The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States! It has some of the best hiking, fishing and wildlife viewing you'll find in the U.S. We're sharing the inside scoop with you so you can plan your next trip to the Smokies.
4 Best Family Hiking Trails in the Smoky Mountains to Try
- August 28, 2018
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a beautiful place to explore. From mountain views and waterfalls to peaceful walks in the woods there’s a lot to see. It makes a great bonding experience to explore the park with other people. So whether you are visiting with guests you have achy joints or small children who like to walk we’ve made a list of the best family hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains to try!
1. Laurel Falls Waterfall
Laurel Falls is an incredibly popular hiking trail in the national park. It’s roundtrip length is only 2.6 miles, and it’s paved! Those two qualities are what make it perfect for families to do together. You’ll follow a paved path to the falls and once there you can pass over a foot bridge to get some great pictures of Laurel Falls. The water is two-tiered and 80 feet tall altogether!
2. Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Smoky Mountains at 6,643 feet tall. The path to the Clingmans Dome observation tower is paved making it very manageable to hike. The observation tower offers outstanding panoramic views of the Smokies, especially on clear days. The hike itself is only around a mile long. There is a large parking area for Clingmans Dome, but arrive early if you don’t want to wait for a parking spot!
3. Andrews Bald
Andrews Bald is a great option if you are looking to get a few more miles under your belt without it being too difficult for anyone in your family. The roundtrip length is 3.5 miles. The path is very manageable because the park installed stone stairs for much of the hike. Once you reach Andrews Bald you will be rewarded with a wide open area (known as the bald) that offers awesome mountain views! This is a perfect place to stop, relax, and have a snack or light picnic.
4. Cataract Falls
Cataract Falls is perfect for anyone who has achy joints from age or with small children who insist they walk on their own but don’t want to go up a mountain! This is one of the best family hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains to try! The trail starts behind the Sugarlands Visitor Center and is just about a mile long roundtrip. The trail is flat, peaceful, and trees along the path are labelled with their names for some learning! The waterfall is 25 feet tall and a great place for a family picture!
Curious about what other places you can visit with your family in the national park? Take a drive over to Cades Cove! You will find an abundance of Appalachian history, wildlife, and more especially if you make these 6 stops around the Cades Cove Loop!