Exploring the Outdoor with Your Family

Exploring the outdoors with your family in the Smoky Mountains is such fun! When you and your family visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, here are 5 family-friendly hikes and destinations that everyone will love. 

Laurel Falls 

Laurel Falls is a 2.6 mile round trip hike and never disappoints. This paved trail is very popular, especially with families who have smaller children and need a stroller. Everyone will enjoy this 80 ft waterfall which has an upper and lower section divided by the walk across bridge at the base of the upper falls. Providing picture perfect opportunities, this easy hike is one that is a must for the whole family! *Go early or late as this trail is extremely popular and often crowded during peak times.

Gatlinburg Trail

One of the easiest hikes in the park! This 3.8 mile round trip Gatlinburg Trail offers streamside walking along with being relatively flat. You will pass some remnants of past mountain life with some stone chimneys still standing along side the trail. Perfect for kids and elderly alike as there are no steep hills to climb and being one of only two trails in the park that are dog friendly, so bring Fido along too!! The trail begins on the outskirts of town and ends just inside the Park at the Sugarland’s Visitor Center.

Sugarland’s Valley Nature Trail

A short & simple paved pathway to enjoy fresh mountain air and streamside meandering with everyone in the family! This is a peaceful, half mile loop walk suitable for strollers and wheelchairs alike. This trail is perfect for those who want a taste of the mountains & the tranquility they offer without the strenuous hikes and overcrowded trails.

Little River Trail

Located just up the road from Laurel Falls trailhead is Elkmont. A pre-park railroad town turned vacation destination popular with the greater Knoxville elite. The 4.6 mile round trip walk today along the Little River Trail is literally a walk back in time. With many old homes still standing, though not safe to enter, and other sites with remnants of days gone by this is a perfect place to meander thru the outdoors with your family & learn about the park history. The Little River Trail is a gentle grade that follows the old railroad bed and parallels the river at the same time. The river itself has many beautiful cascades and small waterfalls along the way. This would not be suitable for strollers so be sure to prepare accordingly.

Walker Sisters Homesite/Little Brier Gap Trail

Little Brier Gap trail is located in the heart of an old mountain community known as the Little Greenbrier. Little Brier Gap follows a small stream for the most part until you get to the Walker Sisters Cabin. A wide path, once an old road, gradually climbs 1.1 miles up to the side trail that leads to the cabin, the Little Brier Gap trail continues straight. From this junction the cabin is 2/10ths of a mile away. The “Walker Sisters” made this area famous as more visitors learned of these five spinster sisters who lived back in the wilderness. They refused to sell their families 123 acre farm to the National Park and were able to maintain their traditional mountain life until the last sister passed away in the 1960’s.  All structures on this site have since been placed on the Register of Historic Places. There is also an old schoolhouse in the area that you should be sure to check out!

Where to Stay in the Great Smoky Mountains

If you and your family are planning an upcoming vacation adventure to the Smokies, you will love our luxurious and amenity filled Smoky Mountain cabins that offer perfect locations near all of the fun and exciting things to see and do! Our Smoky Mountain cabin rentals offer all of the comforts of home plus many other amenities that you'll find nowhere else. Plan your next Smoky Mountain family vacation getaway with Colonial Properties Cabin and Resort Rentals today!