Top 4 Smoky Mountain Hikes for Athletes
While you are in town for your sporting event at Rocky Top Sports World, you can use the rest of your vacation time to explore the beautiful scenery of the Smoky Mountains. Our sports complex is located just minutes away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where you will find over 800 miles of magnificent hiking trails! Here are 4 of the best Smoky Mountain hikes for athletes:
1. Alum Cave Trail to Mt. LeConte
The hike along Alum Cave Trail is filled with plenty of excitement. In total, the hike to the bluffs covers 5 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of over 500 feet. The first geological feature you will come to is Arch Rock, which was formed by the freezing and thawing and erosion of soft rock. The trail travels under the rock formation along a stone staircase that you don’t want to miss! Then, you will come to another set of stone steps that lead you to the Alum Cave Bluffs. You will be amazed by the fantastic view of the mountains from the peak of the trail. In fact, the bluffs stand at over 80 feet tall! If you want to continue your adventure, you can travel to Mt. LeConte, which offers an unbelievable mountain view from 6,500 feet above sea level!
2. Chimney Tops Trail
For those who are in need of a pregame workout, Chimney Tops Trail is a great option. The trail is only 3.3 miles roundtrip, which allows you to complete the hike in just a couple of hours. However, you will encounter an elevation gain of 1,400 feet in a short amount of time. There are 360 stone steps that lead you to the peak of the Chimney Tops, which is sure to have you breaking a sweat. Once you reach the peak, you will be met with one of the most gorgeous views in the Smokies, which is why this is considered to be one of the most popular hikes in the mountains.
3. Andrews Bald Trail
The main reason people decide to go hiking in the Smokies is to experience panoramic mountain views. One of the best ways to complete this mission is by taking the trip to Andrews Bald. The best thing about this trail is that it is well maintained and easy to navigate, making it a great hike for your entire sports team. While the trail is aligned with stone steps now, that has not always been the case. This trail used to be considered one of the more difficult Smoky Mountain hikes, but the Trails Forever program made the effort to make it much more manageable!
4. Laurel Falls Trail
If you are short on time before your next match, the hike to Laurel Falls is a great option! The trail is only 2.3 miles roundtrip, but also features one of the most incredible waterfalls in the Smokies. Laurel Falls is a 80-foot waterfall that is separated into two sections by a small footbridge. Because guests can walk in front of the falls, this is the perfect place to pose for a team photo to take back home!
Now that you know about some of the best Smoky Mountain hikes for your team, check out some of the other trails near downtown Gatlinburg! We look forward to seeing you soon in the Smokies!