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The Appalachian Lodge
gatlinburg trail

Here at The Appy Lodge, we strive to embrace the spirit of the mountains and provide a great experience for anyone looking to visit and enjoy the area. And while you are here, one of the best things to do is to explore some of the beautiful trails at Smoky Mountains National Park. From waterfalls to scenic overlooks and more, there are so many incredible sights to see along these gorgeous trails. Here are some of the best trails in the Smoky Mountains to check out when you visit:

1. Laurel Falls Trail

One of the best trails in the Smoky Mountains and one of the most popular, Laurel Falls Trail offers visitors a view of an 80-foot waterfall surrounded by mountain laurels. This 2.6-mile round trip trail is moderately difficult and it is advised that you carry drinking water with you. Additionally, remember to always practice proper safety by staying away from rocks around the waterfall!

2. Rainbow Falls Trail

Rainbow Falls Trail in Smoky MountainsFeaturing yet another gorgeous waterfall, Rainbow Falls Trail is another of the best trails in the Smoky Mountains. This hike is longer than the Laurel Falls Trail, as it is a 5.4-mile round trip and is considered moderately difficult. Since there are several changes in elevation, it is also advised that visitors wear hiking shoes. However, once you arrive at this stunning 80-foot waterfall with a rainbow in its mist, you will be well rewarded for your efforts!

3. The Gatlinburg Trail

Located right near downtown Gatlinburg, the Gatlinburg Trail is a great option for families with young children and those with pets, as this is a relatively flat, paved trail and is one of the only trails in the Smoky Mountains that allows pets. This 1.9-mile one-way trail follows the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River, and even crosses it at some point with a pedestrian bridge. You can also see the foundations and chimneys of several historic homesteads along this trail, making it a well-rounded experience!

4. Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail

sugarlands valley nature trailIf you are looking for a quick and easy hike, the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail is a perfect option. This loop trail is only 0.5 miles long, making it perfect for families with young children and anyone with limited mobility. Additionally, the trail is paved and handicap accessible. With picturesque views of the river, this trail is a great choice for a short hike in the Smokies!

5. Alum Cave Trail

For stunning mountain views, Alum Cave Trail is one of the best trails in the Smoky Mountains without a doubt. Although there are several overlooks along the way, visitors particularly love Myrtle Point, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. You can reach the Alum Cave Bluffs around 2.5 miles into the hike, while Myrtle Point is around 5.5 miles in. Make sure to bring enough water and snacks for the amount of time you plan to spend on this trail!

When you go for a hike on some of the best trails in the Smoky Mountains, you will be able to take in the natural beauty of the area while getting some fresh air and exercise. And of course, after a day of exploration, you can head back to our comfortable accommodations here at The Appy Lodge to unwind and get ready for the next day of your trip!