When the warmer months come around, everyone wants to get out and explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. What better way to see spring than to go on wildflower hikes in the Smoky Mountains? There are a ton of trails, but we want to share the top ones where you will see wildflowers! Here are the top 5 wildflower hikes in the Smoky Mountains you need to explore:
1. Porters Creek Trail
Porters Creek Trail is considered moderate with a 7 mile roundtrip length. Along the trail, you will see an old farmstead, footbridges that go across creeks, and old forest growth. There’s even a waterfall about 2 miles into the trail, and Fern Branch Falls stands at 60 feet tallWildflowers start to bloom from mid-March to April. During this time, you might find white fringed phacelia, violets, and white trillium. Then from April to May, you can find yellow trillium, May-apple, woodland bluets, and Jack-in-the-pulpits.
2. Gregory Bald
Gregory Bald is known for the wildflowers you will find at the top. This trail is considered hard and has a roundtrip length of 11.6 miles. You might spot some wildflowers along your trek to the top, but the flame azalea is what people usually come for in the spring and summer, as well as the beautiful views of the mountains. Gregory Bald is renown for its variety of flame azalea, ranging from light pink all the way to bright yellow. It was actually due to these beautiful flowers that this area was considered to be a national park!
3. Spence Field
Another one of the best wildflowers hikes in the Smoky Mountains is Spence Field. This trail is 10.3 miles roundtrip and considered hard. You’ll start out by following Abrams Creek in Cades Cove. Around 5 miles in, you’ll pass grassy meadows where you might see some wildflowers. Keep going to the next junction, and you’ll see a plethora of mountain laurel around the field, from white to light pink. The best time to hike this trail is May to June.
4. Schoolhouse Gap
Schoolhouse Gap is an easy to moderate hiking trail where you will find all kinds of wildflowers. May is the best time to go if you want to see a wide variety of vegetation. During this time, you might see beaked violets, golden aster, and red clover. In the early summer, you will find rhododendron and mountain laurel, as well as yellow ragwort.
5. Middle Prong Trail
Middle Prong Trail is in Townsend, just west of the “Y.” It is an 8.3 mile roundtrip trail that is considered hard. Before you’re a mile in, you will come across Lower Lynn Camp Falls, a 30-foot-tall waterfall. Some of the wildflowers you might see along the way include toothwort, violets, wood sorrel, and trilliums. If you keep walking, you’ll eventually come to Indian Flat Falls, a 60-foot, multi-tiered waterfall.
There are a ton of wildflower hikes in the Smoky Mountains you’ll want to try. Ready to start planning your trip so you can see these beautiful flowers? Look through our cabins in the Smoky Mountains and book one today!