Townsend Trails

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Best Trails in Townsend

Alum Cave Bluffs Trail

Gatlinburg, TN

Hiking
+

More Activities

Walking

Alum Cave Bluffs Trail is a 10.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, TN that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible from November until November.

  • Best Hiking

  • Best Mountain Biking

  • Best Trail Running

Recent Reviews

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Cades Cove
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10 Completed 2 Reviews

great

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Cades Cove
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10 Completed 2 Reviews

great place

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Middle Prong Trail
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6 Completed 2 Reviews

This is by far the best waterfall hike in the Smokies. You come upon several nice falls almost immediately up from the trailhead. This would be considered a moderate to strenuous hike and is a bit rocky in places. Good hiking boots are highly recommend. The payoff for this one is the unmarked trail that leads down to the top tier of Indian Flats Falls.

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Abrams Falls Trail
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14 Completed 13 Reviews

Park at the entrance of the cades cove loop and bike to the trail head ... Then do the trail , after trail continue the loop back to the parking area ..
It's a Good workout ( take a lock for your bike )

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Cades Cove
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8 Completed 7 Reviews

**Go EARLY, and DO NOT go a weekend day! **
I hiked/walked the entire 11 miles, this morning (a Friday).....and it was glorious. It wasn't until the last hour of my hike, that the traffic started to become an "issue"...and even at that, it wasn't as horrible as I had thought it was going to be. The vehicles were very kind to me, being on foot, and when needed, they held back until I got myself off the road, and onto the side gravel or grass. They passed by me slowly, even waved, and I never felt like I was being "shoved off" the road. And, as a hiker, I did my part to stay off the road, when I heard a vehicle coming from behind me.
I drove halfway through, and parked in the visitors center parking lot. The restrooms were VERY clean, and were open for use, before the center opened to visitors an hour and a half later. In total, including a potty break and many breaks to take photos of the GORGEOUS surroundings, it took me 3 hours, 45 minutes. I left the parking lot at 7:30am, arrived back at 11:15am. Like I said, by that time, the traffic was getting much heavier...so take caution when sharing the road with vehicles when on foot, or on bike.
I saw 7 bears, and so many deer. There were 3 or 4 "Cades Cove Bear Jams" with tons of cars/people swarmed around an area where a bear was seen. It was nice to just walk on past them, while everyone else was stuck waiting for the photogs to finish taking images.
Next time, I will be starting my hike about an hour earlier, so I can see the sunrise from above the mountains, and have a few less cars/trucks/tour buses to share the road with.

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Gregory Bald
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9 Completed 9 Reviews

First off, this trail is about 11.8 miles round-trip. Second, this has a reputation as one of the toughest hikes in the Smokies, and having hiked it I can attest that this rep is well-earned. The first couple of miles aren't too bad, but it then gets extremely difficult, with heavy, nearly interminable elevation gain. Basically this is not a trail for beginners.

However, please stick with this trail, because the end point is amazing. Before you get to the bald, you'll have some of the best views in all of the park, but once you're on top of the bald the views are breathtaking! Unlike other great vantage points (Jump-Off, et al), you're literally in a giant field, so you have room to put a blanket on the ground and picnic, or sunbathe, or even play frisbee (seriously, it's massive space). Second, while this is not the highest point in the Smokies, you can still see almost all of the park from here; there's virtually no obstructions

As difficult as this hike is, I believe everyone should do it at least once in their life. I'm going back in mid-June, when the flaming azaleas are supposed to be in full bloom and are evidently a must-see

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Rich Mountain Trail
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9 Completed 9 Reviews

Not my favorite trail: the views in spring are few and far between, and after all the hype around the wildflowers I was disappointed at how few there were on the trail (keep in mind it's been unseasonably cool this month, and the flowers that were there were amazing).

Still this was a strenuous but nice hike. Wanna see the old fire tower next time (was too tired to go the short-but-steep trail to it), but Oliver Cabin is pretty cool. Plus there was so much wildlife out: saw 3 deer grazing on the trail itself, and a turkey adjacent to the trailhead. Plus found a baby black bear as I was leaving. Overall might not be something I hike often, but I will do it again

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Middle Prong Trail
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2 Completed 2 Reviews

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Abrams Falls Trail
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10 Completed 5 Reviews

Great trail. Beautiful sights along the way. A little challenging for someone who does not exercise regularly. But the payoff is huge. The waterfall is a good resting point before heading on back or continuing down the trail.

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Middle Prong Trail
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2 Completed 2 Reviews

Smooth gravel trail all the way through with plenty of history and waterfalls to see. Some of the best sights are slightly off the trail and can be easily missed. Most of them are marked with stacked rocks on the edge of the trail.