Top 6 Trails for Summer Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains

andrews bald
April 2, 2021

If you want to spend some time hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains this summer, there are plenty of trails you can choose from! You can see incredible waterfalls or just enjoy a hike through the woods. Check out these top 6 trails for summer hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains:

1. Abrams Falls Trail

abrams falls

Planning on going to Cades Cove while you’re in town? Drive halfway around the Loop then get out and hike Abrams Falls Trail! This moderate trail is 5 miles roundtrip, and it’s a great hike to go on in the summer. You’ll walk through all kinds of old forest growth, and you might even spot some wildflowers and wildlife along your hike. The last leg of the trail follows along the creek, and then you’ll see the 20-foot-tall waterfall with water gushing over the side.

2. Andrews Bald Trail

Another trail that’s great for hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains in summer is Andrews Bald Trail. This hike is also considered moderate and is 3.6 miles roundtrip. You’ll hike through the woods, and then at the end, you’ll come out on top of the mountain on a bald. A bald is a meadow on top of a mountain, and there are incredible mountain views from this point.

3. Laurel Falls Trail

laurel falls

For an easy hike, you should go on Laurel Falls Trail. The path is paved all the way to the top. In the summer, the trees have tons of greenery, so you can enjoy a shaded hike to the waterfall. When you reach the top, you’ll see Laurel Falls. There’s a footbridge you can walk over and see the two tiers up close.

4. Alum Cave Trail

Alum Cave Trail is a moderate summer trail for hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. The roundtrip length is 4.6 miles. You’ll hike through the woods and past incredible geological features. There’s a place called Arch Rock along the way and some rock staircases built to make the trail easier to navigate. When you reach the bluffs, you might see water trickling down, but you’ll also be amazed by their size.

5. Grotto Falls Trail

grotto falls

Grotto Falls Trail is another popular summer hiking trail in the Smokies. It is 3 miles roundtrip and considered moderate. You’ll hike beside the creek for most of the hike. You also might see the llamas taking supplies up to Mount LeConte if you’re on the trail early enough! When you reach Grotto Falls, you’ll see that part of the trail walks behind the falls. You might also see some wildlife in the water!

6. Ramsey Cascades Trail

If you’re up for a difficult trail, you should hike to Ramsey Cascades in the summer. This hike is 8 miles roundtrip, and it follows along several creeks. You’ll have amazing views all along the trail, but the best is the cascades. There are several tiers, and the waterfall is 100 feet tall. It pours into a pool at the bottom, so you’ll definitely want to take pictures!

These are just some of the trails that are great for hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains in the summer. Want to know what else you can do when you stay with us? Check out these other Smoky Mountain attractions you should experience!