Spring is a beautiful time in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Buds are forming on trees, flowers have started to bloom, and wildlife activity is picking back up. Also, the weather is warming up from the winter months, so people visiting the area will want to spend time outside! But where are the best places to go in the park during this time of year? Here are the top 4 places to visit in the Smoky Mountains in spring:
1. Cades Cove
Of course, you can’t visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park without going to Cades Cove! While this is the most popular destination in the park, it is worth seeing any time of the year. Cades Cove is a valley nestled between mountains where people can drive along an 11-mile looped road. You can stop and get out along the road, and there are several historical sites you’ll want to see when you’re visiting. As you drive along the road, you’ll be able to look out at the fields full of wildflowers, and you might just spot some white tailed deer, birds, butterflies, and you could even see black bears, if you’re lucky! If your legs get tired while riding, be sure to get out and walk the Cades Cove Nature Trail where you’ll enjoy the fresh spring air!
2. Metcalf Bottoms
One of the most popular things to do in the Smoky Mountains in spring is go on a picnic! There are several designated areas where you can have a picnic within the park, but you can take a picnic virtually anywhere you want. A great picnic area you’ll want to visit this spring is Metcalf Bottoms. It is one of the largest with 122 sites that include a picnic table and charcoal grill that is available to use, as long as you bring your own supplies. Many of the picnic sites are located next to the river, so you and your family can enjoy listening to the water rush over the rocks, and you may even want to dip your toes in! There are also quite a few easy hiking trails in this area you’ll want to explore!
3. Porters Creek Trail
If seeing wildflowers is at the top of your list when it comes to what you want to do when you visit the Smokies in the spring, then you should hike Porters Creek Trail. This trail is considered easy with a roundtrip length of 4 miles. The first portion of the trail takes you through dense forest, and the path is lined with bloodroot, hepaticas, white fringed phacelia, violets, and white trillium. Not only can you enjoy the wildflowers along this hike, you’ll also come across an old homestead that is still intact, as well as a 60-foot-tall waterfall!
4. Middle Prong Trail
Another hiking trail that is a great one to explore when you’re visiting the Smoky Mountains in spring is Middle Prong Trail. This is a more moderate trail with a roundtrip length of about 8 miles. You’ll pass several cataracts and cascades along your hike, as well as a few waterfalls! At the beginning of the trail, you may spot violets, crested dwarf iris, and trilliums during this time of year. The first waterfall you’ll spot is Lower Lynn Camp Falls, a 35-foot, multi-tiered waterfall. A little further down the trail, you’ll see Lynn Camp Falls, and about 2 miles in, you’ll find a hidden gem, which is a rusted Cadillac from the late 1920s or early 1930s.
You won’t want to miss out visiting the Great Smoky Mountains in spring when you’re in town. There are so many beautiful things to see, and you won’t want to miss any of them! Ready to plan your spring getaway? Look through our Gatlinburg hotel rooms, and book one for your trip today!