Stepping it Up a Notch!
Moderate hikes are great for those looking for a little challenge and are in pretty good physical condition. These hikes require some endurance and strength. Please remember that these hikes are moderate based on my opinion. Only you know what your physical capabilities are. So, please use good judgment and hike smart! Drink plenty of fluids and take frequent breaks. :)
This hike has views, wildflowers, and the destination is a great place for a picnic. It's a 3.6 mile hike located off Clingmans Dome Road.
Little Cataloochee Trail
If you love history, you'll love this hike. You'll see a school, a couple of cabins, and a church. It's 5.9 miles one-way from Cataloochee Campground to Cove Creek Rd. If you're not up for backtracking, you could arrange for pick-up at the end.
Rich Mountain Loop
This 8.5-mile loop offers views, wildflowers, and some history. There's also a small waterfall as a bonus. It's a nice break from the crowds down at the Cades Cove Loop Road.
This hike is 4.3 miles one-way and has lots of wildflowers. There's also a neat-looking hollowed out tree along the trail. This hike is near the Townsend entrance.
If you're looking for an adrenaline rush, this hike's for you. Although it's a steep climb, the amazing views at the end are worth it. I rate this as a moderate hike because it's not that long. If you start from Newfound Gap, it's a 4-mile hike. The other option is to start from the less popular, least-crowded end on Clingmans Dome Road. That makes for a 7-mile hike.
Hemphill Bald/Cataloochee Divide
This is my favorite hike in the Cataloochee area. Even though it's long (11.9 miles end to end), I gave it a rating of moderate because it's not that steep. There's a stone table at Hemphill Bald. A nice spot for a picnic. Along Cataloochee Divide, you get views of the valley along the park's border.
If you like long, quiet hikes this one's for you. We didn't see a single person the time we hiked it. If you're going to hike the whole thing, it's best to start at the top of the mountain, at the trailhead off Clingmans Dome Road.
Even if you hike the entire 11.6-mile length of Noland Divide (starting from Clingmans Dome Rd.), it's still a moderate hike. The views at Lonesome Pine Overlook are amazing and make the trail definitely worth hiking.
The longest footbridge in the park and access to a cascade and waterfall are the highlights of Smokemont Loop. This 6.1 mile hike is my favorite in the Smokemont area.
Silers Bald is an enjoy-it-as-you-go hike along the Appalachian Trail. There are great views along the trail so don't worry if you don't make it to the bald. If you do, it's a 9.3 mile round-trip hike.
This is a very popular hike along the Appalachian Trail. Tackle Charlies Bunion on a clear day to make the most out of it. There are views along the way too even if it's smoky at the bunion. It's 8.1 miles round-trip.
Return from Moderate Hikes to Home Page