horse in a pasture surrounded by mountains

How to Find the Best Springtime Foliage in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and the Smoky Mountains

April 18, 2016

Did you know the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is often referred to as the “Wildflower Park”? It is known for the preservation of flowering plants which amounts to roughly 1,500 various types found in the park!

There are many places to find springtime foliage in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. But how do you find the BEST in the area?

You can find springtime foliage right outside your Gatlinburg cabin or on a nature hike! Our cabins in Gatlinburg are surrounded by lush scenery and beautiful wildflowers.

The Smoky Mountains are home to 300 rare species of plants, 125 of which are on the protected plants list via Hiking in the Smokys.

If you’re visiting the Great Smoky Mountains this spring, here are a few places to find the best springtime foliage.

Deep Creek Loop


This hike is a great activity that will take a few hours and offer breathtaking views along the way! The loop is 4.6 miles roundtrip and considered a “moderate” difficulty hike.

In addition to beautiful plants, you will also see the 80-foot Toms Branch Falls that cascade through the trees. But this isn’t the only waterfall you’ll encounter. Not far from Toms Branch Falls you’ll find Indian Creeks Falls. Indian Creeks Falls is a 45-foot waterfall surrounded by exotic wildflowers and forestry. Along the way you will encounter many different types, colors and species of wildflowers. Be sure to bring your camera!

Rich Mountain Loop

Rated “Hike of the Month” by the Knoxville News Sentinel in 2011, this trail is beloved by locals and visitors. If you’re an experienced hiker that enjoys a challenge, look no further.

This 11.97 mile loop offers THE BEST springtime foliage in the Smoky Mountains. This trail is located in Cade’s Cove. There is also a beginners self-guided tour nearby if you want to take a leisurely hike and enjoy the flowers.

Photos courtesy of Hiking in the Smokys .

These wildflowers, in addition to many more, are the sights you will encounter on this trail. It may be a strenuous hike, but the payoff is definitely worth it! Prior to hiking this trail, look up the wildflowers located in the Smoky Mountains and see if you can spot them on your hike!

Little River Trail


This 4.9 mile loop is the perfect springtime foliage hike. If you’re visiting the Smokies in the early spring months, you are sure to see some of the flowers beginning to bloom!

Along this hike you will see old cozy cottages and rhododendron in full bloom. Take your time, there’s lots to see! This hike also includes waterfalls, cascades and perhaps even some wildlife!

The Smokies are calling your name! Book a cabin with us and explore all the best springtime foliage the Smokies have to offer!

To read more details about hikes, elevations, locations and information visit

Hiking in the Smokys.

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