Kid Friendly Hikes in the Smokies
Summer is vastly approaching and that means it’s time to start making our exciting plans to celebrate this amazing season. It’s the time of year when we finally get to spend most of our time outdoors so we can enjoy the beautiful sunshine again! Summer is usually when most of us are able to take our annual vacation and so extra time and thought go into planning this particular trip. We all look for different things when it comes to vacation planning. If you’re bringing the whole family, you want somewhere that’ll have something to do for everyone in your party. If you’re looking to get away by yourself to get some rest and relaxation, you want somewhere peaceful to go. No matter what you may be looking for, the beautiful Smoky Mountains will take care of you. We welcome millions of visitors here from all over the world each year because there are so many different things to do. We know that one of the other important parts of planning the ideal vacation is finding an affordable, clean, and comfortable place to stay. When you Vacation Better with us at Big Bear Resort, we check off all three of those things and then some! We offer two-bedroom luxury condos that come complete with a private balcony overlooking the beautiful mountains in Wears Valley. As a thank you for staying with us, you also receive FREE TICKETS to numerous shows and attractions in the area, saving you $275 a day. We know that one of the best ways to enjoy the sunshine this time of year is doing a little hiking. We know a lot of families with younger children visit us, so we decided to dedicate this blog to some of our favorite Kid-Friendly Hikes in the Smokies! Let’s check them out.
- Porters Creek – This moderate two-mile round trip trail is one of the most popular family-friendly hikes in the Smokies. You can find the trailhead at Greenbrier Cove, which is only six miles east of Gatlinburg. The trail begins on an old gravel road, so you don’t have to worry about taking steep steps, and then you’re treated to a view of beautiful wildflowers. This particular trail is full if history that you and the kids will truly enjoy. You’ll come across the remnants of the Elbert Cantrell farmstead and other parts of the community that was once there and date back to the 1700s and 1900s. You will then get to see the Ownby Cemetery which is full of rich history as well. You can continue on over a footbridge which will lead you to the John Messer farm site. If you continue on once again, you will then come to Fern Branch Falls and the Brushy Mountain Trail junction. This is where so many of our gorgeous wildflowers can be viewed. This is an amazing hike that you and your family are sure to love.
- Gatlinburg Trail – While this is a simple walking trail and is only 1.9 miles in length, it still offers beautiful views of the river and the forest around you. This is one of only two trails that allow pets and bicycles on it, so you know it’s definitely the definition of family-friendly. Along your journey, you still get to see a bit of history as you come across chimneys and foundations from old homesites. This is a really easy trail to take the kiddos on if you’re all just wanting to stretch your legs for a bit.
- Elkmont Nature Trail – This self-guided nature trail is less than a mile long, but is still one to take the family to if you’d like to see the beautiful natural elements surrounding you like the forest greenery. You can also see the remnants of an old railroad while on your mini-adventure.
- Laurel Falls – This is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so you will want to get here as early as possible because parking will fill up quickly. This is an easy trail and is only 2.3 miles round trip. While this is classified as easy, there are still some parts where you will want to keep an extra eye on the kiddos because there are steep drop-offs. The best part of this particular trail is that it leads you to an absolutely beautiful waterfall! Get ready to snap some amazing photos of this special destination. The waterfall itself has a lower and upper section that is divided by a walkway that crosses the stream, allowing you to view both parts while here. Keep in mind that bears can also be seen here, so make sure to keep an eye out at all times.
- Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail – This is another extremely easy trail to walk and is actually wheelchair accessible (the only one you’ll find here.) This half-mile walk will feature views of a stream running along the trail itself and the remains of old homes. This is a really great family trail that you will definitely want to add to your list.
- Alum Bluff Cave Trail – This family-friendly trail will offer amazing scenic views of the forests, smaller waterfalls, creeks, and wildflowers. This is an extremely popular hike and is very well maintained because of it, making it a spot where a lot of families with young children will visit. This 4.4-mile hike will also lead you to the Leconte Lodge. You will also get to see Arch Rock, which is one of the most incredible landmarks you’ll come across in the park, so make sure to have your camera ready! Due to its popularity, you will also want to arrive here early to try and beat the crowds that are sure to grow as it gets later in the morning and afternoon.
- Grotto Falls – This is one of the more special experiences that you’ll find inside of the National Park because you can actually walk behind the waterfall itself and this is the only one where you are able to do so! It is a little over 2.5 miles round trip and it’s one that you will want to take your time and get to enjoy. You will also want to make sure to keep an eye on younger children because the falls themselves can be very dangerous. We can guarantee that this will be one that you and the family talk about and visit for years to come!
We hope you enjoyed this insider’s look at some of our favorite Kid-Friendly Hikes in the Smokies! We know that once summer comes, all everyone is going to want to do is spend some time in that beautiful sunshine that we’ve been waiting for. Hiking provides a fun adventure that will end with amazing scenery and views that all make for an exciting day out together. It’ll be so wonderful to watch as your kids grow older and get to conquer more and more of the trails in our Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Being able to create memories that will last a lifetime is what vacationing is all about. So what are you waiting for? Book Your Summer Getaway now or give us a call at 1.865.325.2382 and we would be happy to assist you with finding the perfect condo for your stay. Come and join our family here at Big Bear Resort, we would love to have you! Don’t forget to let us know what you think about our Kid-Friendly Hikes in the Smokies. If you’re looking for some other things to do, then also check out our list of some of our favorite Kid Friendly Things to do in Pigeon Forge!