6 of the Best Places to Spot Smoky Mountain Wildflowers
- February 28, 2019
During the spring and summer months, the Smokies come alive with a variety of colorful wildflowers! You’ll want to capture photos of all the beautiful flora species along your hike. In order to do that, you’ll have to know where to go to find them. To help you make the most of your experience, here are 6 of the best places to spot Smoky Mountain wildflowers.
1. Cove Hardwood Nature Trail
The Cove Hardwood Nature Trail is nearly a mile long and is one of the best places to spot wildflowers in the spring. This trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and birding. These are all activities that you and your family can enjoy while you admire the various species of wildflowers.
2. Porters Creek Trail
Porters Creek Trail is a 7-mile out and back trail where you can see spectacular wildflowers from late March through April. The first 1.5 miles are especially great for wildflower viewing. This trail is also rich in history with many building foundations from an old settlement. Along the way, you’ll get to see John Messer’s cantilevered barn and the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club Cabin. Past this point, you can continue on to the waterfall or turn around and head back the way you came.
3. Schoolhouse Gap Trail
This 4.7-mile out and back trail is considered to be relatively easy in difficulty. Schoolhouse Gap Trail gently climbs 2.2 miles from Laurel Creek Road to School House Gap and includes a wide array of Smoky Mountian wildflowers. Horses are also able to use this trail, and it’s open all year round, so you can go for a ride anytime.
4. Gregory Ridge Trail
If you’re a more experienced hiker looking for some Smoky Mountain wildflowers, the Gregory Ridge Trail is a great choice. This 11.6-mile out and back trail offers fantastic wildflower viewing for the first couple of miles. Once you reach the Gregory Bald, you can stop for a rest break and take in all the scenic views before heading back.
5. Little River Trail
The Little River Trail is an easy going hiking option with a wide and level footpath, making it great for all skill levels. It’s a 12.3-mile out and back trail, but the first couple of miles provide excellent wildflower viewing from mid-March through April. You’ll also have beautiful views of the Little River as you walk toward its headwaters.
6. Middle Prong Trail
Middle Prong Trail is around 8 miles long and features both wildflowers and a waterfall! Along the first couple miles of the trail, you’ll be able to see foamflowers, toothworts, violets, and other beautiful wildflower species. It’s considered moderate in difficulty, but still a good option for families with kids.
When it comes to spotting Smoky Mountain wildflowers, you can’t go wrong with any one of these locations. If you’ve never visited the Smokies before, be sure to check out these things to know before you go so you can have a successful trip.