Rocky Top Wine Trail’s Mountain Hiking Guide
Since our little group of wineries makes up “a trail” of sorts, we often get asked all about the best trails to hike here in the Smoky Mountains. So for this week’s blog post, we asked one of our avid hiking employees to share his experience on a recent hike and talk about the best hiking trails this side of the mountains!
Beautiful Vistas and Quite Places
His most recent hike (October 1st, 2017) started out at Newfound Gap Parking lot, which sits at the top ridgeline of the mountains between Cherokee and Gatlinburg. The views from the parking lot alone are absolutely stunning but just a short hike in can take you to some of the most beautiful vistas the park has to offer.
The trail to the Jump Off starts just beside the stone wall setting where President Franklin D Roosevelt first gave his blessing and opening announcement for Great Smoky Mountains National Park back in 1934. It’s a steep incline for the first 2 miles or so but levels off for the final 2 miles to the Jump Off Point. The Jump Off is aptly named as hikers will see a sheer shelf that, when walked directly up to, falls thousands of feet straight down to the valley below. Check out a few of the pictures he took below!
See below for our short list of the best hiking trails in the Smokies. The leaves are just beginning to change as of this past weekend so you should have ample opportunity to view the beautiful Fall colors for weeks to come!
Charlie’s Bunion (just a short, 1.5 mile hike further past the Jump Off)
Andrew’s Bald (this short hike ends at a “bald” mountain top and is a short, easy hike)
Grapeyard Ridge (located in Greenbrier – the trail peaks at a stem engine wreck from the 1800’s)
Mount Leconte via Alum Cave (a very strenuous hike not for beginners but well worth the time and effort)
And we would be remiss without recommending a stop at Sugarland Cellars Winery in Gatlinburg after your day hike! A good glass of wine goes a long way to helping us all to relax after a long day enjoying the mountains and their many treasures.