Best Wildflower Walks in The Smokies
Founded in 1934, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the largest national park east of the Rocky Mountains and home to over 1600 different species of flowering plants. While spring and early summer are some of the best times to see the wildflower explosion of color, plants are actually blooming year round! What better way to experience the natural beauty than by walking the trails? Here are a few of our picks for best wildflower walks in the Smoky Mountains.
While offering stunning 360 degree views, Gregory Bald is perhaps most famous for the flame azaleas that bloom atop it each year. According to the Great Smoky Mountains National History Association, the hybrid blooms are so impressive the British Museum of Natural History has collected numerous samples. While open year round, the best time to visit for flower blooming is typically late spring to early summer. The trail is easily accessed from Cades Cove Loop Road and just a short drive from Willow Brook Lodge.
Schoolhouse Gap Trail
This trail is rated easy, making it ideal for the entire family. It starts on Laurel Creek Road, not far from Cades Cove. This area comes alive both spring and summer with wildflowers ranging from bluebells to golden asters. Visitors in the fall won’t be disappointed either with blooms ranging from purple ironweed to southern harebells.
Little River Trail
You’ll find the beginning of this relatively level trail near the historic town of Elkmont inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The footpath follows the Little River and is home to some of the best early spring wildflower viewing in the world. But it doesn’t end there. Summer visitors will enjoy such blooms as mountain mint, pale and orange jewelweed. Year round you’ll be walking by the once thriving city of Elkmont.
There are so many exciting trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, you are sure to find a trail that everyone will enjoy. You may even need a few more days to explore them all! And what better way to rest after an exciting afternoon discovering wildflowers, than in a comfortable, relaxing room at Willow Brook Lodge? We invite you to see for yourself why we offer the best lodging in Pigeon Forge.