Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains

March 1st 2016

Hikers can enjoy the sensational, scenic beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains throughout the entire year.   Every different season offers its own type of reward. During the winter, hiking can allow you to experience the new vistas and trails that reveal certain stone chimneys, walls and foundations, which remind you of the past residents. The deciduous forests shed their leaves and the outdoors takes on a new appearance. During the spring season, hikers will be treated to a plethora of fauna and flora amidst the wild growing spruce trees, wildflowers and beautiful luscious grass. During the summer season, walkers can seek out the cooler retreats that are present amongst the splashy streams, the fir-spruce forests and the cascades and roaring waterfalls. Hiking during the crisp autumn air sharpens the senses and provides the opportunity to feast your eyes on a vast array of breathtaking autumn colors. According to the folks at Creekside Lodge, you will want to experience all 4 seasons!

Best Hiking Spots

Gregory Bald: The views in this place are stunning all the year over. Gregory Bald is most renowned for its splendid flame azaleas that bloom during the summer months on the summit. Experienced hikers from all over the country come to see these beautiful flowers. At Gregory Bald, you will see Azaleas of multifaceted colors like wine red, salmon, orange, red, white, pink as well as multicolored Azaleas. You can see the spectacular views of the Fontana Lake, Cades Cove and the amazing eastern crests of the Smokies.

Rocky Top: Reaching the top of Rocky Top is a difficult task in itself. Hikers will huff and puff while hiking the first 4 miles, but are rewarded by spectacular views from the Spence Field. If the fog is less and the visibility is perfect, one can see the North Carolina part of the Smokies while standing atop the grassy beautiful meadows. Springtime is the best time to go hiking in Spence Field, as the display of mountainous laurel that you will come across is absolutely stunning! Spence Field is amazing by itself but the Appalachian Trail just 1.2 miles further along the Spence Field will serve to give you amazing panoramic views of the Fontana Lake, Cades Cove and Maryville.

Andrews Bald: Andrews Bald is only a 1.7-mile long hike, which features beautiful views. The rugged hike leads to many acres of splendid open and luscious grassy meadows. At the end of the hike you will bask in the wonderful views of the Southern side of the Smokies . This is the best place to open a blanket up, relax and enjoy a sumptuous picnic.

Abrams Falls: Even though, Abrams Falls is only 20 feet high, the spectacular waterfall over the sandstone cliff creates a magnificent sight! The 5. 2-mile hike around the waterfalls is a popular hike amongst hikers in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Considerations Before Choosing Your Hiking Spot

One of the most daunting decisions facing the hikers is how to choose the trail best suited for them. The first thing to do is to start by deciding exactly what you want to see. Decide if you want to see old growth forests, massive waterfalls, or mountaintop views. The next step is to select the distance of your hike. How far do you really want to walk? If you love to hike and haven’t hiked much in the past few days, then perhaps a five-mile round-trip is ideal for you. There are numerous ways to enjoy the hikes. In case you are interested in hiking with your kids, you can opt for the amazing kid friendly trails to bring a smile to your child’s face. In case you are planning on an all day or multi-day backpacking trip, you need to first get a permit and reservation for overnight stays. Be sure to leave early in the morning. Hikers in the Smokies travel at approximately 1.5 miles per hour so it is important to plan ahead. Sunsets range from around 5 pm during the winter months to 9 pm in the summer months. Decide on the best time to leave, plan your hike ahead of time.

The friendly staff at Creekside Lodge can provide some helpful tips as you plan your hike and other vacation activities. Don’t hesitate to call Creekside Lodge at (800) 621-1260 to plan your getaway today!

WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT US

  • We went with a large group to the Maggie Valley Creekside Lodge and they were incredibly helpful and hospitable. The accommodations were great. The large foyer area was wonderful for the group and the staff was incredible. They made us welcome in so many ways. The rates were incredibly reasonable and the room had all the necessary amenities.

    Chip T.

  • We loved our visit here! We just got home last night and we all wish we were still there! The staff is extremely helpful and the rooms are nice and clean. We spent a lot of time by the stunning creek cooking dinner on the grill and roasting s'mores over the fire pit. It is centrally located to many attractions. We went on many day trips and didn't spend all day in the car getting there. It's also within walking distance of restaurants and shops, but you may find yourself eating by the rushing creek instead!

    Amie M.

  • Really enjoyable place to stay. Room had a balcony overlooking the creek. Spacious room with comfortable bed. Staff was very nice and friendly. Took only 35-40 minutes to reach the Valley at Cataloochee where the elk were in rut. Awesome stay and can't wait to go back.

    1Pat2014

  • Clean, friendly, quiet, relaxing. Heartfelt thanks to Carol and her entire staff for making our group feel at home again this year. They went out of their way to make sure we had what we needed to make our event a success. We will be back again!

    Ricky Y.

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