Family Hikes Around Knoxville and East Tennessee


Family Hikes Around Knoxville and East TennesseeWarmer weather has me itching to get outdoors! Is there any better way to do that than by exploring the mountains we call home? I don’t think so!

Check out these kid-friendly hiking options below:

[Disclaimer: I use the term ‘kid-friendly’ loosely. Please see trail ratings, difficulty levels, and reviews to determine if it’s something your children are the right age to handle. And as always, take a carrier for the smallest hikers as well as plenty of snacks and water! I’ve used my favorite trail app, All Trails, links within this post so you can see ratings and personal reviews.]

Family Hikes Around Knoxville

Knoxville and East Tennessee Family Hikes

Great Smoky Mountain National Park

  • Cades Cove Loop Road: Want to get out of the house but don’t want to walk? You can do this 10 mile loop from the comfort of your car!
  • Spruce Flats Falls Trial: I’ve done this one and recommend carrying the younger ones in backpack carriers. You need a sure foot, but the waterfall is worth it!
  • Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail: Easy, paved, and only half a mile long!
  • Fighting Creek Nature Trail: Short loop in the park!
  • Cataract Falls: You can’t beat an easy waterfall hike!
  • Gatlinburg Trail: An easy, flatter trail that follows a creek. It’s pet friendly too!
  • Laurel Falls: A big favorite within the park; this one is paved, mostly uphill, and the waterfall at the end makes it worth it!
  • Clingman’s Dome: If you want to go to the highest point within the national park, this is the one for you!
  • Gold Mine Trail: Two miles round-trip, this one is suitable for all ages.
  • Elijah Oliver Place Trail: A gravel, flat walk, with a cabin at the end. This one is great! There are lots of trails that branch off of this one, so make sure you read the signs.
  • East Lamar Alexander Parkway Trail: Not technically within the National Park, but right outside of it in Townsend. Great for biking, walking, and stroller friendly in some places. This follows alongside the highway, so make sure to keep an eye on those kiddos!
  • Schoolhouse Gap Trail: Rated moderate, but still kid friendly! A wide gravel path and a stream are sure to keep them busy. This one is also horse friendly, so watch out!
  • Abrams Falls: One of my personal favorites within the park, this one can be difficult for little legs. Carry the younger ones or do this one with your bigger kids. There are multiple trailheads for this one, so pick whichever one works best for you! Beautiful waterfall at the end and you can even get in the water here. (Use your own discretion based on water level, speed, and swim skills. Never swim near a waterfall due to undercurrents.)
Spruce Flats Falls Trail


  • Fort Dickerson Quarry Trail: Maybe finish this one with a swim!
  • Ijams: There are trails and adventures galore that can be found at Ijams. Here is just one of the many to pick from!
  • Greenways: There are more than plenty of these in Knoxville. A quick internet search will turn up a dozen!
  • Sequoyah Hills Trail: Gravel path and a river view.
  • Sycamore and Floyd Fox Loop: Great nature trip and it’s dog friendly!

North of Knox

Time a hike during nap time for the littlest ones!

East of Knox

  • Seven Islands State Birding Park: There are a few different trails to pick from here. They seem to all be deemed easy, so these should be fun for the whole family!
  • Trotter Bluff Loop: A short, level and little kid friendly trail over in Sevierville.

West of Knoxville

Don’t let the weather stop you from going! Some trails are best experienced in the snow.

Maryville Area

  • Maryville – Alcoa Greenway: Always a fun trip for the kiddos in our house. Mostly shaded, stroller and bike friendly, Sandy Springs park can be found along the trail, and it runs next to a stream. Dog friendly!
  • Maryville College Woods Loop: Short and sweet nature trip for kids of all ages.
  • Look Rock Tower: Less than a mile, paved, and mostly uphill. The views do NOT disappoint! Just try to go on a clear day. Dog friendly!
  • Coytee Loop Trail: Further out in Greenback, this is an easy, level trail that has multiple length loops for you to pick from with a water view.
  • Wildcat Point Trail: Also in Greenback, this one seems to be short and sweet.

Farther Out

  • Max Patch: Dog friendly, amazing views, and great for all ages!
  • Falls Branch Trail: You definitely need a steady foot on this trail and you cross a creek near the end to make it to the base of the falls. Carry those younger kids or save this one for the bigger ones!
  • Grandfather Mountain: You can easily spend all day here! There are easily a dozen things to do, plus animals to see, and they offer guided hikes. The park is very stroller friendly.
  • Chimney Rock State Park: There are quite a few trails to pick from here. I’ve done Hickory Nut Falls and loved it! It was very kid friendly. The views from the top of the rock are breathtaking. You can even get a glimpse of the lake where Dirty Dancing was filmed.
Greenways are great places to let the kids (and dogs) loose!

Do you have any family favorites to add to this list? Comment below and let us know!



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