31. Ramsey Cascades Trail

Ramsey Cascades is the tallest waterfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park at 105 feet. The beautiful waterfall drops down rock outcroppings and gathers in a small pool. There are several places to get great photos with the waterfall in the background.


30. Old Settlers Trail via Maddron Bald Trail

Old Settlers Trail has more historical remnants than any other trail in the park. Early settlers flourished in this area. Many communities were built, then abandoned when park founders took the land for the park through eminent domain. Although this hike is included on our list of 38 Popular Day Hikes, you may want to finish it over two days.


23. Alum Cave Trail to Mt. LeConte

Alum Cave Trail is arguably the easiest route to Mt. LeConte. Along the way, hikers will enjoy some of the best geological features in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Alum Cave Bluffs and Arch Rock are two highlights.


21. Rainbow Falls Trail

The wildflowers on Rainbow Falls Trail are amazing in the spring. The 80’ tall waterfall is spectacular after a long, steady rain. Rainbow Falls derives its name from the rainbow sometimes visible in the mist on sunny days. Rainbow Falls is also the highest single-drop waterfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


19. Chimney Tops Trail

Chimney Tops Trail is one of the most popular in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is also one of the most strenuous. So what makes one of the most strenuous trails one of the most popular? That is easy; the end of the trail reveals one of the most amazing views in the entire park.


7. Russell Field & Spence Field Loop

Although the trail is called a loop, it is actually a lollipop trail. As you begin your hike on Anthony Creek Trail, expect to see many other hikers along this crowded trail. Even though it is rated “strenuous,” it is well utilized. The loop encompasses four trails.


5. Shuckstack Tower Trail

Fighting forest fires in the 1930’s was not as advanced as it is today, and having a bird’s eye view required putting a man above the trees. Park Rangers used these fire towers throughout the park to monitor the forest and report any fires. As technology advanced, the towers became obsolete and were abandoned. Many of the old fire towers have disappeared.


4. Gregory Ridge Trail

Gregory Bald is considered one of the most spectacular settings in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Each summer, flame azaleas cover the bald in an amazing panorama of colors. Due to the difficult nature of this hike, only the physically fit get to enjoy the payoff.

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