4 Popular Hiking Trails in the Smoky Mountains During Winter to Try

From snow-covered mountain tops to frozen waterfalls and icicles, winter can be a magical time in the Smokies! We are sharing several hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains that will make you feel like you are walking in a winter wonderland! Make sure to dress warm, and keep reading to learn about several great winter trails to take!

1. Alum Cave

The hike to Alum Cave is one of the coolest and most rewarding hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Hikers are rewarded quickly and often along the trail. The trail is 5 miles round trip, and is known for its neat rock formations and views along the way. There’s even a section called Arch Rock that hikers will get to climb through via stone stairs! It’s here that in the winter hikers need to be weary of ice. But the ice and icicles that form here are incredible to look at! This is a must-do for hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains!

2. Max PatchMax Patch in winter with snow

Another fantastic hike is Max Patch! Located in the Pisgah National Forest, the hike up to the top of Max Match is short, but steep depending on which path you choose to take to the top. At the top you will be treated with beautiful 360 views of the mountains and gently rolling grassy hills. You can camp here, bring your dog, have a picnic, even play frisbee. Any time of year is great to visit, but if you visit during winter seeing the mountains covered in snow for miles will leave you awestruck!  

3. Laurel Falls

If you are looking for a short, and easy to navigate trail no matter the season then Laurel Falls is perfect! This trail is only 2.3 miles roundtrip, and is paved the entire way! This peaceful trail has a gentle incline leading to the waterfall. Laurel Falls is an 80 foot tall waterfall. It has an upper and lower section. A footbridge allows hikers to cross from one side of the waterfall to the other, giving hikers great angle options for pictures! Water that sprays off sides of the waterfall can turn icy in the winter so be careful on the rocks!

abrams falls4. Abrams Falls

Abrams Falls is a great scenic hiking trail in the Smoky Mountains to take! The trail is 5 miles roundtrip. The waterfall is only 20 feet tall. However, what it lacks in height it makes up for the large volume of water that flows over its edge. The water collects in a deep pool below that creates a picture perfect scene. This trail can be considered moderate in difficulty, but is well worth the trek!

Now you know several of the best hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains to try during winter! We recommend taking a look at what to pack and expect for your hike in the Smokies. No matter the season you won’t be disappointed!