5 Easy Hiking Trails in the Smoky Mountains for Everyone
With over 850 miles of hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains, there’s plenty for you to choose from! Everyone doesn’t have the same skill level when it comes to hiking, but that’s ok! We’ve made a list of 5 easy hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains anyone is capable of doing:
1. Elkmont Nature Trail
The Elkmont Nature Trail is a 0.8-mile loop that is perfect for kids and older guests who want to see the beauty of nature. During the spring and summer, you’ll come across a ton of wildflowers along this trail, including daffodils, rhododendron, and laurel. This path was once used to remove trees from the forest for logging. This path also has multiple foot bridges, and you’ll even walk across a stream. Everyone in your group will love walking this path!
2. Metcalf Bottoms Trail
Looking for a perfect place to have a picnic and go on a hike? Metcalf Bottoms Trail is one of the easy hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains you’ve been searching for! You can have a picnic at one of the tables along the Little River, and let the kids play in the water. When you’re ready to go on the trail, you’ll walk over the bridge and head to the right. The trail is 1.5 miles roundtrip. You’ll come across rhododendron and an old homesite on the way to the top. Once you reach the end of the trail, you’ll find Little Greenbrier Schoolhouse, where you can go inside and explore.
3. Cataract Falls
For a short, easy hike, go on the Cataract Falls trailhead. This trail is 1 mile round trip, perfect for novice hikers! Along the way, you’ll come across Cataract Falls, a 25-foot-tall waterfall. You’ll also cross a stream on a sturdy bridge. This trail is also used for birding, so you might be able to see all kinds of birds along your hike! Kids and adults alike will love this easy hiking trail in the Smoky Mountains!
4. Laurel Falls Trail
Laurel Falls Trail is perfect for just about anyone! This trail is different from the others on this list because it is paved. This up-and-back trail is 2.4 miles round trip and fairly easy for young hikers and older hikers. The trail gets its name from all the mountain laurel you’ll see if you hike this trail in the spring. You should be careful as you walk since the trail is narrow and some spots drop off along the path. Once at the top, you’ll see Laurel Falls. It is split into an upper and lower section, separated by a footbridge you can walk across. Everyone will love seeing this 80-foot-tall waterfall!
5. Gatlinburg Trail
The Gatlinburg Trail is one of the only hiking trails dogs are allowed on. This out-and-back trail is 3.8 miles roundtrip. You’ll hike along the western side of the Little Pigeon River, enjoying watching the water move down river. Old homesites dot the trail, and everyone will enjoy seeing these historic features. You can actually choose to go on the side trail to see Cataract Falls from the Gatlinburg Trail if you want to see the waterfall. This is one of the best easy hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains!
No matter your skill level, you and your family will love hiking these easy hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains! You’ll get to see wildlife, wildflowers, historic sites, and natural waterfalls. If you’re wondering what else you can do in the Smoky Mountains, check out our attractions page for more information!