Warmer 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
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!
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.)
East Lakeshore Trails: There are multiple trails within this category stretching from Lenoir City to Greenback of varying lengths. It’s hard to pick just one! Sinking Creek Branch and Glendale Branch are just two listed.
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!
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.
Do you have any family favorites to add to this list? Comment below and let us know!