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The Top 5 Best Hiking Trails In The Smoky Mountains For Amature Day Hikers

The Top 5 Best Hiking Trails In The Smoky Mountains For Amature Day Hikers

Planning a hiking trip to the stunning Smoky Mountains National Park?  With so many to choose from it can be hard to make up your mind which one to go for.  Hopefully, this post will make choosing a suitable Hiking Trail In The Smoky Mountains National Park to suit your experience and fitness level.

The top 5 list mentioned below will all be of easy to moderate difficulty level and can also be completed in 5 hours or less.

We will also link to the route map so you can bookmark this post and use it on your upcoming hiking trip for reference.

So let’s get started on our Top 5 Best Hiking Trails in the Smoky Mountains National Park For Amature Day Hikers


The Top 5 Best Hiking Trails In The Great Smoky Mountains

1: Cucumber Gap and Little River Loop Trail

The Top 5 Best Hiking Trails In The Smoky Mountains For Amature Day Hikers

 

Cucumber Gap and Little River Loop Trail is a 9.0 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Length9.0 km

Elevation gain242 m

Route typeLoop

Difficulty – Moderate

Estimated Time To Complete: 3 hours

  • Trails Users Tagged This Route With The Following:
    Kid-friendly
    Camping
    Hiking
    Horseback riding
    Nature trips
    Walking
    Running
    Forest
    Partially paved
    River Views
    Wildflowers
    Wildlife
    Blowdown
    No dogs

Cucumber Gap and Little River Loop Trail Route Map:

Route QR Code:

Cucumber Gap and Little River Loop Trail QR Code

NOTE: As of May 2020, the road leading to the trailhead is closed due to COVID-19 concerns. Please check the park website for more information. A wonderful loop with two vastly different trips through the Smokies: one smooth and easy beside a river, and another that climbs through the woods and over streams.


The Top 5 Best Hiking Trails In The Great Smoky Mountains

2: Rhododendron Creek Hiking Trail Loop

The Top 5 Best Hiking Trails In The Smoky Mountains For Amature Day Hikers

Rhododendron Creek Trail is a 11.1 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round.

Length – 11.1km
Elevation gain – 364m
Route type – loop
Difficulty – Moderate
Estimated Time To Complete: 2hrs 47 mins

  • Trails Users Tagged This Route With The Following:
    Backpacking
    Camping
    Hiking
    Forest
    River Views
    Waterfall
    Wildflowers
    Overgrown
    No dogs

Directions and Route map:

QR CODE:

Rhododendron Creek Trail QR CODE

NOTE: As of May 2020, the road to the trailhead is closed. This will add approximately a mile to your hike.


The Top 5 Best Hiking Trails In The Great Smoky Mountains

3: Spruce Flats Falls via Lumber Ridge Loop Hiking Trail

The Top 5 Best Hiking Trails In The Smoky Mountains For Amature Day Hikers

Spruce Flats Falls via Lumber Ridge Loop is an 11.3 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Townsend, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and nature trips and is best used from May until September.

Length – 11.3 km
Elevation gain – 460m
Route type – Loop
Difficulty – Moderate
Estimated Time To Complete: 3 hours 50 minutes

  • Trails Users Tagged This Route With The Following:
    Hiking
    Nature trips
    Running
    Forest
    River Views
    Waterfall
    Wildflowers
    Wildlife
    Blowdown
    Bugs
    Overgrown
    Rocky
    No dogs

Directions and Route map:

QR CODE
Spruce Flats Falls via Lumber Ridge Loop QR Code

 


The Top 5 Best Hiking Trails In The Great Smoky Mountains

4: Cades Cove Loop Hiking Trail

The Top 5 Best Hiking Trails In The Smoky Mountains For Amature Day Hikers

Cades Cove Loop Road is a 16.9 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Townsend, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length – 16.9 km
Elevation gain – 224m
Route type – Loop
Difficulty – Moderate
Estimated Time To Complete: – 4hrs 14 mins

  • Trails Users Tagged This Route With The Following:
    Wheelchair friendly
    Kid-friendly
    Stroller friendly
    Camping
    Road biking
    Scenic driving
    Walking
    Bird watching
    Paved
    Riverview
    Wild flowers
    Wildlife
    No dogs

Directions and Route map:

QR CODE:
Cades Cove Loop Road QR Code

 


The Top 5 Best Hiking Trails In The Great Smoky Mountains

5: Rich Mountain Loop Hiking Trail

The Top 5 Best Hiking Trails In The Smoky Mountains For Amature Day Hikers

Rich Mountain Loop Trail is a great way to enjoy Cades Cove without the crowds. The trail starts at the beginning of the Loop Road, skirts the edge of some fields before reaching the John Oliver Cabin. It then climbs toward the crest of Rich Mountain then continues on to Indian Grave Gap Trail and Crooked Arm Ridge Trail. It’s a good place to see deer and the occasional black bear.

Length – 13.4 km
Elevation gain – 607m
Route type – Loop
Difficulty – Moderate
Estimated Time To Complete: 4hrs 41mins

  • Trails Users Tagged This Route With The Following:
    Kid friendly
    Backpacking
    Camping
    Hiking
    Horseback riding
    Nature trips
    Walking
    Bird watching
    Running
    ForestViews
    Waterfall
    Wild flowers
    Wildlife
    Blowdown
    No dogs

Directions and Route map:

QR CODE
Rich Mountain Loop Trail QR Code

 


Final words

The Top 5 Best Hiking Trails In The Smoky Mountains For Amature Day Hikers listed in today’s post have all been fully researched and curated from different sources, with all maps shared directly from the awesome alltrails website..

We will only ever list the best hiking trails if we know they have been fully vetted by experienced hikers, if not by ourselves then by others who have many years of experience hiking trails all over the USA.

Go on and have a wonderful and safe hiking trip in the awe-inspiring Great Smoky Mountains National park.

Thanks again for stopping by gogomountain.

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