– by Sierra Trading Post
It’s a good idea to explore as much of Great Smoky Mountains National Park as you can while you’re there for a visit; the park encompasses over 800 square miles of biologically diverse and visually stunning land in the Appalachian Mountains. Try one or all of these three trails to get the most out of your trip.
1) Rocky Top/Thunderhead Mountain via Anthony Creek Trail
Start your epic Rocky Top hike in the Cades Cove picnic area and enjoy 13.9 miles of challenging climbs, beautiful views and three (yes, three!) summits on Thunderhead Mountain. The scenery on this hike is stunning, and the hike is a favorite in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
2) Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte
The 11 mile (roundtrip) Mount LeConte hike is a challenging one, with some solid elevation gain, unforgettable panoramic views, interesting geological formations, and even a little history. You can summit the 6,593 foot mountain after checking out the grounds of the historic LeConte Lodge.
3) Abrams Falls
No hiker can resist the call of a waterfall – the sound of rushing water, the cool-mist breeze, and of course, the breathtaking scenery. Abrams Falls trail is a moderate 5 mile hike (roundtrip) that offers the “pay-off” of a wide, 20 foot-high waterfall with a long, deep pool at its base. Due to strong currents, swimming is extremely dangerous and strongly discouraged.
*Photo credit Carl Wycoff