smoky mountain hiking trail
January 24, 2023

Are you taking a family vacation to Tennessee or North Carolina and looking for more things to do? If so, you should definitely consider taking a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains! With over 800 miles of hiking trails, there is no shortage of routes to take. Here is a list of 3 reasons why your kids will love hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains:

1. See Beautiful Views

abrams falls in the fall

When they hike in the Great Smoky Mountains, kids will love seeing all the beautiful views that the area has to offer. The temperature makes sure these sights are always changing, but they aren’t any less breathtaking. In the spring, admire the greenery and colorful wildflowers. When it gets a little colder, see the once green leaves change into fiery hues of red, orange and yellow. When it gets even colder, you’ll have the opportunity to see a real-life winter wonderland. You can make viewing the scenery even more fun with endless games of “I Spy” during your hike! It isn’t just fun to look at! Make sure to bring your camera because the scenery also provides a great backdrop for family photos that you will cherish forever!

2. Hands-on Learning Opportunities

Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains will also provide hands-on learning opportunities for your kids, especially in science. As they take in the scenery, they may ask questions like, “how do plants grow?” or “why do the leaves change?” Kids may think learning about these concepts at a desk in school are boring, but seeing them in action could pique their curiosity. Along with science, history is big in the Great Smoky Mountains as well. After all, it used to be a settlement where thousands of people once lived. As kids see the structures along the hiking trails, it may bring up questions about how people lived back then. One such structure is the Corn Crib in Cades Cove. It was used to store the corn that the settlers grew and keep it away from animals until it was ready to be processed at the gristmill.

3. Opportunity to See Live Animals

black bear in the Smokies

Another reason why kids love hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains is because they get to see live animals. Along with its beautiful natural scenery, the area is also known for its abundant wildlife. You may see big animals like black bears, white tailed deer, and wild turkeys. If you look more closely though, you may see a salamander moving along the ground. In fact, they are so populous here that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known as the “Salamander Capital of the World.” If you do see any animals, particularly bigger ones, stay more than 150 feet away at all times. This will ensure the safety of yourself and the animals. Also, refrain from feeding the animals, as human food may be harmful to them.

Now that you know why your kids will love hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains! Start planning your visit by choosing a trail! Read about 4 family friendly hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains!