Local Activities and Other Great Smoky Mountain National Park Adventures
If you haven’t been to Cades Cove, it is an absolutely breathtaking and highly rated place to visit while you’re in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park! However, the popular Cades Cove Loop Road will be closed January 5th, 2020 through March 1st, 2020 due to tunnel and road repairs.
So now what do you do? Well, let us tell you that there’s LOTS to do, not only in Townsend, but tons of great places to see and go to in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park!
Read a few places to visit in the park below:
- Just a short drive from Knoxville, House Mountain Natural Area offers hiking, mountain biking and camping opportunities to suit a variety of skill levels. Learn more here.
- This area inside Great Smoky Mountain National Park marks the entrance to multiple trails. Named after the rainbow produced by mist around its base, rainbow falls offers a spectacular view as the reward for a moderately difficult hike. Nearby Grotto Falls is a short 2-3 hour hike that features a 25-foot waterfall. Learn more about the area here.
- A portion of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina leads to Max Patch, a 4,600-foot bald mountain top with views of the Smokies. Learn more here.
- Located along the Little River Gorge is a very easy hike that offers plenty of sites and a picnic area. The Little Greenbriar school located there was built in 1882 and is open for tours. Read more here.
Ijams Nature Center
- Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness offers a place to get away without leaving the city. With dozens of mountain biking trails, places for picnics, hiking and water activities this area has something for everyone. Learn more about activities available here.
- A paved 1.3 mile trail leads to an 80-foot waterfall which is named after the Laurel flowers that bloom along the trail. Hikers can access the moderately difficult trailhead from the Sugarlands Visitor Center in Gatlinburg. Learn more here.
- The tallest waterfall inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is nestled at the end of a difficult four-mile hike. The last two miles of the trail pass through old-growth cove hardwood forest with large tuliptrees, basswoods, silverbells, and yellow birches. Learn more about Ramsay Cascades here.
Alum Cave Bluffs
- A trail that crosses over wooden bridges and through a natural stone tunnel called Arch Rock leads hikers to Alum Cave Bluff. The 2.3-mile hike is steep and might be tough for some. Serious adventurers can continue on passed the cave for a total five miles to reach a perch just below the summit of Mr. Le Conte. If none of these options sound appealing to you, there are plenty of other opportunities to enjoy nature at Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Visit the NPS website to find more destinations and activities.
For activities to do in Townsend, check out our other blog post here!
Photo by: Amy Callahan