North Carolina Hiking, Nature May 16, 2020
7 Trails In North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains That Belong On Your Hiking Bucket List
There are few things more inspiring than North Carolina’s exquisite outdoor attractions. The solitude and natural beauty promised by a hike in the mountains is simply unparalleled. Visit an area like
Bryson City, North Carolina, and you’ll find yourself positively surrounded by outdoor adventures within the beloved Great Smoky Mountains. With that in mind, we’ve compiled 7 of the most beautiful hiking trails in North Carlina for you to enjoy in any season. Whether you prefer to hike with a friend, a pet, or solo, you’ll find the perfect trek in the following list:
1. Deep Creek Loop Trail
Just north of Bryson City awaits the Deep Creek Loop Trail, a 4.6-mile loop with gorgeous scenery at every turn. The loop features not one, not two, but three picturesque waterfalls, the first of which is Tom Branch Falls. Next on the route is Indian Creek Falls, followed by Juney Whank Falls. The trail offers plenty of spots to stop and rest along the way, so be sure to allow a few hours to make the most of this adventure.
2. Oconaluftee River Trail
Do you love outings with your four-legged companion? Then the Oconaluftee Trail is the perfect option for you this time of year. This pet-friendly route runs alongside the Oconaluftee River and remains relatively flat the entire way. This 3-mile out-and-back trail will take you from the Oconaluftee Visitor Center at the park's entrance to the edge of Qualla Boundary, which is also the land of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
3. Charlie's Bunion
Charlie's Bunion is a stone outcrop that offers some of the most exquisite mountain views imaginable. The hike will take you on a portion of the famous Appalachian Trail for approximately 4 miles. In fact, if you were to continue along the same trail, it would lead all the way to Mt. Katahdin in Maine! With a total elevation gain of 1,640 feet, this trail is considered to be strenuous. Rest assured, though, the panoramic views will be well worth your effort.
4. Noland Creek Trail
The Road To Nowhere is a beautiful mountain highway that encompasses six miles of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and features a tunnel. Within this area of the park there are several trails to enjoy, one of which is Noland Creek Trail. This 8.4-mile trail follows Noland Creek almost the entire way, offering visitors the relaxing sound or views of running water. Another shorter option is the 3-mile Goldmine Loop.
5. Rufus Morgan Trail
Not all Great Smoky Mountain trails are strenuous, or even long for that matter. The Rufus Morgan Trail is a prime example. Just 1 mile in length, this peaceful loop takes hikers through a beautiful section of the Nantahala National Forest and alongside the river. The best part of all? All trails within the national forest are pet-friendly. Plus, you may even experience some beautiful wildflowers along this trail depending on the time of year you visit.
6. Wesser Bald via Tellico Road
After parking in the lot along Tellico Road, hikers will embark on a strenuous yet unforgettable climb towards the historic Wesser Bald Fire Tower. From Tellico Gap, the trek will follow the Appalachian Trail to the summit. For those brave enough to climb the fire tower, the views are positively breathtaking. The area surrounding the tower also makes for a great picnic lunch spot.
7. Kephart Prong Trail
Immerse yourself in the beautiful hardwood forest when you embark on the Kephart Prong Trail. With moderate uphill climbs and a wide pathway that follows the creek, this trail is suitable for nearly all skill levels. With an abundance of rain, hikers can look forward to rushing cascades along the trail. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes, as the path can be muddy at times. You'll also love the scenic stream crossings, where you can stop and admire the view.
Have you visited any of these beautiful hiking trails in North Carolina? If so, we’d love to hear all about your experience! For more information and helpful guides for hiking the Great Smoky Mountains, be sure to
click here. Address: Bryson City, NC 28713, USA