Top 4 Trails for Hiking in the Smoky Mountains This Fall

The fall season is a spectacular time to visit the Smoky Mountains! This is a magical time of year when you can view gorgeous fall foliage and enjoy cool, crisp weather that is perfect for the great outdoors! This means that you will want to hit some of the best hiking trails in the area, so get your hiking gear together and experience the natural beauty of the Smokies! Here are the top 4 trails for hiking in the Smoky Mountains this fall:

1. Porters Creek Trail

The Porters Creek Trail is a lovely trail that is popular because it features a bit of everything, ranging from the remnants of historical sites to a stunning 60 foot waterfall! The trail is ideal for a fall hike because you are surrounded by trees and can view spectacular sights of the leaves changing colors! The waterfall, Fern Branch Falls, is located about 2 miles into the hike and is especially picturesque during high water flows. Be sure to bring your camera along as you won’t want to miss this unique photo opportunity!

2. Alum Cave Trail

Alum Cave BluffsAnother one of the top trails for hiking in the Smoky Mountains in the fall is the Alum Cave Trail, which features a wonderful blend of natural geological markers, scenic views, and sheer beauty! Since this hike reaches an elevation of nearly 5,000 feet, it provides amazing views of the fall colors! Some of the best panoramic views are at Inspiration Point, which is situated about 2 miles along the trail. You can then continue along to Alum Cave Bluffs, which is not actually a cave, but rather a massive overhang that towers nearly 80 feet high! While many folks use this as a turnaround point, others continue for several more miles to the summit of Mount LeConte for some unbelievable views!

3. Ramsey Cascades Trail

The Ramsey Cascades Trail leads to the tallest waterfall in the National Park, but the roundtrip hike is considered strenuous because the trail to the waterfall gains more than 2,000 feet in elevation! If you are up for the challenge, you will not only be rewarded with the glorious sight of the falls but also some incredible vantage points for the fall foliage! This is because the trail travels through an old growth forest and winds past rivers and streams that are lined with yellow birch! Once reaching the waterfall, be sure to not climb on the rocks as they are slippery due to mist and algae.

4. Gregory Bald

Gregory Ridge Trail When it comes to hiking in the Smoky Mountains during the fall, you won’t want to miss the Gregory Bald Trail! You’ll want to allocate a full day of your vacation to experience this 11.3 mile round trip hike, which allows plenty of time to stop and admire the jaw dropping scenery! This trail is situated above Cades Cove in a high elevation that is perfect for seeing the changing fall colors! While the view from the top of Gregory Bald is breathtaking, the hike there is nearly as impressive, featuring a hardwood forest that comes alive with color during the fall season!

Check out all of our cabins in the Smokies today to stay close to these fantastic trails for hiking in the Smoky Mountains! We look forward to seeing you this fall!