Top 5 Unique Spots to Hike to in the Smoky Mountains
You probably know about all of the popular hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains. There are plenty of waterfalls and mountain views you have seen or know about. What you probably don’t know about are the cool, unique places you should hike to. Check out these top 5 unique spots to hike to in the Smoky Mountains:
1. Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome may be a popular hike, but it is definitely unique. The observation tower at the top of the paved path curves around to create a unique shape. There’s no other place like it in the Smoky Mountains. You can have 360 degree views of the mountains, and it’s one of the top places to go when the leaves are first changing colors or when there is snow in the mountains. It’s also the highest elevation at over 6,000 feet. Plus, the trail to get to the top of the observation tower is just 1 mile roundtrip.
2. The Fairy House
Another place you will want to check out is the fairy house. To get to the fairy house, you will take Twin Creeks Trail, a 4.5 out-and-back hiking trail. As you’re walking along the trail and you pass the Resource Center, there’s a small path to the side you should follow to get the Fairy House. The exterior and interior are completely constructed of stone. The stone is covered in moss, which is probably why it was named the House of the Fairies!
3. Troll Bridge at Elkmont
The next unique spot to hike to in the Smoky Mountains is the troll bridge at Elkmont. To get to this spot, you need to go on the trail of Little River Trail. About 100 feet into the trail, you will see a small side trail. If you take this trail, you will eventually come to the troll bridge. It’s very whimsical with moss growing on the side and a small creek flowing underneath. You should definitely take some pictures here!
4. Mt. Cammerer Fire Tower
If you’re an avid hiker and want to see something really unique, you should hike to the Mt. Cammerer fire tower. You will take Low Gap Trail, which has a roundtrip length of 11.9 miles. As you hike the first part of the trail, you will go through a mature hardwood forest. About 5 miles in, you will get to the Mt Cammerer fire tower. You will be able to see miles of Smoky Mountains from the tower.
5. Alum Cave
Alum Cave Trail is a great hiking trail to go on if you want to see unique geological features. There are man made stone steps to help you stay on the path. About 1.3 miles in, you’ll come to Arch Rock, a huge rock formation. As you keep going, you’ll see beautiful views of the mountains. When you reach 2.2 miles, you will be at Alum Cave. This is technically not a cave, but a concave bluff. It’s about 80 feet tall and 500 feet wide. As you sit under the bluff, you will be able to look out at the mountains. This trail could lead you to Mount LeConte if you keep going.
Alum Cave Trail will be closed from May 10, 2021 to November 10, 2021 on Mondays at 7 am through Thursday evenings at 5:30 pm.
You have so many unique spots to hike to in the Smoky Mountains. Want another unique experience in the Smokies? Check out our post about hiking with llamas!