The Top 3 Fall Hiking Trails in the Smoky Mountains

With over 800 miles of hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains, it can be a tough choice for you to decide which trails they will hike during their visit. Deciding which trail to walk during the fall can be an even harder decision, because no one wants to miss out the famous, spectacular display of colors that the Smoky Mountains are known for. Here are just a few of the many great fall hiking trails for you and your family to enjoy. Also here are tips for enjoying the Smoky Mountains fall colors on the top 3 fall hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains:

1. Alum Cave Trail

Alum Cave Trail is one of the park’s finest short trail hikes. The complete hike is 4.6 miles and is of moderate difficulty. However, for the best fall views on the hike, check out Inspiration Point along the way, which is 1.8 miles one-way into the hike. The hike to Inspiration Point is full of old-growth trees and amazing mountain views, making this a great hike to admire the colorful display of colors up close and personal and in a big picture view. If hikers walk the entire 4.6 miles, they will get to enjoy the Arch Rock, which is what Alum Caves is known for, along with 2 other sites.

This trail is located 10.5 miles south of Gatlinburg on Newfound Gap Road.

2. Chimney TopsFall leaves on the ground in the Smoky Mountains.

Chimney Tops is one of the most visited trails with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Though this trail is a high traffic area, don’t think that this is an easy trail. This 4-mile trail is of strenuous difficulty, so this is probably not a good trail for your young ones. However, if you have older kids this trail is perfect for them. The 2-mile, steep climb up the mountain will be completely worth it once you see the view a top of Chimney Tops. Not only will the fall colors on top of the mountain have you talking about the trip for years but the experience climbing up the mountain is something you will never forget.

Chimney Tops is located 6.7 miles south of the Sugarlands Visitor Center on Newfound Gap Road.

3. The Appalachian Trail

Okay we know what you are thinking, there is no way that you are going to hike the entire 2,178 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Well here is the thing, you don’t have too. The Appalachian Trail begins in Maine and ends in Georgia but during its course the trail winds through the Great Smoky Mountains. The Smoky Mountains section of the Appalachian Trail hold the highest altitude hikers will experience during the 2,178-mile trail. However, this high altitudes provide hikers of all types the opportunity to see some of the most spectacular fall colors within in the entire park.

To hike this section of the Appalachian Trail hikers will begin at the large parking area at Newfound Gap. Then Cross Newfound Gap Road and look for the Appalachian Trail sign. Hikers will follow the trail to Indians Gap and during the trip they will experience amazing fall colors. Round trip to Indians Gap and back is only 3.4 miles, which doesn’t sound bad at all compared to over 2,000 miles.

Wooden sign for the Appalachian Trail.These are just a few of the many amazing fall hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains. With so many great hiking options in this region, you are bound to find the one that suits your trips best weather you are looking for a short walk in the woods or looking to backpack on the Appalachian Trail, there is a little bit of everything for hikers in the Smoky Mountains. For more information, take a look at all of our Smoky Mountain hiking trails for your next vacation to the Smokies.

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