Settlers Trail a unique fall hike.

Porters Creek Trail Facebook hikes in the smoky mountains

An old homestead on Porters Creek Trail: Robyn Barbee Malone/Facebook

Porters Creek Trail
Trail Location – Greenbrier
Distance – 4 miles roundtrip
Difficulty – Moderate

A variety of scenery, including historic sites, waterfalls and a meandering stream, create an easy yet rewarding Smoky Mountain hike.

Smokies

Even driving to the best hikes in the Smoky Mountains is beautiful

Sugarland Mountain Trail
Trail Location – Clingmans Dome Road
Distance – 7 miles roundtrip
Difficulty – Moderate

The Sugarland Mountain Trail follows the ridge between Clingmans Dome and Little River Road. Peaceful and pristine, the forest here features a wonderful walk through the bright leaves of fall.

The Mountains are Calling

Get outside this autumn and see the splendor of Mother Nature.  The entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just minutes away from Gatlinburg, so you can easily access the best fall hikes in the Smoky Mountains.

Be sure to headquarter yourself inGatlinburg, Tennessee for easy access to all trails.  River Terrace Resort, Glenstone Lodge, Old Creek Lodge and Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort are a few nearby lodging options.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Pigeon Forge to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Autumn is a beautiful time to visit Gatlinburg. The area celebrates with Harvest Festivals, special events and of course, the area is ablaze with color as the fall foliage turns bright oranges, yellows and reds. One of the best places to experience the splendor of fall is at Biltmore Estate. Located a short drive away in Asheville, the massive estate becomes even more enchanting painted with autumnal color. What should you do during fall at Biltmore Estate? Follow this list to create the perfect fall day.

Fall at Biltmore Estate FB 1RSZ

Biltmore Estate/Facebook

5 Reasons Fall at Biltmore Estate is the Best

1) Scenic Views
There are fabulous scenic views of the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding the Estate, but the best are viewed from the back terrace. A rolling back lawn leads to mountain peaks and forest groves. As a result, the views here are vibrantly alive with the signs of autumn.

Fall at Biltmore Estate Facebook 004

Biltmore Esate/Facebook

2) Estate Gardens
The estate gardens offer gorgeous sights, with thousands of colorful mums as far as the eye can see. Likewise, the bright, floral colors of fall set the scene as do the seasonal pumpkins and gourds.

Fall at Biltmore Estate Facebook 003

Biltmore Estate/Facebook

3) Fall Harvest Dinner
Attend the special Fall Harvest Dinner on October 31, 2016, to enjoy a fall celebration dinner created from foods gathered from the Biltmore fields and vineyards. Before the dinner, which is $99 per person, all attendees are invited to socialize around the bonfire with live music, lawn games and beer and wine. Call 800-411-3812 to reserve.

Fall at Biltmore Estate

Biltmore/Facebook

4) Outdoor Activities
Get up close to the autumnal colors on display during fall at Biltmore Estate with outdoor activities. For example, you can go horseback riding, cycle around the grounds, paddle a canoe, and take to the trails for a hike. Overall, the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate provides the perfect playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

Fall at Biltmore Estate Facebook 002

Biltmore Estate/Facebook

5) Wine Tours
Explore how Biltmore grapes become award-winning wines. Likewise, visit areas on the estate not normally seen by guests, including a trip to the vineyards and a walking production tour. Moreover, you can sample wine tastings throughout the tour and conclude with a grand tasting. As a rule, visitors must purchase tickets by 11:00 a.m. on the day of the tour. Available Saturdays and Sundays at 1:45 pm. Cost: $85 per person. This Vine to Wine tour is available through October 31, 201, only.

Your Biltmore Estate tickets includes access to the Biltmore House plus all-day access to the gardens, the new Antler Hill Village—featuring the Winery, The Biltmore Legacy, Village Green, and Farm, as well as shopping and dining, and free parking.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Autumn in the Great Smoky Mountains is a beautiful time of year.  The mountains and valleys are painted with stunning colors that light up the Smokies.  Curious about when you should visit Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge to see the magnificent Fall colors?  Follow this guide to find the best time to see Smoky Mountain fall colors. 

Smoky Mountain Fall Colors

When Do Fall Colors Peak?

September
Fall in the Smokies begins in September, with the emerging changes occurring above 4,000 feet. Red, orange and yellow colors can be seen on sourwood, dogwood, maple, sassafras and birch trees.  Drives recommended for September viewing are Parsons Branch Road, Newfound Gap Road and Clingmans Dome Road.

Smoky Mountain Fall Colors
Early October
Be the beginning of October the mountains of the Smokies are awash in brilliant color.  To see the bold yellows of the American beech and yellow birch to the rich reds on mountain ash, pin cherry and mountain maple trees, the viewing is best on roads including Newfound Gap Road, Heintooga Ridge Road, Foothills Parkway and Rich Mountain Road in Cades Cove. 
Mid-October
In mid-October, the Great Smoky Mountains are about a week away from peak color of the lower elevations.  However, the valleys and higher elevations are at a peak.  They are painted with bold reds from black gum, dogwoods, sumac and sourwood trees and golds from the tulip tree, black walnut, birch, beech and hickories.   Recommended scenic drives include Cove Creek Road, Balsam Mountain Road, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Foothills Parkway and Newfound Gap Road.
Smoky Mountain Fall Colors
Late October
The peak colors are very impressive in late October.   From low to high elevations, the marvelous colors of fall are on full display across the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Generally speaking, it is not unusual to see autumn color last through the mid-November.  Suggested drives are Blue Ridge Parkway, Foothills Parkway and Heintooga Ridge Road to Balsam Mountain. 

Experience Smoky Mountain Fall Colors

Reserve a Smoky Mountain vacation today to experience autumn in the Smokies. There are a wide range of Gatlinburg vacation packages available or you can create your own package.  Either option allows you to see the splendor of the Smokies in all their beauty. 

Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Hiking is one of the best ways to see the sights of the Smoky Mountains.  Visitors on a Gatlinburg vacation will find a variety of trails to hike, all of which explore a different region of the National Park.  Some of the most-travelled Gatlinburg hikes are also fairly long, which might not be ideal.  Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of the best easy hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Lace up your hiking boots and discover these trails.

Laurel Falls

Laurel Falls

1) Laurel Falls
This hike is a popular one as the trail is paved is only 2.3 miles roundtrip. Even though you must hike uphill to reach the falls, the elevation gain is gradual and there are several places to stop if needed.  You’re rewarded with a gorgeous 80-foot waterfall.  Snap some keepsake photos and stop to soak up the scenery.  Then, the hike back is a breeze as its all downhill.

Andrews Bald CC

Andrews Bald/The Great Smokies

2) Andrews Bald
At only 1.7 miles in length (one-way), this hike is one of the shortest in the National Park that also features fantastic views of the Southern Smoky Mountains.  Due to improvements to the trail, it is far less rugged than it used to be meaning families with kids can enjoy the hike too.  Once you reach the top, there are several acres of open, grassy meadow – also known as balds in Appalachia country.  Sit down, relax, and take in the panoramic vistas surrounding you.

Grotto Falls

Grotto Falls

3) Grotto Falls
Grotto Falls is choice Gatlinburg hike as it is home to the only waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that a person can actually walk behind.  The 2.6 mile roundtrip trail is a wide, gentle path easy for all ranges of hikers.  Plus, once you reach the falls you can cool off in the mist of the Grotto!

Indian Creek Falls

Indian Creek Falls

4) Indian Creek Falls
Hikers are in for a real treat as not only do they get to see the 45-foot waterfall Indian Creek Falls on this hike, but they’ll also pass by the 80-foot Toms Branch Falls along the way.  This trail is also historic, as it is one of the first constructed in the early 1930s.  At only 1.9 miles roundtrip, and a very minimal elevation gain, this is one of the easiest hikes in the Smokies.

Little River Trail

Little River Trail: Wikipedia/Brian Stansberry

5) Little River Trail
The length of this 4.9 mile roundtrip hike is a gentle climb along an old gravel road paralleling the Little River.  This makes for beautiful sights, like cascading streams and several waterfalls.  It is also an excellent hike for wildflower viewing in the spring.  Add sights like historic cabins to the scenery and it’s easy to see why this hike is popular.

Walker Sisters Cabin on Little Brier Gap Trail

Walker Sisters Cabin on Little Brier Gap Trail

6) Little Brier Gap Trail (Walkers Sisters Place)
You can hike and get a history lesson on this hike.  The Walker Sisters were some of the last holdouts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park takeover.  They refused to sell their 123-acre farm to the national park, and were able to maintain their traditional mountain life into the 1960s.  This trail, which is relatively short at 2.6 miles, follows the Little Brier Branch stream and is a wide, mostly flat hike.  Plus, you’ll see a historic schoolhouse and old homestead.   

Abrams Falls At Cades Cove In The Great Smoky Mountain National Park taken with a slow shutter speed to blur the water motion

Abrams Falls

7) Abrams Falls
Even though this hike is 5 miles roundtrip, it is also one of the most popular as its elevations gains are gradual and the end sight – Abrams Falls – is a sweet reward.  The trail to the falls traverses pine-oak forest on the ridges and hemlock and rhododendron forest along the creek.  The actual falls is famous for its large volume of water, which more than makes up for its lack of height (20 feet).

These easy hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains will give you great access to scenic sights, from waterfalls to vistas to historic cabins. When you’re ready to hit the trails, now you know where to go!


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.