The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not only a breathtaking destination for nature enthusiasts but also a perfect playground for families seeking outdoor adventures. Among the various activities available, hiking stands out as a fantastic way to explore the park's beauty while creating lasting memories with your loved ones. Here are six kid-friendly Smoky Mountain hiking trails that cater to all ages, ensuring an enjoyable experience for the whole family.
Laurel Falls Trail:
Located near Gatlinburg, the Laurel Falls Trail is a popular choice for families. This paved path spans 2.6 miles roundtrip and leads to the majestic Laurel Falls, a 80-foot cascade. The trail's gentle incline and stunning views make it an ideal option for families with younger children.
Grotto Falls Trail:
If your family seeks a unique adventure, the Grotto Falls Trail is a must-visit. This 2.6-mile roundtrip trail features a beautiful waterfall where hikers can actually walk behind the cascading water. Children will be captivated by this enchanting experience and the lush surroundings along the way.
Metcalf Bottoms Trail:
Metcalf Bottoms Trail is a scenic trail located in the quieter Townsend area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Stretching approximately 2.4 miles roundtrip, this easy to moderate trail is suitable for hikers of all ages and fitness levels. The well-maintained path winds through lush forests, alongside tranquil streams, and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The Walker Sisters' Cabin is a notable stop along the way. This cabin was home to the Walker sisters, who were some of the last residents to live within the national park boundaries.
The Gatlinburg Trail stretches approximately 3.8 miles roundtrip, providing a moderate hike suitable for all skill levels. Starting near the Sugarlands Visitor Center, this trail winds its way along the west bank of the Little Pigeon River, leading visitors through a picturesque landscape of towering trees, peaceful meadows, and serene river views.
Baskin Creek Falls Trail:
The Baskin Creek Falls Trail is a moderate 3-mile roundtrip hike located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The trail leads you through a picturesque forest, crossing over a footbridge, and ascending gently along Baskin Creek. As you approach the climax of the hike, you'll be rewarded with the breathtaking sight of the cascading Baskin Creek Falls, plunging approximately 40 feet into a tranquil pool below.
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