5 of the Best Hikes in the Smoky Mountains for Families

02 July 2019 / By Contributor
clingmans dome trail
Jul 02, 2019 Smoky Mountains

Spending time with your family is an important part of going on vacation together. You want to do things that will help you bond and have fun together. Going on a hike in the national park is an activity your whole family will love, and it will bring you together. Check out 5 of the best hikes in the Smoky Mountains for families:

1. Cove Hardwood Nature Trail

cove hardwood forest trail in the great smoky mountainsDo you have small children that can’t hike for long periods of time? Take them on the Cove Hardwood Nature Trail! This trail is close to Gatlinburg and is only 0.8 of a mile. If seeing wildflowers is at the top of your list, you’ll find plenty of them on the Cove Hardwood Nature Trail in the spring and summer months. Your kids will love seeing the native plants, trees, and possibly even wildlife on this trail. Rock formations with a small waterfall will also be a highlight for your kids. You’ll love they get to learn while also having fun!

2. Gatlinburg Trail

Outside of downtown Gatlinburg, you’ll find the Gatlinburg Trail. This is one of the only trails in the national park dogs are allowed on. Your kids will love seeing the waterfall on this trail, along with the river for a good portion of the trail. The roundtrip length is 3.8 miles. You’ll find wildflowers, remains of old buildings, and possibly some wildlife! Everyone in your family will have fun together on this trail.

3. Little River Trail

little river trail in the great smoky mountainsAt 4.9 miles roundtrip, the Little River Trail is one of the best hikes in the Smoky Mountains for families. It is in Elkmont and just a short drive away from the Sugarlands Visitor Center in Gatlinburg. You’ll enjoy walking along a stream, hearing the water rushing over rocks. There are many old cottages along the trail, which are neat to see. Wildflowers are in full bloom in the spring and summer along the Little River Trail. When you’re about halfway, you’ll find Huskey Branch Falls. You’ll all love seeing this waterfall!

4. Clingmans Dome Observation Tower Trail

One of the more popular hikes in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is Clingmans Dome Observation Tower Trail. This trail is located near Bryson, North Carolina and is one of the highest points in Tennessee. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see incredible views of the mountains everyone in your family will love. The trail is about 1.2 miles long. You’ll see wildflowers and plenty of birds along the trail. If you need to stop and rest, there are plenty of benches where you can take a break.

5. Abrams Falls

abrams fallsIf you want to see a bigger waterfall, you should hike to Abrams Falls. This hiking trail is in Cades Cove, which is another family activity you should definitely do together. This trail is about 5 miles roundtrip. You will probably see many creatures and native plants along this hike. Once you get to the river, you’ll see the waterfall standing 20 feet tall with huge gushes of water going over the side.

These best hikes in the Smoky Mountains for families will definitely bring all of you together and get you outside. Are you looking for other trails to try? Check out these trails of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.