Hiking Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail in the Smoky Mountains
The Smoky Mountains present some of the best opportunities to hike in the entire country! Picturesque mountain views, gorgeous foliage and fascinating creatures make the hiking trails in the Smokies a can’t-miss opportunity! Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail is an easy half-mile loop near Gatlinburg that’s perfect for children, families, senior citizens and those with handicaps looking to get a taste of the Smoky Mountains. This paved trail is the only trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that is designated to be accessible for all.
|Round Trip Length||0.5 Miles|
|Elevation Gain||23 Feet|
|Trail Highlights||Paved trail, flowing stream, ADA accessible, easy to complete|
This looped trail begins and ends at a small parking lot on U.S. 441 (Newfound Gap Road), just a few hundred yards from Sugarlands Visitor Center just south of Gatlinburg. Four designated accessible spaces are available in a paved parking lot off of TN-71 at the northwest end of the trail.
Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail is a fan-favorite among Smoky Mountain visitors because of its relative easiness and high level of accessibility, making it particularly well suited for those who don’t want to overdo it on the trails! The entirety of this trail is either paved concrete or made of wooden bridges with railings, making it handicap (wheelchair) accessible and suitable for strollers carrying young children.
Navigate this gentle terrain (only a 23-foot change in elevation) at your own pace without feeling a rush to clear the trail! Really take your time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and nature without the overcrowded nature of many of the tourist attractions! The trail follows alongside the West Prong Little Pigeon River, allowing you to take in gorgeous river views while exploring area water creatures!
What To Explore
This trail is open year-round and beautiful no matter the season! Guests enjoy gorgeous natural wildflowers along the trail as the scenery sets the mood for moments of solitude and ultimate relaxation. Benches line the trail for visitors to take a moment to rest when needed. This trail only takes about 10 minutes to complete and dogs are not allowed.
Several interesting old chimneys and stone fences are found along the trail! Those are actually the remnants of what was once the Sugarlands settlement before the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was founded! Travel back in time, exploring the ruins and imagining life in the historical settlement!
Bring your hammock and string it between two trees overlooking the river alongside the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail for a relaxing afternoon enjoying that clean Smoky Mountain air! Throw on your waders and hop in the Little Pigeon River where you can enjoy some fly fishing!
Tips For Hiking
- Wear appropriate and comfortable footwear
- Bring plenty of fresh water
- Dress in clothing appropriate for the weather
- Pack a snack
- Don’t stray from the trail
- Keep track of time/daylight
- Do not approach wildlife
- Don’t litter; pick up after yourself
- Bring a buddy
Now that you know Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail is a great easy hike to start with, perhaps you’re interested in exploring more hikes! Learn about hiking these easy trails in the Smoky Mountains!