Easy Hikes in the Smokies?
Yes, They Do Exist!
With the height of the Smoky Mountains, you might not think there are any easy hikes. The good news is there are! Keep in mind that this list of hikes is relative and my opinion. I listed these hikes as easy, because they are what I think most people can manage without hurting themselves. However, you know yourself best. So, use your best judgment.
Cucumber Gap Loop
This is a great hike for those who like variety. You start off seeing some historic buildings on Jakes Creek, on Cucumber Gap you'll enjoy wildflowers and ridge hiking. You'll end with a pleasant stroll down Little River Trail with the soothing sounds of the river to carry you back to your car. This hike is near Elkmont and the total length is 5.5 miles.
The main draw for this hike is the falls. It's also popular because it's paved. So, if you're toting babies or grandmas or handicapped folks they can see the falls too! This trail is near the Gatlinburg entrance and is 2.6 miles to the falls and back.
This trail is actually a wide, gravel road. A stream runs along it and there are lots of wildflowers to see. It's located near the Townsend entrance and is 2.1 miles one-way. Remember you can always stop whenever you want and turn back for a shorter hike.
Metcalf Bottoms/Little Brier Gap
There are lots of neat historical sites to see on these trails. You'll see a schoolhouse on Metcalf Bottoms and a cabin on Little Brier Gap. These easy hikes are great for bringing kids. These trails are between the Townsend entrance and Elkmont. The total hike length is 3.6 miles.
This is a beautiful waterfall located off the Cades Cove Loop Road. The total hike length is 5 miles.
What's so neat about this waterfall is you can walk behind it. Grotto Falls is on Trillium Gap Trail, off Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. It's near the Gatlinburg entrance and the hike is a total of 2.6 miles to the falls.
Even though it's steep, I rated this hike as easy because it's so short (a whopping 1 mile round-trip)and it's paved! You end up at an observation tower that gives 360º views on clear days.
Deep Creek Waterfalls Loop
This 2.4-mile loop hike gives you the chance to see all 3 waterfalls in the Deep Creek area. It's an easy hike that also gives you the chance to enjoy hiking along Deep Creek.
Oconoluftee River Trail
This is a great family hike along the river on the Cherokee side of the Smokies. The kids will love having access to the water and it's a gravel trail, so don't worry about slippery rocks. You can jog this one too or bring your dog along!
What a pleasant river stroll! This wonderful family hike has wildflowers and a cascade. It's also only 2 miles one-way with a backcountry shelter at the end.
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