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3 Awesome Smoky Mountain Hiking Trails That Are Just Minutes From Our Campground

Ramsey Cascades hiking trail in the Smoky Mountains
March 9, 2024

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to more than 800 miles of hiking trails, and some of the best Smoky Mountain trails are just minutes from the Greenbrier Campground! The Greenbrier entrance to the National Park is less than a half mile away from our campground, making it easy for you to walk or drive into the park to explore several exciting trails! Here are 3 awesome Smoky Mountain hiking trails that are just minutes from our campground:

1. Porters Creek Trail

People hiking on a trail

The Porters Creek Trail is a moderately difficult wooded hike where you can explore creek views, historic buildings, a 40-foot cascading waterfall and even an old cemetery! This hike is particularly recommended during the spring months, as it is one of the best hikes in the Smokies for spring wildflowers. The first mile of the trail is actually an old gravel road that meanders along the banks of Porters Creek, while the remainder of the trail is a well maintained dirt footpath. To access the trailhead from the Greenbrier entrance, follow Greenbrier Road for 3.1 miles to a fork in the road, and then continue straight for about a mile to the parking area.

2. Ramsey Cascades Trail

For another one of the fantastic Smoky Mountain hiking trails near the Greenbrier Campground, hike the Ramsey Cascades Trail that leads to the tallest waterfall in the National Park! The trail follows rivers and wild mountain streams while gaining almost 2,200 feet in elevation before reaching the highlight, the stunning Ramsey Cascades waterfall! The roundtrip distance to the waterfall is 8 miles, and the hike is considered strenuous in difficulty, so allow anywhere from 5 to 7 hours to hike to the waterfall and back. To access the Ramsey Cascades trailhead, drive 3.1 miles from the Greenbrier entrance and turn left at the fork in the road. From there, cross the bridge and then drive for another 1.5 miles to the parking area.

3. Old Settlers Trail

Hiking boots and backpack

One of the most interesting trails in the National Park is the Old Settlers Trail , which winds through a historical section of the park. While hiking along the trail, you will come across a large number of old homesteads and former settlements that was once one of the most populated sections of the Smokies! Another unique thing about the Old Settlers Trail is that it travels along an elevation between 1,500 and 2,300 feet, making it one of the lowest long distance trails in the park. While the 15.8 mile trail connects Greenbrier Cove to Maddron Bald Trail, it is only necessary to hike a few miles to see the unique artifacts of the 19th and 20th century mountain life. To access the trailhead, drive 3.1 miles from the Greenbrier entrance and turn left at the fork in the road where you will find the Old Settlers Trail shortly down on the left side.

More Smoky Mountain Trails

Are you looking for more Smoky Mountain hiking trails near our campground? You'll have no shortage of options when you stay with us! If you're hoping to see a gorgeous waterfall along your hike, check out these 6 Smoky Mountain trails!