Believe it or not, there are a few stroller friendly trails for hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We've talked about kid friendly hiking trails in the past, but that doesn't always mean stroller friendly trails. A few of these trails are accessible because they are paved, while the others tend to be flatter and more leveled - suitable for strollers, but not necessarily wheelchairs.
Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail
This stroller friendly trail is actually the only hiking trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to be designated as completely accessible. The loop trail is only a half mile long and takes about 30-45 minutes. Along the way you'll learn about the structures that stood in the area more than a century ago. You can find the trailhead and parking lot just a few hundred yards south of the Sugarlands Visitor Center off highway 441.
Cataract Falls ADA Route
This is a great option for anyone in a wheelchair. You can access the trail from the Sugarlands Visitor Center and take this partially paved "shortcut" through the employee parking lot for a quick 0.7 mile trip down to Cataract Falls, one of the many waterfalls in the area. This stroller friendly trail is great for all ages. If you're up for it, you can even head back to the visitor center and take the Gatlinburg Trail the opposite way as well.
One of only two dog friendly hiking trails in the national park, the Gatlinburg Trail also starts from the Sugarlands Visitor Center and travels east for nearly 2 miles. This stroller friendly trail includes one of the longest footbridges in the park and plenty of mountain stream along the way. The trail is not paved, however. The terrain is mostly dirt and gravel with a clear path suitable for accessibility at most parts of the year.
Look Rock Tower Trail
If you're up for some stunning views from the firetower off of Foothills Parkway, Look Rock is the place to go. The walk up to the tower is completely paved, however, it can be steep at times and is definitely an uphill incline. The trip is just under a mile and overall not too strenuous. The views are without a doubt worth it. Since this trail is not technically in the national park, you can also bring dogs as long as they are leashed.
Located high above the border between Tennessee and North Carolina and along the Appalachian Trail is the very well known Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the state of Tennessee. The 1.2 mile trip up and around the paved walkway to the observation tower brings stunning views of the surrounding Smoky Mountains.Clingmans Dome Trail
Oconaluftee River Trail
Located just outside Cherokee, North Carolina near the Oconaluftee visitor center, this stroller friendly trail is actually the other of the two dog friendly trails in the Smokies. The trail is also unpaved but remains fairly level the entire way through. You'll enjoy lots of opportunities to splash your feet in the water along the way. Many visitors report wildlife (specifically elk) sightings in the woody areas.