Top 5 Trails to Go Hiking in Tennessee

While Tennessee is famous for its country music roots and mouthwatering hot chicken, its brilliant outdoor scene does not receive nearly enough proper credit. 

With over 600 trails throughout the state, there is no shortage of exquisite beauty and adventure available.

Whether you are a local Tennessee native or Music Row tourist, take a look to see the top must-do hiking explorations. 

Radnor Lake 

Easily-accessible and known for its family-friendly atmosphere, Radnor Lake boasts four trails across 1200 acres. Visitors will enjoy well-paved paths among exquisite beauty and abundant wildlife (look out for those cute river otters). 

Located just miles from downtown Nashville, this park makes for a perfect, restorative refuge in the midst of metropolitan hustle.

These hikes rank “easy,” and are perfect for either a post-brunch Sunday afternoon stroll.

Walls of Jericho

Yes, this is as cool as the name indicates. 

Yes, rumor has it that Davy Crockett hunted throughout this area. 

Yes, there are natural “walls” that you will see. 

This phenomenal hike, which has accessible entrances through both Tennessee or Alabama, was closed off to public access until 2006. Today, hikers around the world are free to experience this land’s breathtaking beauty. 

The 7-mile hike is strenuous, with recommendations to plan for approximately six hours.

Those who brave the challenge are rewarded with stunning geological formations along the way, including waterfalls, rock scrambling, river passages, and a naturally-made amphitheater, unlike anything you’ve ever seen. 

Fiery Gizzard Trail

Looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure?

Located in South Cumberland State Park in Marion County, the 12.5-mile  Fiery Gizzard Trail features hiking, rock scrambling, and even the chance for swimming!

Strenuous and endurance-based, this adventure is NOT for the faint-of-heart. 

Don’t worry. If you’re up for this obstacle, your efforts will be worth it- just look out for stunning rock formations, diverse ranges of flora and fauna, and beautiful waterfalls. 

Virgin Falls Trail

Clocking in at just over 8 miles, Virgin Falls Trail is located in Sparta, Tennessee. 

This trail, which is marked as strenuous, rewards your active efforts with amazing waterfall views, natural sinkholes, and gorgeous, panoramic views of greater White County.

Caution: this hike entails crossing creeks and light rock scrambling. Be mindful and adhere to proper outdoor safety guidelines and equipment recommendations.  

Alum Cave Trail

Within the expansive Smoky Mountains, this 4.4-mile hike ranks as moderate in terms of difficulty.

Adventurers will pass through several points: Arch Rock to Alum Cave (an 80-foot tall bluff mimicking a cave), enjoying Inspiration Point, and the Eye of the Needle.

For those looking to add on a more treacherous challenge, trek onto Mt. LeConte, which, at its base, measures as the tallest mountain in the Eastern United States. This challenge will add an additional six miles to your journey.

Looking for other awesome trails across the country? Check out our constantly-expanding best-of write-ups, and get outside. After all, it’s good for you!

What is your favorite hike in Tennessee? Got any cool tips? Comment below! 

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