5 Best Spring Hikes in the Smoky Mountains to See the Wildflowers
There’s no better way to enjoy the beauty of the Smoky Mountains during the spring season than with a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! When you go hiking during the spring, you can see everything from gorgeous mountain views to cascading waterfalls. The star of spring hikes, however, are the Smoky Mountain wildflowers. To help you plan your hiking trip, we’ve made a list of the best spring hikes in the Smoky Mountains to see the wildflowers.
1. Porters Creek Trail
Porters Creek Trail is a 4-mile spring hike that is great for families visiting the Smoky Mountains! You’ll have the opportunity to see a variety of wildflowers along the trail, such as yellow trillium, wild geranium, and dwarf ginseng. The first mile of the trail runs through a lush forest where yellow trillium is likely to be found. In addition to the wildflowers, hikers will find old homesites and a waterfall! About 2 miles along the trail, you’ll run into Fern Branch Falls, a 60-foot waterfall that drops off the ridge on the left side of Porters Creek Trail.
2. Rich Mountain Loop
Rich Mountain Loop is great for those looking for a bit more challenging hike. Running for 8.5 miles, this loop trail provides an opportunity to enjoy Cades Cove without the crowds. During the first part of the hike, you’ll pass by one of the gorgeous meadows in Cades Cove. During the late spring, the meadow is blanketed in a variety of wildflowers, from black-eyed Susans to butterfly weed. Other wildflowers you can see along the Rich Mountain Loop are mountain laurel, flame azalea, violets, and more. Also along the trail you’ll find the John Oliver Cabin, which is one of the oldest structures in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!
3. Andrews Bald
Andrews Bald is a 3.5 mile round-trip hike that begins at Clingmans Dome. This hike offers some of the most stunning views of the Smoky Mountains. At about 1.7 miles along Forney Creek Trail, you’ll reach the outskirts of Andrews Bald. Andrews Bald is known for its spectacular displays of flame azalea and rhododendron that bloom during the late spring and early summer. For a view you can’t find anywhere else, make plans to hike to Andrews Bald during your spring vacation!
4. Little River Trail
Little River Trail is 4.9 miles round trip and is definitely one of the best spring hikes in the Smoky Mountains! The trail is located in the Elkmont area of the national park. The wildflowers along the trail typically bloom in mid-March and April and vary from rhododendrons, to yellow trillium, to Canadian violets, to hepaticas. Also along the trail you’ll find peaceful stream views, old cottages, and a small 20-foot waterfall.
5. Middle Prong Trail
The Middle Prong Trail is known as one of the best waterfall hikes in the Smokies because you pass three major waterfalls, in addition to numerous smaller falls along the trail. It’s also one of the best spring hikes because of its abundance of wildflowers! Over the course of the first couple of miles along the trail, keep an eye out for violets, foamflower, trilliums, and other beautiful flowers. Not only will you get to see wildflowers and waterfalls, but you’ll see an old Cadillac just off the trail!
Try These Spring Hikes in the Smoky Mountains
You don’t want to miss the chance to try some or all of these spring hikes in the Smoky Mountains to see the gorgeous wildflowers! Learn more about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and start planning your trip.