Kid Friendly And Beginner Nature Trails


We are so excited that they finally opened the National Park! It seemed too long to be kept from the gorgeous rivers and trails of our beloved Smokies. 

I have put together a list of trails that are great for beginners and people with kids. 

Lets face it, after spending all that time at home, we’re all going to need some trails to ease us back into hiking before tackling trails like Alum cave again. 

We’re excited to see people visiting the park again to take advantage of this perfect-for-hiking spring weather.


Join us in May and June for a get moving hiking trails challenge! Hike 3 different trails in the Smoky Mountains or in your area, post a picture of your family and tag us! 


Laurel falls 


Completely paved allowing for easy walkability, a very popular hike for lots of families at 2.3 miles round trip. The destination of the beautiful and tall Laurel falls makes it very worth it!

Gatlinburg trail

This is a very pleasant trail that is an easy walk for beginners. It travels near a lovely creek half of the way. There are sections that are graveled or packed down smooth dirt. You can start the trail at The Sugarlands visitor center, or across the street from the NOC parking lot at the end of the downtown Gatlinburg strip. At the end of the trail is a waterfall, a great motivator for any hike! 


Grotto Falls 

This trail is located in the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, a wonderful driveable trail that is great for kids itself. 

It is a 2.6 mile round trip to the falls and starts at the Trillium Gap trail head. 


Little River

This trail is completely flat and follows a beautiful river the whole way. It is not a destination trail but rather a journey trail. Go as far or as little as you like. The actual trail extends 6 miles to a backcountry camping spot. The first 2 miles are a historical hike with old houses, foundations and chimneys, remnants of the last settlers that lived there when the land became a National Park. 

This is a great trail for a little bit of hiking, nature observing, leisure walking, fishing and river dipping.


Cades Cove loop nature trails

Aside from being a great drive with mountain views and wildlife spotting, Cades cove has many little walking trails that typically have a destination to a little farm house displaying what pioneer life was like for the settlers in the valley!


Happy hiking!

by Audrey Carlson