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Best Hiking Trails in Tennessee – USA

Overview

The Blue Ridge Mountains run along the eastern border of the southeastern US state of Tennessee and are a popular area for hiking here, particularly in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the best national parks in the US. Other areas for hiking include Cherokee National Forest, Road Mountain State Park, Frozen Head State Park, and many places along the Appalachian Trail. The best months to hike in Tennessee are May to October. Read on for more information on where and when to hike in Tennessee. 

Capital: Nashville

When To Hike in Tennessee – USA?

May – October: Rainy during this time but June – August driest months.  October could have snow but also has fall foliage which is a big draw in Tennessee
April; November: Could be too rainy/snow
December – February: Cold/snow

Climate: Moderate climate – cool winters, warm/hot summers. Fall is a very popular time to come, the colours are beautiful.  Spring can be wet but lots of wildflowers and wildlife. Summer hot and can be crowded but high altitude best at this time. 

 

Tennessee Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Easy: Well-marked trails and good maps/apps to use.

Transportation required: Car

Where to stay in Tennessee for hiking:

  • Gatlinburg
  • Chattanooga

 

 

Top Places to Hike in Tennessee – USA

The eastern part of the state is where you’ll find mountain hiking, in the Appalachian Mountains (the Appalachian Trail goes through Tennessee). The main area and the big draw is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Highest Mountain: Clingman’s Dome (2023 m) in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (part of Appalachian Mountains).

Filter out hiking places of Tennessee – USA by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cherokee National Forest

Tennessee – USA's Long Distance Trails

Tennessee – USA's Walking & Hiking Resources

Tennessee Hiking Books: 

  • Hiking Trails of the Smokies – put out by the national park – covers all 150 official trails
  • Day Hikes of the Smokies – covers 34 of the best day hikes – put out by the national park
  • Hiking Tennessee: A Guide to the State’s Greatest Hikes by Kelley Roark and Stuart Carroll, 2022, Falcon Guides
  • Top Trails: Great Smoky Mountains National Park: 50 Must-Do Hikes for Everyone, by Johnny Molloy, 2017, Wilderness Press
  • Moon Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Hike, Camp, Scenic Drives, by Jason Frye, 2020, Avalon Publishing
  • Hiking Trails of the Great Smoky Mountains: Comprehensive Guide, by Ken Wise, 2014, University of Tennessee Press
  • Appalachian Trail Guide to Tennessee-North Carolina by Vic Hasler, Lenny Bernstein, Richarde Ketelle, 2016, Appalachian Trail Conservancy 
  • Five-Star Trails: Tri-Cities of Tennessee & Virginia: 40 Spectacular Hikes Near Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol, by Johnny Molloy, 2022, Menasha Ridge Press
  • Hiking Tennessee, by Victoria Logue, 2015, published by Human Kinetics

 

Tennessee Hiking Associations/Clubs: – there are many clubs

 

Best Hiking Trails in Tennessee:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from hiking guidebooks, official park websites, trail maps/apps, other websites, and tourist offices:

  • Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte – Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Fiery Gizzard – South Cumberland State Park
  • Grassy Ridge Bald – Appalachian Trail
  • Peregrine Peak – Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Mount Cammerer – Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Chimney Tops – Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Brushy Mountain – Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Stone Mountain Trail – Cherokee National Forest
  • Mount Sterling – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Easy Hiking Trails in Tennessee:

  • Abrams Falls
  • Rainbow Falls

 

Tennessee Hiking Websites:

 

Tennessee Weather Website: 

 

Tennessee Official Tourism Site:  

 

Tennessee Hiking Apps: 

 

Tennessee Hiking Maps: 

What Else To Do

  • Dollywood
  • Graceland
  • Grand Ole Opry

Other Important Points