Best Trails of Tennessee

This list represents the most popular trails in Tennessee (learn more about Top Trails). Use this list to plan your next Tennessee outdoor trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

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#1. Ganier Ridge Loop


This loop explores the high and the low of Radnor Lake State Natural Area. Depart from the less-used east side of the park, then climb steeply up the Ganier Ridge Trail into the highest hills in Nashv…
From the guidebook "60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Nashville"
Brentwood, TN - Hiking - 2.4 miles Best Trail in TN - Click to view allBestHiking Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Menasha Ridge Press

#2. Alum Cave Bluffs


It doesn’t get much better than this! Every able person who visits the Smokies is encouraged to make this hike at least once, even if you can’t stand a crowd. If continuing the 2.7 miles from the bluf…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Gatlinburg, TN - Hiking - 4.6 miles Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#3. Virgin Falls Trail at Virgin Falls State Natural Area


The trail into Virgin Falls is a favorite among backpackers inTennessee because of the abundance of sights along the trail. Not only do you get the spectacular Virgin Falls, but also Big Branch Falls,…
From the guidebook "Hiking Tennessee"
Sparta, TN - Hiking - 8.4 miles Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#4. Mount LeConte via Rainbow Falls and Bull Head


The only way to hike to Mount LeConte and return to your car without backtracking or long road walking is by utilizing Rainbow Falls Trail and Bull Head Trail. The first 2.7 miles to Rainbow Falls is…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Gatlinburg, TN - Backpacking, Hiking - 13.6 miles Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#5. Chimney Tops


This hike offers cascading streams, wildflowers, scenic forest views, rugged rock outcrops, and unparalleled vistas. Access to the trailhead is easy, and the hike is relatively short. What it doesn’t…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Gatlinburg, TN - Hiking - 4 miles Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#6. Laurel Falls–Cove Mountain at Great Smoky Mountains National Park


This wide, paved trail is very heavily traveled for the first 1.3 miles until it reaches the 75-foot Laurel Falls. You will usually find a crowd at the pool at the base of the upper falls, but after p…
From the guidebook "Hiking Tennessee"
Gatlinburg, TN - Hiking - 6.8 miles Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#7. Abrams Falls Trail at Great Smoky Mountains National Park


This well-worn 2.5-mile trail passes up and down along a ridgeline, with views of the river below from the ridge at times. It passes through a gap that has some nice views, before descending the back…
From the guidebook "Hiking Tennessee"
Townsend, TN - Hiking - 5 miles Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#8. Little River Loop


This overnight loop follows the Little River deep into the heart of the Smokies, where you will camp in the shadow of Clingmans Dome. Then you’ll ascend Sugarland Mountain via Rough Creek Trail and ca…
From the guidebook "Day & Overnight Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Gatlinburg, TN - Hiking - 19.5 miles Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Menasha Ridge Press

#9. Mount Cammerer via Low Gap


Formerly called White Rock by Tennesseans and Sharp Top by Carolinians, this mountaintop rock outcrop was renamed by the park service after Arno B. Cammerer, a former director of the National Park Ser…
From the guidebook "Day & Overnight Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Hartford, TN - Hiking - 10.8 miles Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Menasha Ridge Press

#10. Collins Gulf and Stagecoach Road Historic Trails


The 9.9-mile Collins Gulf Trail and the 1.6-mile Stagecoach Road Historic Trail combine with a short piece of the Connector Trail to make one of the most fascinating loop hikes on the South Cumberland…
From the guidebook "40 Hikes In Tennessee's South Cumberland"
Dunlap, TN - Hiking - 11.9 miles Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#11. Frozen Head State Park Campground


Frozen Head is a little-known jewel of a state park tucked away in the Cumberland Mountains, a mountain range west of the Smokies. Steep, forested peaks and deep valleys diffused with rock formations…
From the guidebook "The Best In Tent Camping: The Southern Appalachian & Smoky Mountains"
Wartburg, TN - Campgrounds Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Menasha Ridge Press

#12. Clingmans Dome - Tennessee Highpoint


Highpoint rank by height: 17th. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most popular of all the National Parks. Combine this with the busy areas of nearby Pigeon Forge, TN and Gatlinburg, TN…
From the guidebook "Highpoint Adventures: The Complete Guide to the 50 State Highpoints"
Gatlinburg, TN - Hiking - 1 mile Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#13. Bald River Falls Trail (CNF Trail No. 88) at Cherokee National Forest, Tellico District


This hike starts at Bald River Falls on FS 210 and follows the river, passing through forest and over numerous rock embankments and cascades, and heading upstream and crossing junctions for other trai…
From the guidebook "Hiking Tennessee"
Tellico Plains, TN - Hiking - 11.2 miles Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#14. Indian Boundary Campground


Indian Boundary is the pride of the southern Cherokee National Forest—and with good reason. The wooded camping area lies in a flat beside a clear lake and beneath tall mountains. Individual campsites…
From the guidebook "The Best In Tent Camping: The Southern Appalachian & Smoky Mountains"
Tellico Plains, TN - Campgrounds Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Menasha Ridge Press

#15. Perimeter Trail


Operated by the town of Fairview, Bowie Nature Park traverses mildly rolling Middle Tennessee forestland not usually slated for preservation. The Bowie Sisters, longtime Fairview residents, rehabilita…
From the guidebook "60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Nashville"
Nashville, TN - Hiking - 5.1 miles Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Menasha Ridge Press

#16. Grotto Falls


Grotto Falls is appropriately named. Roaring Fork spills from an overhanging ledge some 20 feet into a small pool, creating a dry space behind the falls for the trail to pass. The waterfall is lovel…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Gatlinburg, TN - Hiking, Horseback Riding - 2.6 miles Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#17. Abrams Falls


Abrams Falls is only about 20 feet high, but it has the greatest water volume of any major waterfall in the park, and also the largest plunge pool. The hike follows closely beside Abrams Creek nearly…
From the guidebook "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Townsend, TN - Hiking - 5 miles Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#18. Big Frog Trail to Low Gap (CNF Trail No. 64) at Cherokee National Forest, Ocoee District


The less visited and less commercialized Big Frog Wilderness contains thirteen trails. They create a web-like, interlocking pattern over the broad face of Big Frog Mountain, and contain some narrow ri…
From the guidebook "Hiking Tennessee"
Ocoee, TN - Hiking - 11.2 miles Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#19. Appalachian Trail: Newfound Gap to Icewater Shelter


This heavily traveled trail runs from the easily accessible Newfound Gap, in the middle of the park, to Charlie’s Bunion, through a section of unique, jagged Anakeesta formation that contrasts sharply…
From the guidebook "Hiking Tennessee"
Newfound Gap, TN - Hiking - 6.2 miles Best Trail in TN - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#20. Great Smoky Mountains National Park


This park is close to major population centers, but its lush greenery and pleasantly rounded peaks create a soothing aura of tranquility. And, of course, there is the famous “smoke” that seems to perp…
From the guidebook "Great American Wilderness: Touring America's National Parks"
Gatlinburg, TN - Scenic Drives Best Trail in TN - Click to view allBestScenic Drives Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Hunter Publishing