Enchanting Winter Hikes in the Smokies

With lower elevations and easier terrain, these are some of the absolute best winter hikes in the Smokies. All of these hiking trails offer breathtaking views and an authentic nature experience, even when there’s a chill in the air!

Two adults hiking on a snowy day representing Best Smoky Mountain Winter Hikes.

Of course, each family has its own unique needs. You know your family best and are ultimately responsible for discerning the safety and appropriateness of these hikes. Please read our full disclaimer here.

Easy Winter Hikes in the Smoky Mountains

Look Rock Tower Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Round Trip Length – 1 mile

This trail is the shortest of them all and offers a huge reward. At the end of the trail, you will climb a man-made tower. From here you will be treated to stunning 360° views. The Smoky Mountain skyline is to the left, while the Tennessee Valley is to the right. There are no steep drop-offs on either side of the trail, and it is also paved. Although this trail is paved, I do not recommend bringing strollers due to the steep incline of the path

Related Read: 15 Kid-Friendly Hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Laurel Falls Hiking Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Round Trip Length: 2.3 miles

This short and sweet trail is the most popular hiking destination in all of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is due to the ease of the ascent and the gorgeous waterfalls and natural pools at the end. There are also benches along the path for resting. Please note, this trail does have a steep drop-off on one side.

Related Read: Best Places to Shop ‘Til You Drop in the Smoky Mountains

Schoolhouse Gap Hiking Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Round Trip Length: 3.8 miles

This hiking trail is wide with an easy ascent. There are also no steep drop-offs on either side, which makes it perfect for kids. Although there are no waterfalls or grand rock formations, this trail does follow a peaceful creek, which adds to the surrounding beauty.

Porters Creek Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

The lower elevation of this trail makes it an excellent location for winter hiking because it is less affected by snow and ice. When many Smoky Mountain roads and trails, at higher elevations, are closed due to extreme weather conditions, Porters Creek Hiking Trail usually remains open. For any history buffs, this trail is home to a historic homestead and cemetery. The trail also ends at the gorgeous Fern Branch waterfall.

Related Read: 30 Smoky Mountain Adventures Even Your Kids Will Love 

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