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Want to get out in the national park but don’t know which trails would be good for your family to try? We want to share some of the best trails in the Smoky Mountains for families! There are short trails that are perfect for small kids, as well as the rest of the family! Even if you want a slightly longer hike, we have it for you! Here are 5 of the best trails in the Smoky Mountains for families:
1. Laurel Falls
If you want to see a cool natural feature, you should hike to Laurel Falls. This trail is considered easy, probably because of the paved path. It is 2.6 miles roundtrip, making it a great day hike for the whole family! Small kids will love climbing up the mountainside while enjoying the beautiful mountain laurel. Once you reach the top, you’ll see the 80-foot-tall waterfall. Walk across the footbridge to take pictures in front of the gushing water. Just be cautious on your way up and down since there are a few steep drop offs along the trail.
2. Elkmont Nature Trail
One of the best trails in the Smoky Mountains for families is the Elkmont Nature Trail. This easy trail is 0.8 of a mile long, making it a great simple walk for small kids. This trail is used for bird watching and showing kids flowers and other parts of nature. Your kids will love walking along the creek and seeing mushrooms growing out of the ground and flowers in the spring. You can even cross the creek on a footbridge, which they will find fun!
3. Cataract Falls
Another great trail to take your family on is Cataract Falls. The trail itself is 1.1 miles roundtrip, making it a great length. The path is easy to follow since wood blocks are used to line the path. You all will love walking along the creek and seeing the unique trees along the way. You might even see a beautiful mountain view! Near the end of the trail, there’s a small waterfall you guys will enjoy stopping and seeing.
4. Gatlinburg Trail
If you want to go on a slightly longer hike, you should try the Gatlinburg Trail. This is one of the best trails in the Smoky Mountains, because it is one of the only ways that allows bikes, dogs, and horses on the trail too. You’ll walk along the west prong of the Little Pigeon River for a good portion of the trail. Then you will cross footbridges and continue along the path, where you will see native plants and wildflowers. Near the end of the trail, there are remains of old homesteads you can explore.
5. Metcalf Bottoms Trail
If you plan on being in Metcalf Bottoms for a picnic, you should hike the Metcalf Bottoms Trail too! This out-and-back trail is 1.5 miles roundtrip, a great length for the whole family. At the end of the trail, there’s an old log cabin school. Your whole family will love walking along the river as you enjoy the trail together.
These are just some of the best trails in the Smoky Mountains you should hike with your family. Wondering what else you should do as a family? Check out these other attractions in Pigeon Forge for some ideas!