The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the #1 visited national park in the U.S. Therefore, no visit to Pigeon Forge is complete without a visit to the park. And there is no entrance fee, making it a fun and affordable activity the whole family can enjoy.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers trails for all skill levels, but we’ve pulled together a list of some of the easier hiking trails that are perfect for kids. Turn your hike into a game or scavenger hunt and see who can find the most different leaves, plants or flowers. Spend a day exploring nature and enjoying the great outdoors together on these Smoky Mountain hiking trails for kids.
The Gatlinburg Trail is easy to get to and perfect for a first time hiking experience. Pets and bikes are allowed on this one too. You’ll begin your hike along the Gatlinburg Trail starting from the Sugarlands Visitor Center. The trail is relatively flat and follows along the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River for about 2 miles. Along the way, you will see a small waterfall, a nice footbridge and pieces from several old homesites. Hike at your own pace and enjoy!
Trail Location: Sugarlands Visitor Center
Roundtrip Length: 3.9 Miles
Trail Difficulty Rating: 4.37 (easy)
GPS Coordinates for Trailhead: 35.68579 -83.53677
Porter’s Creek Trail
The Porter’s Creek trailhead is located in Greenbrier Cove. The trail makes a great hike any time of the year due to its lower elevation. Porter’s Creek Trail starts off on an old gravel road and runs along Porter’s Creek. as you make your way along the hiking trail from the parking lot to Porter’s Flat, you’ll see remnants of the Elbert Cantrell farmstead, Ownby Cemetery, the John Messer farm site and more. And if you happen to visit during the spring season, be on the lookout for all the beautiful spring wildflowers beginning to bloom.
Trail Location: Greenbrier
Roundtrip Length: 4.0 Miles
Trail Difficulty Rating: 5.4 (moderate)
GPS Coordinates for Trailhead: 35.69696 -83.38773
The Laurel Falls trail is 2.3 miles round trip and considered to be one of the best waterfall hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains! Laurel Falls Trail is paved but rocky and uneven, and there are a few steep drop-offs as you get closer to the falls, so wear appropriate shoes and keep small children close. Once you reach the 80-foot waterfall, you will find a bridge that is a great spot for taking family pictures. To make these pictures even better, visit Laurel Falls the early morning or late afternoon to capture the best lighting in the area.
Trail Location: Little River Road
Roundtrip Length: 2.3 Miles
Trail Difficulty Rating: 2.93 (easy)
GPS Coordinates for Trailhead: 35.67208 – 83.58068
Andrew’s Bald Hiking Trail
Andrew’s Bald Hiking Trail is 1.8 miles each way and relatively easy to negotiate. The hike begins with a descent down Forney Ridge from the Clingman’s Dome parking lot and ends on an upward hike into Andrew’s Bald, a grassy meadow, which is also the highest bald in the park. You may find patches of wild berries and beautiful wildflowers but best of all, some amazing views of the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s also a great spot to stop and enjoy a picnic with the family.
Trail Location: Clingmans Dome Area
Roundtrip Length: 3.5 Miles
Trail Difficulty Rating: 5.30 (moderate)
GPS Coordinates for Trailhead: 35.55646 -83.49591
Exploring has never been so fun! Get those hiking shoes ready and check out one of these great Smoky Mountain hiking trails for kids on your next visit to Pigeon Forge.
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