A Hiker’s Guide to Dollywood

There may be frost on the ground right now, but East Tennessee is anticipating some exciting spring growth – both at Dollywood and within the winding trails of the Smoky Mountains!

This May, Dollywood will unveil its largest expansion ever – Wildwood Grove! This new area will echo the spirit of the Great Smoky Mountains within its cooling creek waters, twinkling fireflies and zippy dragonflies. If you are a nature-lover like me, you are going to LOVE the theming in this new land. And, it will inspire you to do even more exploring!

During your visit to Dollywood, your family also can experience the wonder and enchantment of the more than 850 miles of hiking trails within Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP).

Check out my Top 4 Popular Hiking Trail Recommendations within GSMNP:

  • Gatlinburg Trail: This family-friendly trail boasts a four mile out-and-back paved trail located in nearby Gatlinburg. Along the relatively flat path, you’ll find remnants of old homesites as the footpath winds along the banks of the Little Pigeon River. Be sure to make a stop at Sugarlands Visitor’s Center at the turnaround point before you head back! https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/gatlinburg-trail.htm

  • Little Greenbrier Trail and Schoolhouse / Walker Sisters Cabin: Ever wonder what a typical school day was like in 1882? You can get a glimpse of life as it was at the turn of the century when you explore this trail! This former schoolhouse welcomes you as it sits nestled on this forested trail. Walk about a mile beyond the schoolhouse and you’ll see the Walker Sister cabin – the former home of six sisters who maintained the orchards and gardens beside their log cabin homestead. https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/historyculture/walker-sisters.htm

  • Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail: After a day exploring and playing at Dollywood, your feet may need a well-deserved rest. No worries – you can still enjoy the beauty of the Smoky Mountains from the comfort of your car! The Roaring Fork Trail gets its name from the surging mountain stream that races along the route. The paved road allows access by car to some of the most beautiful old-growth forests within the Smokies. https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/roaringfork.htm

  • Mount LeConte: Want to cross this extreme challenge off your hiking bucket list? Spring is the perfect time to dust your boots off and tackle the many trails leading to the third highest peak in GSMNP. Along the many trails that lead to the summit, you’ll be greeted with extraordinary climbs and incredible views. After this challenging trek, you’ll be more than ready for the all-you-can-eat Southern Buffet at Song & Hearth located at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa! https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/chimneys-alternative-alum-cave-bluffs.htm

Remember—those hiking feet will be ready for some pampering at The Spa at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, so make sure you have plenty of time to recover!

By | 2019-02-25T16:09:45+00:00 February 25th, 2019|Trip Planning|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jan Walker (Dollywood Insider 2018-2019) is an East Tennessee native who found herself in South Carolina after pursuing her dream job as a college art professor. She loves all things Tennessee, including hiking and camping in the Smoky Mountains, running the Knoxville Marathon and of course, Dollywood. The mother of two teenagers (and one German Shepherd), Jan loves bringing her family to Dollywood every year because there is something fun for everyone to enjoy during their visit. Her favorite ride at Dollywood is Blazing Fury, which she loved as a child and now gets to enjoy with her own kids. In addition to teaching, Jan is an avid runner, certified fitness instructor, author and aspiring cake decorator.
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