Top 4 Family Friendly Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains
When spending a family vacation in Pigeon Forge, be sure to plan at least one day to enjoy the hiking trails at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! This is the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Smokies and experience some of the hidden wonders of the park, ranging from amazing historical structures to majestic waterfalls! Here are the top 4 family friendly hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains:
1. Gatlinburg Trail
The Gatlinburg Trail is a popular hiking destination for families because it is relatively flat and starts right on the outskirts of downtown Gatlinburg! The trail travels for 1.9 miles one way to Sugarlands Visitor Center, where you can pick up a park map, browse through the bookstore and enjoy some natural history exhibits! While strolling along the Gatlinburg Trail, you’ll love the beautiful views of the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River and the lovely forest setting. There are also foundations and chimneys of several old homesites visible along the trail!
2. Porters Creek Trail
The Porters Creek Trail is situated in the Greenbrier section of the National Park, which is renowned for its gorgeous wildflowers in the spring months! The trail itself is beautiful all year long and features just about everything you would want to see in the park, including a waterfall, creek and even the remains of an old Greenbrier Cove settlement! The 4-mile round trip hike will take you past Fern Branch Falls, which is actually a series of cascades nearly 40 feet tall! While you can turn back here, you can also continue forward to see where the Porters Creek community settled in the early 1900s!
3. Cades Cove Nature Trail
Another one of the family-friendly hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains is the Cades Cove Nature Trail, which is located about 7 miles into the Cades Cove Loop Road. This easy 2-mile trail offers an excellent opportunity to stretch your legs while driving along the loop road and runs in a circle so you’ll end up right back where you started! The Cades Cove Nature Trail takes you past some of the most stunning scenery in the park and you may even spot some of the park’s famous wildlife, including black bears and white-tailed deer!
4. Laurel Falls Trail
When it comes to the top family friendly hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains, you won’t want to miss the Laurel Falls Trail! This popular trail is just 3.5 miles from the Sugarlands Visitor Center and is a relatively short hike at just 2.3 miles roundtrip. The jewel of the hike is the 80-foot tall waterfall known as Laurel Falls, named after the mountain evergreen shrub that blooms along the trail in May. The waterfall consists of an upper and lower section divided by a walkway that crosses Laurel Branch at the base of the upper falls, making it a fantastic place for photos!
Check out all of the rooms at our hotel in Pigeon Forge TN today to stay close to all of these awesome hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains! We look forward to welcoming your family to the Smokies!