The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to more than 800 miles of beautiful hiking trails. Some of these trails are intense and require much physical exertion, while others are more suited for gentle and relaxing strolls. When hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you will encounter many trails with jutting rocks, tree roots, and other obstacles that require some careful navigation. While these may be fine for some, those in a wheelchair or families with little ones in strollers may not be as pleased with the qualities of these trails!
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a variety of well-maintained trails, some even paved to be ideal for those coming along with a set of wheels. These stroller-friendly and wheelchair-friendly hiking trails in Gatlinburg are great for enjoying a summer morning or fall afternoon. Don’t let mobility issues stop you and your family from seeing the beautiful sights of the Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee!
The Gatlinburg Trail
Located near the Sugarlands Visitors Center, this trail is a little under four miles round-trip. This trail is very well maintained and features a gravel path with some paved areas and even a wooden bridge to cross over. This trail is relatively flat and offers views of the river and foundations of old homesteads. Pets and bicycles are welcome on this trail!
Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail
This fully paved trail is about a half mile in length and is nearly all flat, making it fully handicap accessible. This Gatlinburg hiking trail offers views of a gently flowing creek, an old cabin, and even a waterfall! Check out the museum at the trailhead to learn more about the trail and the area that surrounds it.
Cades Cove Road
One of the busiest areas in the park, this road is rich in history and offers opportunities for wildlife viewing. The road is typically open to vehicles except for Saturday and Wednesday mornings – plan an early trip that wraps up before 10:00 a.m. if you wish to walk! This 11-mile, one way loop features views of valleys, the mountains, churches, and more.
Cataract Falls Trail
This trail is relatively short at less than one half mile in length. This dirt path trail is very flat and easily navigable, great for anyone who may have some trouble getting around. The shortest trail to reach a waterfall, this path is great for families with children who would just like to see how a hiking trip would go!
With the variety of hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you will be delighted by your options when you vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Get out of your cabin rental and explore the sights and sounds that the Smoky Mountains have to offer. Don’t hesitate to contact the National Park Service if you have questions about the accessibility of any of the trails!
For U.S. citizens with a permanent disability, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a free “Access Passport” at the Sugarlands and Oconaluftee visitor centers. These passes offer free admission to federal areas that typically charge entrance fees. The passport also offers price reductions for some other park usage fees.