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4 Best Wildflower Hikes in the Smoky Mountains

Smoky Mountain wildflowers
March 1, 2022

A hike in the Smoky Mountains is beautiful during all seasons of the year. Whether you are looking forward to seeing wildlife, waterfalls, fall foliage, or snow, there are perks to each month of the year when it comes to hiking. During the spring months, you have the added benefit of seeing beautiful wildflowers pop up all throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These colorful flowers make for a great photography opportunity and will make your hiking experience even more fantastic. Here are 4 of the best wildflower hikes in the Smoky Mountains:

1. Porters Creek Trail

Porters Creek Trail

This Smoky Mountain trail is amazing for many reasons, including the bright and colorful wildflowers. Porters Creek is located in the Greenbrier section of the national park. At around 4 miles round trip, this hike is one that you can easily do in an afternoon. As you begin the hike, you will start out on a gravel road. After a few minutes of walking, you will notice some old stone walls along the sides of the trail. This is where you will start to see the bright wildflowers along both sides of the path. The first 2 miles of the hike is where you will encounter the most flowers, but continue on to see Fern Branch Falls and John Messer’s farm site.

2. Middle Prong Trail

If you want to see a variety of wildflowers, be sure to take a hike on Middle Prong Trail. During one of the most popular hikes in the Smoky Mountains, you will come across foamflower, toothwort, violets, wood sorrel, and trilliums. To find this trail, travel from the Townsend “Y” towards Cades Cove. About three miles down the road, you will discover the trailhead for this beautiful hike. As far as the trail goes, it is 8.3 miles roundtrip and offers plenty of other things to see, in addition to the wildflowers. You will also have the chance to take in remnants of the Little River Railroad and Lumber Company, which is a great way to learn about the history of the area!

3. Little River Trail

Little River Trail

Little River Trail is one of the best wildflower hikes for beginning level hikers and families. The reason for this is because the trail is relatively wide and flat. It is located on a side road right as you enter the Elkmont Campground. Once on the trail, you will notice some old vacation cottages. A little further down the path you will come to the Little River, where you can see some beautiful wildflowers on the bank of the water. As you continue on the hike, you will see a variety of flowers that are an amazing sight to see. The best time of the year to take in this glorious scene is mid March through April.

4. Schoolhouse Gap Trail

This is another relatively easy trail that offers many rewards, including an array of beautiful spring and summer wildflowers. The Schoolhouse Gap Trail covers 2.2 miles from Laurel Creek Road to School House Gap. To reach the trailhead, you will follow the Townsend “Y” on the road to Cades Cove. While this is a great trail for hiking, you may also see some horses making their way down the path because this is a place for horseback riding. After all, the horses want to see the wildflowers too! Along the way, you will come across a multitude of colorful flowers, including rhododendron!

These amazing hikes in the Smoky Mountains are only one way you can experience the scenery of the mountains. Another way you can take in the beauty is by visiting our Smoky Mountain campground. Reserve your spot today to make the most of your vacation to the Smokies. We look forward to seeing you soon!