Smoky Mountain Wildflower Walks and Trails

Smoky Mountain Wildflower Walks and Trails

Saturday, March 16th, 2019

Did you know that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is sometimes known as “The Wildflower National Park”? There are over 1500 kinds of diverse flowering plants growing here!

The spectacular vistas and snow-capped mountain peaks aren’t the only show-stoppers you can see in the Spring. Every year around this time, the park’s fields erupt with color as the wildflowers bloom dramatically.
The best time to see wildflowers in the park starts in late March, and mid-to-late April is when the flower fields really show their stuff,  but you can find blooming flowers as early as February.

Thanks to Paulette Cloutier for her photos.

If you’re looking to go hiking and see the Smoky Mountain wildflowers, these are some of the best trails:

Cove Hardwood Nature Trail
This is a great trail when you’re looking to walk and explore nature. It’s a ¾ mile loop trail that is known for having some of the best Smoky Mountain wildflowers in the entire national park. You start this trail at the Chimneys Picnic Area, about 5 miles south of Sugarlands Visitor Center on Newfound Gap Road.

Porters Creek Trail
This trail often has spectacular wildflowers from late March through April. The trailhead is located in the Greenbrier area (follow highway US-321 about six miles east of Gatlinburg). The first 1.5 miles of trail offer good wildflower viewing.

Little River Trail

The Little River Trail is a great trail located just before you reach the Elkmont Campground. The trail follows along the Little River, so you can experience the scenic waterside and all of the Smoky Mountain wildflowers.

Middle Prong Trail
Middle Prong is a hiking trail with flowers and waterfalls. This trail starts at the end of Tremont Road, right at the west side of the Townsend “Y.”

The Appalachian Trail
Of course, the Appalachian Trail is amazing for many reasons, but the 2 mile stretch between Newfound Gap and Road Prong Trail is great for flowers from mid-April through May.

Guided Walks – Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage
If you’re interested in guided walks and hikes that explore the wondrous diversity of the wildflowers you’ll find here, The National Park park hosts the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage every year  with lots of programs you might enjoy.  Visit the pilgrimage website here for additional information.

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