The Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most visited parks in the U.S. Millions of people flock to the park every year and sometimes it can get very crowded especially during the summer time. The park has over 800 miles of trails ranging from easy to strenuous. Before you visit the park, you should research the types of trails that will suit you so that you can make the most of your trip.
If you are up for an adventurous trail with great views, then you have to go to the Chimney Tops trail. This 4 mile round trip trail is the most popular on the NewFound Gap Road. A short 2 mile hike will take you to the summit where you can get 360 degree views. The first part of the trail is not too steep but towards the end you have to climb nearly a 1000 ft over a quarter mile. Some people won't finish the trail because of the steep incline at the end. But if you are willing to make it to the top, the view is absolutely stunning.
The Alum Cave Trail is another fairly short hike which takes you to the Alum cave. This is not really a cave but a concave bluff. The first point on this trail is the Arch Rock. You will follow some steps which goes under this arch. The next landmark is Inspiration Point. From here you get sweeping views of Little Duck Hawk Ridge. You can also see the Eye of the Needle from here. At 2.2 miles you'll reach Alum Cave. You should be careful around Alum Cave in the winter time because icicles will form on the bluff and may fall on you.
A trip to Smoky Mountains isn't complete until you see a waterfall. There are many waterfall trails but one of the most popular is the Laurel Falls. This is a short 2.3 mile roundtrip paved trail that takes you to Laurel Falls. You may want to get to this trail earlier otherwise it gets really packed. Laurel Falls is a 60 foot fall and is very picturesque. You may also wish to continue on the trail another 2 miles which will take you to an old fire tower.