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Want to explore some Smoky Mountain hiking trails? There are over 850 miles for you to choose from! We know many people love to check out the most popular trails, but maybe you want to get out in the woods away from civilization. You can hike in the woods away from other people and just enjoy being outdoors on these trails. Check out these 5 Smoky Mountain hiking trails off the beaten path:
1. Meigs Creek Trail
If you’re looking for a trail near Gatlinburg that’s off the beaten path, you should hike Meigs Creek Trail. This is a moderate hiking trail that is 6.5 miles roundtrip. It’s an out-and-back trail that travels through the woods. To get to the trailhead, you will park at The Sinks parking lot. The Sinks is a popular roadside waterfall. The trailhead is just beyond this point. Along the trail, there are views of the mountains and surrounding forest. You’ll cross Meigs Creek about 1 mile in, and you’ll see small waterfalls and cascades. The biggest is Meigs Creek Cascades, and people love to hike to this spot and take pictures.
2. Spruce Flats Falls
Want to go on a Smoky Mountain hiking trail that’s considered easy? Spruce Flats Falls is a great choice! The roundtrip length is 1.8 miles. Near the beginning of the trail, there is a junction, and you should turn right to stay on this path. Spruce Flats Falls isn’t heavily trafficked because it’s technically not on the park map. If you want to get away from it all, this is a great option. Near the end of the hike, you’ll come up on Spruce Flats Falls, which is arguably one of the best waterfalls in the national park!
3. West Prong Trail
West Prong Trail is another hike that’s off the beaten path. It is an out-and-back trail with a 5 mile roundtrip length. This trail is considered moderate. You’ll enjoy hiking through the forest during the first part of the trail. As you get further along, you’ll be traveling alongside the river. If you want to enjoy the back country and get away from popular trails, West Prong is a great choice.
4. Schoolhouse Gap Trail
Another Smoky Mountain hiking trail that’s off the beaten path is Schoolhouse Gap Trail. It’s a moderate trail that is out and back with a roundtrip length of 3.8 miles. If you happen to be in the Smokies during spring and summer, this is a great trail to hike when you want to see wildflowers. There are several different kinds along the path. This trail is also known for wildlife activity, so be sure to keep your distance if you see any along your hike!
5. Little River Trail
Little River Trail is another hike that isn’t as frequently traveled as other trails in the national park. It’s a moderate trail that’s 5 miles roundtrip. You’ll hike alongside the river for a beautiful view. There are several old cottages and buildings along the hike. Little River Trail is another good trail to hike during the spring and summer if you want to see wildflowers because there are several rhododendron groves along the hike.
These Smoky Mountain hiking trails off the beaten path are great options if you want to get away from it all. There’s nothing more relaxing than hiking through the woods. Learn more about the Great Smoky Mountains before you come, then start planning your trip today!