I recommend two apps to make your time at the GSMNP a great one. The All trails app is great to see hikes with current reviews. The gypsy app is great to learn about the area as you drive through. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to many beautiful hiking trails, but here are a few of my top picks:
- Andrews Bald: This is a moderate 3-mile round trip hike that takes you to a beautiful grassy bald with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. It’s a great hike for wildflowers in the spring and fall foliage in the autumn.
- Grotto Falls: This is an easy 2.6-mile round trip hike that takes you to a beautiful waterfall. The trail is an old roadbed and is an easy walk for families.
- Chimney Tops: This is a strenuous 4-mile round trip hike that takes you to the summit of Chimney Tops. The trail is steep and rocky, but the views from the top are well worth it.
- Ramsey Cascades: This is an 8-mile round trip hike that takes you to the tallest waterfall in the park. The trail is steep and rocky and it’s a challenging hike, but the waterfall is spectacular.
- Clingmans Dome: This is a moderate 1-mile round trip hike to the highest point in the park, Clingmans Dome. The trail is paved, but steep, and the observation tower at the top offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains.
These hikes are just a few of the many options available in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Before starting any hike, it’s important to check the trail conditions, weather forecast, and bring enough water and snacks. Also, it’s always a good idea to let someone know about your hiking plans, and to follow the park’s Leave No Trace principles.