If you want to go for a hike while you’re visiting Gatlinburg, you will be happy to know there are several wonderful hikes near downtown! Downtown Gatlinburg is just minutes away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which makes it especially convenient for hiking opportunities! Here are 4 recommended Smoky Mountain hikes near downtown Gatlinburg:
1. Porters Creek Trail
One of the best trails near downtown Gatlinburg is the Porters Creek Trail, which is located in the Greenbrier section of the national park. This scenic trail offers a variety of stunning natural beauty and is a great place to see wildflowers in the spring months! While exploring the trail, your team will have the opportunity to discover a waterfall, creek, and even the remains of an old Greenbrier Cove settlement! Once you reach the end of the 2 mile hike, you will have a fabulous view of Fern Branch Falls. This 40-foot-tall waterfall is actually a series of cascades and is named after the ferns and mosses that surround it.
2. Ramsey Cascades Trail
Another one of the recommended Smoky Mountain hikes is the Ramsey Cascades Trail, which is also located in the Greenbrier area. This 4 mile out-and-back trail is rated as difficult because the route to the cascades is all uphill. However, it is a gradual climb that only gets a bit steep during the last mile approaching the cascades. The first 1.5 miles follow along an abandoned logging route before it becomes just wide enough for one person. Once reaching Ramsey Cascades, cross over the shallow pool at the bottom to reach the rock ledge on the other side for some excellent photos of the largest cascades in the Smokies!
3. Gatlinburg Trail
The Gatlinburg Trail offers a perfect hiking option for anyone because it is an easy hike that is relatively flat. The trail travels for 1.9 miles from River Road in downtown Gatlinburg to the Sugarlands Visitor Center, where you can enjoy extensive natural history exhibits, watch a free 20-minute film about the national park and browse through the bookstore. The Gatlinburg Trail runs through the forest as it follows along the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River and offers beautiful views of the river. The foundations and chimneys of several old homesites are also visible along the trail.
4. Baskins Creek Falls Trail
If you visit Gatlinburg during the summer months, be sure to hike along the Baskins Creek Falls Trail! The main trailhead is found along Roaring Fork Nature Trail loop road, which is usually closed during the winter. This moderate 3-mile roundtrip hike descends on its way to the falls, which are absolutely beautiful and well worth the challenge of the return hike! While returning to the trailhead, keep an eye out for the Baskins Creek Cemetery sign. While it is a steep hike about 200 yards off the main trail to the old cemetery, it is well worth the visit!
We hope your team enjoys these Smoky Mountain hikes before or after your tournament at Rocky Top Sports World! If you are looking for a convenient place to stay during your tournament in the Smokies, check out all of our affordable lodging options!