4 Scenic Day Hikes in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Quite a national treasure to behold, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park covers 800+ square miles and is a haven for wildlife of all shapes and sizes — from powerful black bears to shy salamanders. Along scenic hiking trails, you can find mountaintop vistas, rushing streams, cascading waterfalls, and remnants of ancient homesteads. The most visited national park in the United States, this mountainous escape is only minutes from your peaceful cabin rental in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. 

Notably, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers 800+ miles of hiking trails; some are mild and great for children while others are extreme and ideal for adventure seekers. When you venture on a hike in the mountains of Gatlinburg, you can spend anywhere from an hour to several days exploring and seeing the sights — there are routes for every skill and experience level!

While vacationing at your Gatlinburg cabin rental, you can choose to spend your time how you wish — shopping, visiting attractions, or day hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are dozens of trails that are great for day hikes, featuring views that will take your breath away. Even if you don’t have any previous hiking experience, the following 4 day hikes are suitable for most skill levels and are some of the best in the area!

1. Brushy Mountain Trail

Accessible from the Trillium Gap Trailhead, this day hike in the Smokies takes you through scenes and views of all types. Nearly 7 miles in length, Brushy Mountain Trail is one of the longer day hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Parts of the trail are well-traveled and worn, while others are more rocky and strenuous — make sure to bring plenty of water and plan to rest at the top of this hike!

In the spring, you can glimpse some of the area’s unique wildflowers, such as violets and trillium. A little more than one mile into your hike you will pass Grotto Falls, a tumbling waterfall that is one of the most visited in the area. As you make your way onward, you will pass a variety of plants — rhododendron, blackberry and huckleberry bushes, and more. At the top, you will be able to see a beautiful stretch of the Great Smoky Mountains, including Mount LeConte and Chapman.

2. Bullhead Trail

Shorter in length and a little less strenuous than the first hike, Bullhead Trail is 6 miles roundtrip and gains an elevation of about 550 feet. Accessible via Traffic Light #8, this trail features plenty of parking, views of the mountains, and intriguing landscapes. In fact, the trail received its name from the exposed bald that resembles a bull’s head from a distance!

Rocky mountain faces and two small caves are just a couple of the features you will pass on your way up the trail. You can enjoy views of surrounding mountains as you make your way to the top, including impressive Balsam Point. End your hike when you reach the unique rock cairn — stacked stones that you can climb atop to enjoy an even better view of the mountains.

3. Huskey Gap Trail

This moderate trail is suitable for all levels of hikers, only a little over 4 miles roundtrip. Ideal for wildflower viewing in the spring months, Huskey Gap Trail can be kind of crowded, given its close distance to the downtown area. Located off Newfound Gap Road, this trail is a great place to spend an afternoon with family or friends.

As you hike along the trail, background noise will fade. You can catch peeks of an old stone fence, homesteads, and beautiful flora. Tulip trees are prevalent, as are a variety of wildflowers, from dwarf iris and wild ginger to yellow mandarin and a variety of violets. You can extend your hike up the Sugarland Mountain Trail or Little River Trail, giving you a variety of options if you choose to continue!

4. Baskins Creek Falls

This trail is a gentle and relaxed hike, accessible for all levels of adventurers. About 3 miles in length, the destination of Baskins Creek Falls is a beautiful 40-foot waterfall! Cascading down 2 tiers of mountains, this spot is great for photographers, both professional and amateur, and ideal for a nice picnic lunch.

Crossing footbridges and creeks, if you embark on your hike after a long rain, the trail may be a little treacherous. In winter, you can enjoy peeks of the town of Gatlinburg or the towering mountainsides that are nearby. Some steep descents make for more work on your way back, but we promise that the sounds and sights of the waterfall will reward your efforts.

Gatlinburg Cabin Rentals for YOU

Whether you want to stay near the national park to hit the trails ASAP or tucked into the mountaintops for panoramic, dreamy mountain views, Cabins for YOU has the Gatlinburg cabin rental for your ideal vacation. Accommodating anywhere from 1-50+ guests and featuring amenities to entertain and relax, our Gatlinburg cabins give you plenty of options.

After your day hike, soak tired muscles in the steamy hot tub or sauna or unwind in your private indoor pool. Kick up your feet and sip local wine by a crackling fireplace in the living room while the kiddos burn energy playing games in the rec room. Flip on the big screen TV or set up a movie night in the home theater with a projector!

You can cook in the fully equipped kitchen, roast marshmallows around the firepit, tap into the free Wi-Fi, and wash hiking gear in the laundry space. When the night draws near, enjoy a spa bath in the jetted tub and slip into your soothing king suite. Book your cabin in Gatlinburg online or at 1.800.684.7865 today!

Plan a memorable vacation with family and friends in Gatlinburg and explore nearby day hikes in the scenic Smoky Mountains.


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