Hiking in the Smokies

800 Miles of Trails

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has more than 800 miles of hiking trails ranging from rugged back-country trails to relatively easy walks in the woods.
The closest trail to Cherokee is the Oconaluftee River Trail, a short 1.5 mile trail connecting the GSMNP Visitor Center with Cherokee, near the Saunooke Village area. It is not a loop, so you can begin your walk from either end of the trail. It's an easy walk, and the only area trail where dogs and bicycles are allowed.

Next to the Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee, there is a half-mile nature trail of the Cherokee Botanical Garden featuring many of the native flora of the mountains. The gardens are maintained by the Cherokee Hisotircal Association and have been open to the public since 1953. The gardens are open from mid-April through October. More info

Drive out Big Cove Road 5.1 miles from Saunooke Village and take a short uphill trail to the beautiful Mingo Falls. Difficulty: moderate. 600 yards round trip.

Both the Oconaluftee River Trail and Mingo Falls are on the Cherokee map on this site.