The Smoky Mountains are home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the country. One of the most popular trails is the Boulevard Trail, a 15-mile hike with a total elevation gain of 3,000 feet. The hike starts at the Newfound Gap parking area and rises until you are walking on the ridge of the Smoky Mountains. The payoff for this rugged, strenuous hike is the spectacular view all along the way.
The first few miles of the hike are relatively easy, following along an old roadbed. But don't be fooled—the real challenge begins when you reach the 4-mile mark and begin your steep ascent up to the 6,643-foot summit of Mount LeConte. This section of the trail is extremely strenuous, but it is also one of the most scenic, with sweeping views of the valley below.
Once you reach the top of Mount LeConte, you will be rewarded with stunning 360-degree views of the Great Smoky Mountains. You can see for miles in every direction, from Tennessee to North Carolina and even into Georgia. After enjoying the views from the summit, you will begin your descent back down to Newfound Gap. This section of the trail is much easier than the ascent, although there are still a few challenging sections.
The Boulevard Trail is one of the most popular hikes in the Smoky Mountains for good reason—it offers breathtaking views all along the way. If you're up for a challenge, this 15-mile hike is definitely worth your time. Just be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks to fuel your adventure!