No matter your age, there are plenty of activities and attractions in Gatlinburg that are sure to keep your attention. If you're bringing along little ones, make sure to spend a day or two at the Wild Bear Falls Water Park at Smoky Mountain Resort and Spa. And for those of you who enjoy visiting museums, the Ripley's Believe it or Not! Odditorium and the Hollywood Star Cars Museum are worth a visit. Gatlinburg is also an excellent part of the country to enjoy nature, especially when going on hikes. Here's a quick look at a few of the top hiking trails in Gatlinburg.
Kanati Fork Trail
This trail has a roundtrip length of four miles, with its highest elevation being at 4,328 feet. It has a moderate difficulty rating, meaning you need to be in good physical shape to travel it. Over the course of the entire hike, you'll cross several creeks, and since the trail has no steep hikes, you'll barely notice the elevation. Keep in mind that the Kanati Fork Trail is about a 40-minute drive from Gatlinburg, but it's definitely worth the trip.
If you're looking for a trail closer to Gatlinburg, then Laurel Falls has you covered. Located right outside Gatlinburg, this 2.6 mile trail is paved the entire way and provides breathtaking scenery. Nearby you'll find the Laurel Inn in Gatlinburg, with 30 guest rooms, all boasting kitchenettes and air conditioning. After spending the day hiking, come back to Laurel Inn* and freshen up for a night out at the Smoky Mountain Brewery where you'll have a great time sipping on your favorite beverages.
A short 20-minute drive from Gatlinburg will bring you to Alum Cave, which features a roundtrip hike of 4.4 miles. At its highest elevation, you'll find an 80-foot high bluff. During the winter, water dripping down the bluff turns into massive icicles, perfect for taking photos. But do be careful because if one of the icicles falls, you will have to move quickly to dodge it. Once you make it back to your hotel after hiking, if you're in the mood for going out to eat, stop in at Blue Moose Burgers and Wings.
If you're looking for a challenge, then Chimney Tops is a hiking trail that you'll want to climb at least once in your life. You'll enjoy rough terrain, and the last mile is known for being intimidating, for those who are afraid of heights. After hiking this trail, you deserve to come back to a hotel that optimizes luxury, such as The Lodge at Buckberry Creek in Gatlinburg. With rates around $200 a night, you'll enjoy concierge services, jetted bathtubs, a fancy bar, and much more.
Coming to Gatlinburg to satisfy your hiking endeavors is a wise choice to make. Best of all, you'll have access to top-notch lodging accommodations, with a slew of hotels ranging from 2 to 5 stars. Just make sure to plan your trip accordingly because this tourist hot spot stays busy year-round.
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Whitney Cann spends the most of her days behind a computer screen, writing about a variety of topics. She often blogs about her own family vacation getaways and she is currently working on the #HipmunkCityLove Project. Her writing endeavors will take her to Walt Disney World and Cancun in the near future.
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