The 5 Most Popular Hiking Trails in the Smoky Mountains

If you are making plans to visit the Great Smoky Mountains, you’ve probably wondered what the most popular trails are, right? Well, we are sharing the 5 most popular hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains below! After learning about each one, we know you will be ready to venture up one of these beautiful trails too!

1. Abrams Falls

It’s no surprise that Abrams Falls is one of the most popular hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains. It’s located in Cades Cove, which is the most visited section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Amazingly enough, over 1,000 people make this hike every year! The round trip length is 5.2 miles. The highlight of the hike is the short, but powerful waterfall known as Abrams Falls at the end!

2. Alum CaveThe view from Alum Cave Bluffs

Alum Cave is another favorite hike for visitors, and that may be because it’s got a lot to look at and love! One of the most incredible features of the hike is Arch Rock, which hikers get to climb up and through! Later, you are treated to awesome mountain views. And finally at the end hikers get to relax under the incredible bluffs of Alum Cave. The roundtrip length is 4.4 miles and perfect for a half day hike for most visitors.  

3. Laurel Falls

Laurel Falls is definitely a favorite for visitors to the Smokies! That is probably because this trail is only 2.3 miles round trip and it’s paved! The paved pathway leads to a picture-perfect 80 foot tall, two-tier waterfall too! Moreover, many hikers don’t realize that you can actually go beyond the waterfall! This puts you on the Cove Mountain Trail and takes you to an old fire tower!

4. Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome is the shortest hike on this list (it’s only a mile), but that’s just one reason it’s so popular. It’s also a paved hike making it much more manageable for many visitors. Moreover, the biggest appeal to this popular hiking trail is the stunning mountain you see at the top of the trail! On beautiful, clear days it’s possible to see over 100 miles from the Clingmans Dome observation tower! It helps that the tower is the highest point in the Smoky Mountains.

The Bridge along the Gatlinburg Trail5. Gatlinburg Trail

The Gatlinburg Trail is another one of the most popular trails in the Smoky Mountains. It’s popular for several reasons. One is because it’s easily accessible and easy to walk through. The trail may be 3.9 miles roundtrip, but it’s flat. Not only that, but it offers views of natural forestry and the river. If you keep your eyes out you may even spot some old homesteads! Plus, this trail allows dogs on it!

Don’t let a couple of extra visitors keep you from exploring these fantastic trails! These are the most popular hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains for good reason, they all offer stunning and beautiful sights to see! You can avoid some crowds and parking hassles by arriving early! If crowds really aren’t your things that’s okay too! We know of some great trails in the Smoky Mountains that get less foot traffic!