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6 of the Best Places to Go Hiking in Tennessee

With about half of Great Smoky Mountains National Park located in the state of Tennessee, it is no wonder that visitors love coming to the area to take advantage of the amazing hiking opportunities the Smokies offer. From stunning mountain overlooks, to hidden forest waterfalls, and lots more, you will be able to discover tons of natural beauty when you go hiking in Tennessee. Here are some of the best places to go hiking in Tennessee when you come to visit:

1. Laurel Falls Trail

One of the most popular places to go hiking in Tennessee is Laurel Falls Trail. This is a relatively easy hike that contains minimal elevation gain, and the total length is a 2.3-mile roundtrip. This trail is so popular because it not only takes you past Laurel Falls, an 80-foot waterfall, it also features tons of mountain laurels, for which the trail is named. If you want to see the mountain laurels in full bloom, you should plan to visit this hiking spot sometime in May!

2. Gregory Ridge Trail

wildflowers in gregory baldFor those looking for a challenging hike, Gregory Ridge Trail is the perfect option. While this 11.3-mile roundtrip hike includes a significant amount of elevation gain and is considered strenuous, the reward for reaching Gregory Bald at the top of the trail is well worth it! From Gregory Bald, you will be able to see mountain views for miles and explore the incredible azalea meadow that blooms around mid-to-late June. Make sure to bring plenty of drinking water and wear sturdy shoes for this challenging hike!

3. Charlies Bunion Trail

Another strenuous trail for hiking in Tennessee with stunning views is the Charlies Bunion Trail, which starts at Newfound Gap. The trail is an 8.1-mile roundtrip with some elevation gain along the way. Charlies Bunion is waiting at the height of this trail, with panoramic views for miles. Plus, you can see a variety of wildflowers along the trail! Like Gregory Ridge Trail, hikers should make sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring drinking water along (or have an effective way to treat water from the pipe near Icewater Spring Shelter on the trail).

4. Rainbow Falls Trail

rainbow fallsRainbow Falls Trail is another popular waterfall hike that offers gorgeous sights to those who make their way to the 80-foot waterfall. On sunny afternoons, a rainbow sometimes appears in the mist by the falls, making it an excellent spot for taking photos. The trail is a 5.4-mile roundtrip with moderate elevation gain. Along the way, you will cross a couple of footbridges and walk along a flowing creek!

5. Sevierville Greenways

If you are looking for somewhere to go hiking near Sevierville, check out the Sevierville Greenways! These stretches of preserved land offer a variety of walking trails and are great areas to see native birds, plant life, and more. You can choose any of the sections to walk, or visit them all to walk the entire 10 miles if you’re feeling up to it!

6. Alum Cave Trail

Stunning mountain views from Alum Cave in the Smoky Mountains.When it comes to hiking in Tennessee, few places offer better views than Alum Cave Trail! For those looking to hike all the way to just below the summit of Mount LeConte, the hike is a 10-mile roundtrip, though some hikers choose to turn back after reaching Alum Cave Bluffs, which makes the hike 5 miles in total. From the massive concave overhang at Alum Cave Bluff, to incredible viewpoints, and more, there is a lot to love about this stunning hike. Since there is significant elevation gain along this trail, hikers are advised to wear sturdy shoes and carry drinking water.

These are just some of the many amazing places you can go hiking in Tennessee when you come to visit the area. Check out even more places to go hiking in Tennessee throughout Great Smoky Mountains National Park and get ready to have some amazing adventures of your own!