It can be tempting to travel the world to locate picturesque sights, but don’t forget that America has an abundance of scenic terrain for you to discover. For instance, the Smoky Mountain range in Tennessee offers several hikes that you should include on your list of important places to visit.
Chimney Tops Trail
One of the area’s most popular hikes is the Chimney Tops Trail. If you decide to climb to the top, then be prepared with a jacket because the weather can change suddenly. The hike is one of the mountain's shorter ones at just 2 miles. However, it is a steep climb, so consider your fitness level before you begin the journey. In fact, for the last mile, you’ll be climbing more than 830 feet.
Once you reach the hike’s halfway point, you’ll have a view of the Chimney Tops proper, which is a splendid sight. Furthermore, the proper is a rock ridge that you will need to climb to reach the summit. After you arrive at the pinnacle, you’ll also have an amazing view of the area.
You can hike along the Chimney Tops Trail year-round. Furthermore, each season provides its own set of spectacles. For instance, in the spring, you can hike when the azalea, mountain laurel and rhododendron are blooming while during the fall, you’ll be climbing among trees that are orange, yellow and red. The winter and summer months also offer hiking advantages. For instance, in the summer, you can cool off in the site’s mountain stream, and during the winter, the cooler temperatures are refreshing.
Laurel Falls Trail
The Laurel Falls Trail is another unforgettable hike in the Smoky Mountains. The hike is stunning at any time of the year, but if you visit in May, then you may have the opportunity to see the mountain laurel plant. Laurel Falls is an 80-foot tall waterfall that includes an upper and lower section. Furthermore, a walkway divides the two sections. The roundtrip hike is 2.6 miles long, and its difficulty level is moderate. It takes most people about two hours to reach the waterfall and arrive back to their vehicle.
Park overseers recommend that you keep a close eye on your children because the trail includes steep grades and rough pavement. Also, children should be old enough to participate in the hike as the trail is not smooth enough for strollers. The area also features bears, so use caution during your hike.
In the Smoky Mountains, you can also hike on the Rainbow Falls trail, which takes you to a pretty waterfall. The natural water feature is appropriately named because on sunny afternoons, you’ll likely see a rainbow emitting from the 80-foot tall spectacle. A visual treat is waiting for you in the winter since ice forms around the waterfall during lengthy cold spells. Plan to spend a few hours in nature as the hike is 5.4 miles roundtrip. Keep in mind that you will be climbing to reach the falls. In fact, from the trailhead to the water feature, the trail rises about 1,500 feet in elevation. In addition, you will hike over rocky terrain, and bears may be in this section of the park.
A challenging hike in the Smoky Mountains is memorable and the perfect way to see a small section of the nation. While there, you’ll have the chance to appreciate some of Mother Nature’s spectacular achievements.