The best feeling is being outdoors when the weather is just right, being a Smoky Mountain elopement photographer, I love taking time to explore the beauty of those mountains! There are so many things you can do in the Smoky Mountains during the spring. You can go for a water adventure, hiking up to summits with the most gorgeous views, and see some of the most beautiful waterfalls! I’m sure you’ll find your perfect spring activities in the Smoky Mountains from this list.
Trillium Gap Trail to Mt. LeConte
If you’re a seasoned hiker, you’ll be able to make it to Mt. LeConte and back with no issues. It’s almost 14 miles round trip. But there are a few beautiful stops along the way. You can stop at summits such as Brushy Mountain which is a little over 3 miles in. But the highest peak, of course, is Mt. LeConte.
Don’t judge a trail by its length. It’s only a few miles, but it is a workout! In the last mile, you’re climbing a whooping 960 feet to Chimney Tops’ summit.There are almost 400 stone steps at that point. They just redid the trail a few years ago after a fire so it’s well kept. One interesting fact about this trail is that the Cherokee name for it is Duniskwalgunyi, or “forked antler” because of the way the trail looks like deer antlers.
Water Activities in the Smoky Mountains
Head on over to River John’s for a canoe rental. It’s an easy float, but can be a little more exciting in some areas. River John’s is located on a small island you can get to by bridge. Their season runs from May to October.
Big Creek Expeditions tries to get started on their white water rafting season earlier than a lot of places. They run on Pigeon River which is dam controlled so they try to open their season as early as March, but a scheduled water release day is in May. Make sure to ask before you go. They want enough water for you to have a good time.
If you have a kayak, there are many good places to go like Tellico River or Little Tennessee River. If you would rather have the full experience possibly with a tour, you should contact Smoky Mountain Guides. They have an urban kayak tour called Downtown Tennessee that you do in Knoxville.
Waterfall Activities in the Smoky Mountains
Located a mile into Trillium Gap Trail, Grotto Falls is the only waterfall in the park that you can get behind. You can cool down behind it if the temperature is a little higher.
Laurel Falls is an almost 3 mile round trip hike. Be careful of slippery areas and black bears! There’s a lovely bridge right at the top of the falls, perfect for some beautiful photos.
This waterfall is a little smaller than the others at 20 ft, but there is a very large amount of water rushing over to make up for it. You can access this waterfall through Abrams Trail at Cades Cove. It’s 2.5 miles to the falls from the parking lot.
I hope you’re able to do some of these activities in the Smoky Mountains this spring!
And if you have questions about photography in the Smoky Mountain area, feel free to give me a call or reach out here!