Your Guide to the Best Spring Hiking Trails in the Smoky Mountains
Spring is an incredible time to come explore the hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains! You’ll see wildflowers scattered across the forest floor, new buds forming on the trees, and you might just be lucky enough to catch a glimpse at a black bear! If you want to know about the best trails to hike during this time of year based on which month you’re visiting, we’ve put together a guide just for you!
March is a fantastic time to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! You may get to see a little leftover snow from winter near the beginning of the month, but if you come somewhere in mid to late March, you’ll get to see the start of the spring blooms!
Porters Creek Trail
Porters Creek Trail is a great option if you’re in town during March! It’s an easy trail that is 4 miles round trip, and you’ll get to see historic sites, like the Elbert Centrell farmstead and John Messer’s farm site. Anyone on the hunt for wildflowers will want to keep an eye out for violets, bloodroot, hepaticas, white trillium, and so much more. As spring stretches into April and May, some other wildflowers you’ll get to see include wild geranium, foam flower, blue phlox, and Jack-in-the-pulpits.
Little River Trail
Another hiking trail in the Smoky Mountains you’ll want to explore in March is Little River Trail. It is moderate with a round trip length of 5 miles. The path follows along an old railroad bed and the Little River itself. Wildflowers start to bloom in mid March into April, and some of them you should keep an eye out for include yellow trillium, stonecrop, and umbrella leaf.
In April, the wildflowers really start to bloom and fill out the forest floor. These are some of the top trails you should explore when you’re in the Smokies during this month.
Middle Prong Trail
If you want to take in beautiful wildflowers and waterfalls this spring, Middle Prong Trail is the one for you! The whole trail is 8.3 miles round trip and will take you all the way to Indian Flats Falls. But you don’t have to hike the entire trail to see one! About 1 mile in, you’ll come up on Lower Lynn Camp Falls and Lynn Camp Falls. As you continue on the trail, you may spot foamflower, toothwort, violets, wood sorrel, and trilliums.
Cove Hardwood Self-Guided Nature Trail
An easy hiking trail in the Smoky Mountains that rewards explorers with gorgeous views of foliage is the Cove Hardwood Self-Guided Nature Trail. The round trip length is three quarters of a mile, and the best time to see wildflowers on this trail is late April. You may spot wild ginger, Dutchman’s breeches, and white fringed phacelia.
May is beautiful all throughout the park because the leaves on the trees have started to fill out and the sun is typically shining. But if you want to get out on the trails, you should check out these top hikes in May.
Schoolhouse Gap Trail
Schoolhouse Gap Trail is an easy hike that is 3.8 miles round trip. It’s known for bear activity, so keep an eye out for these wild creatures and know how to stay safe! As you travel along the trail, you’ll see Virginia bluebells, beaked violets, pink lady’s slippers, and much more. There’s also creeks, an old boar trap that’s cool to see, and a secret cave!
Cosby Nature Trail
Cosby Nature Trail is an incredible hike located in the Cosby Campground. It is considered easy at 1 mile round trip, and provides visitors with a huge variety of wildflowers in April and May. You’ll spot Vasey’s trillium, squirrel corn, brook lettuce, and much more.
You can’t go wrong exploring any of these hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains this spring. The wildflowers will be breathtaking, and you’ll get to have fun making your way through the national park! Thinking about coming back in the summer? Don’t miss these summer wildflower hikes in the Smokies too!