Thinking about taking some time to unplug and unwind in the Smokies? There are just under 900 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains and we’d love nothing more than to introduce you to some! In case you need more inspiration as you narrow down your trip options with us or are planning a self-guided excursion, here are three of our favorite trails.
This is easily a favorite trail for many of our lodge-based guests and is great as a day hike too! From Newfound Gap parking area, follow the Appalachian Trail to stunning views at Charlies Bunion on this out-and-back, 8 mile hike. Trek through a rocky, mossy, high altitude dense spruce-fir forest where gnomes surely must hide. Along the way, you’ll visit a trail shelter and maybe even spot a thru-hiker or two! If Mother Nature is willing, the views at the Bunion can’t be beat and the 1640′ elevation gain ensures you get your heart pumping before you get there.
Hike the Art Loeb Trail to the stunning, brilliant white, quartz-crusted Shining Rock Mountain. Along the way catch breathtaking vistas from Black Balsam Knob and explore wildflower-covered, view-packed mountain balds. Follow the Art Loeb Trail on a Portered Shining Rock trip for an opportunity to enjoy spectacular 360-degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains without the weight of a full backpack. In late summer you can eat blueberries all the way to camp.
Albright Grove Loop
This 6.7 mile loop trail takes you to one of the truly magical zones of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: magnificent old-growth forest. Albright Grove is a rare example of a virgin cove hardwood forest, as only 25% of the park is old-growth. Albright Grove ranks among the jewels of the Great Smokies and is considered one of the best east of the Mississippi. Picnic under Carolina Silverbells, Hemlock, Beech, and Tulip trees spared from the logger’s ax a century ago. You can experience this amazing section of trail on our Ancient Appalachia Loop hike.