smoky mountain hiking trails romantic
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5 of the Most Romantic Smoky Mountain Hiking Trails

Are you desiring some true quality time with your spouse or partner, and looking to get some exercise in the process? You might consider taking a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains area.

The two of you won’t need an Ironman level of fitness to attempt most of these Smoky Mountain hikes, since the round trips are relatively short in mileage (about 10 miles or less). Each offers spectacular photo-worthy views from dramatic vistas.

Also, because of their remote locations, they aren’t overrun with crowds and noise, which allows plenty of opportunities for you and your beloved to reconnect.

Albright grove hiking trail gatlinburg tennessee

Hike to Albright Grove

Albright Grove (7 miles round trip; 1,500-foot elevation gain)

This challenging trail, the Maddron Bald, eventually leads hikers to Albright Grove, a beautiful old-growth hardwood forest glen. You’ll gradually ascend an old gravel road before encountering the diminutive Baxter Cabin.

Passing serene meadows and valleys, you’ll come to a narrowing dirt path that continues to climb. When you arrive at the grove, be sure to see the tulip tree that’s nearly seven stories in height and 25 feet in circumference.

Ramsey Cascades

Ramsey Cascades (8 miles round trip; 2,190-foot elevation gain)

Many who trek on this Smoky Mountains hiking trail persist until they reach the waterfalls, making it well worth the effort. Like the Maddron Bald Trail, this starts out as a gravel road that converts to a single-track dirt path through extensive old-growth forests.

On the way, the Ramsey Prong tumbles over waterfalls and rapids until you arrive at the showcase itself, the 100-foot Cascades. A word of caution: the final one-third mile of the trail becomes steep with roots and rocks.

Mt. Cammerer

Mt. Cammerer (11.1 miles round trip; 3,045-foot elevation gain)

Offering some of the most breathtaking views for hiking in the Smoky Mountains, the Mt. Cammerer Trail is the shortest route to the namesake peak’s summit. Starting at Cosby Creek valley and winding upward, you’ll then hit the famed Appalachian Trail for the majority of the hike.

When you finally reach the top, don’t be surprised if you stare in awe at the majestic view of the Pigeon River Gorge far below. Be sure to climb the stone fire lookout tower before heading back down this smoky mountain hiking trail.

Max Patch

Max Patch (1.4/2.4 miles round trip; 429-foot elevation gain)

This easy trek from the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains will suit everybody. Two loop trails lead you up to the summit, which is essentially an open space on a high knob. The shorter route directly crosses the top, while the more leisurely trail wraps around the mountain.

These vistas will offer different mountain views, but they’re just as stunning as those in Tennessee. Here, you’ll also encounter the Appalachian Trail and can follow it as long as you wish.

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Andrews Bald

Andrews Bald (3.5 miles round trip; 899-foot elevation gain)

With improvements from the volunteer group Friends of the Smokies, this once-difficult trail is now accessible to all hikers. Starting on the southern edge of Clingman’s Dome (the park’s highest mountain), the hike takes you up through spruce firs and several forks that lead to different trails, including the Appalachian.

As the highest grassy meadow in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Andrews Bald becomes carpeted with colorful azaleas and rhododendrons in mid-summer.

No matter which trail you choose to hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park you and your partner will enjoy a special time of relaxation and connection.

Photos by Ken Lund and Kevin Stewart Photography.

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