4 Top Summer Hikes in the Smoky Mountains
Are you heading to the Smoky Mountains this summer with the hopes of experiencing some of the best hikes in the park? If so, then you’ll love the 4 that we’ve put together for you! From swimming holes to beautiful views and waterfalls too, you can’t go wrong with whichever hike you choose!
Meigs Creek Trail
On the Meigs Creek Trail you can expect to have wet feet, but that also means beating the summer heat. The trail begins at The Sinks on Little River Road and not only includes the upper portion of Meigs Falls but close to 20 water crossings as well. There are no foot bridges so entering the water is the only option for moving forward. Hikers should also be cautious of recent rainfall and postpone plans to check out Meigs Creek Trail if there is concern about not being able to cross any sections. However, on a hot and humid day, this hike is fun and refreshing. Stop in the NOC in Gatlinburg if you feel unsteady and rent a pair of high-quality trekking poles for $5 a day.
Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
If you’re looking for a fantastic summer hike that’s easy and filled with beauty, you’ll want to add hiking the Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls to your Smoky Mountain bucket list. The trail was once a railroad bed during the logging days and then converted to a hiking trail by the Civilian Conservation Corp. It’s wide with a nice steady incline and follows the beauty of the river. You’ll find plenty of spots to stop off and enjoy the coolness of the mountain water and the stunning cascades. If you love a good swimming hole then you’ll really enjoy spending some time at a little spot known as Midnight Hole. It’s one of the most stunning spots in the park for a summer dip but also one of the most popular. Due to the crowd that often rolls in, you’ll want to arrive early or visit on a weekday. Continue on the trail to view Mouse Creek Falls, a gorgeous 45-foot waterfall that flows into the river. It’s a great place to relax for a bit and then return to the parking area. This 4 mile round trip hike can also be extended further up the Big Creek Trail if you’re looking for a longer hike.
Forney Creek Trail to Andrews Bald
During the summer months the weather can be very hot and humid in the lower elevations but take a trip up to some of the higher spots and you’ll find perfect temps and a refreshing breeze. A hike out to Andrews Bald on the Forney Creek Trail begins at the Clingmans Dome parking area. Clingmans is the highest location in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and therefore provides the lowest temperatures. Summer brings quite the crowd to Clingmans so to avoid the packed parking area and experience the beauty of a morning in the Smokies, arrive early for sunrise and then head out on your hike. Once you’re on the bald, spend some time relaxing and enjoy the view. It’s a great spot for a picnic as well, just remember to leave no trace and pack out everything you pack in.
From Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome on the Appalachian Trail
Summer is an excellent time to enjoy a hike along the Appalachian Trail and especially any of the sections connected to Clingmans Dome. The road to the highest point of the Smokies is closed during the winter months so access to the trail can be difficult. A hike between Newfound Gap and Clingmans Dome is around 14 miles round-trip but if you have 2 vehicles with you, then you can drop one off at the Newfound Gap Parking area and then drive the other up to the Clingmans Dome Parking area or a few other locations inbetween. Doing a shuttle will allow you to see the beauty of the trail with half of the miles. If you love chasing miles, it’s still a great time to double up while also enjoying the cooler temps on an otherwise hot day in the south.
Are you ready to start planning your hiking adventures in the Smoky Mountains? If so, we would love to have you choose The Appy Lodge as your basecamp! Our selection of Guest Rooms includes the perfect fit for families, groups of friends, sweethearts and solo travelers. Take a few minutes to browse all of our choices, check out Our Amenities and then Book Your next trip to the Smokies!