One of our favorite things about living in Knoxville is that we are just a short drive away from some incredible hikes and views in the Smokies.
Going for a day hike was something Daniel and I did a lot together when he came to visit me on the weekends while I was in college. (We enjoyed hiking together so much that we decided to take our engagement pictures on a hike!)
There are plenty of scenic trails in the park, but Mt. Leconte via Alum Cave Trail has become our absolute favorite for many reasons. The trail not only boasts magnificent views from the top, but it also features Arch Rock, Alum Cave, gorgeous, bright blooms in late spring and of course the iconic Leconte Lodges that greet you at the summit.
The lodges are a glorious sight to see if you’re hiking in the ice and snow and need a warm place to rest for a while, grab a snack or hit up the bathroom — unless you’ve already utilized nature’s bathroom 😉
The hike is challenging, but so worth the climb. There are a couple of spots you can take in the view at the top once you pass the lodges: Cliff Tops or Myrtle Pointe. Cliff Tops offers a fantastic view, but it can get a bit crowded at times. We recommend making the extra half mile trip to Myrtle Pointe for a panoramic view and less traffic.
Plan your hike for June so you can take advantage of the blooming rhododendrons and mountain laurel!
Looking for an even more challenging hike? Take a stab at this one!
Thanks for reading,