HIKING AROUND NATIVE WINDS

Did you know there are over 800 miles of hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Add to that, the gorgeous hikes in the Nantahala National Forest, and you have a hiker's dream vacation. 

Here are some of our favorite hikes around Native Winds.


DEEP CREEK LOOP

4 Miles (easy to moderate).  

This trail loop consists of Deep Creek to Loop Trail to Indian Creek and Back to Deep Creek. Note - Dogs are not permitted on this and many trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  For a map of the Deep Creek Loop, click HERE.

Trail passes by both Toms Branch Falls and Indian Creek Falls.  Deep Creek is also extremely popular for river tubing. See our Water Activities page for details!


NOLAND CREEK TRAIL SOUTH

2 Miles (easy).

This is an in and out trail (1 mile each way) located near the famous Road to Nowhere.  The trail follows Noland Creek south to Fontana Lake. With only a 143 foot elevation gain, plus a short distance, this is a great hiking option for beginners.  

Two items to note - 1. Much of the trail is sandy and occasionally wet as it is near the lake.  2. Dogs are not permitted, even on a leash.

For information and a map of this and other trails around the Road to Nowhere, click HERE.



GOLDMINE LOOP TRAIL

3 Miles (easy to moderate).

This trail loop tends to be popular for those looking for a casual hike and a unique experience. Goldmine Loop Trail starts in the Road to Nowhere's parking lot and does take you through the 365-foot tunnel. (Bring a flashlight for this part!). Note, if a member of your party wished to avoid the walk through the tunnel, there is a bypass trail you can take.

For a map Goldmine Loop and surrounding trails, click HERE.


OCONALUFTEE RIVER TRAIL

3.1 Miles (easy).

This is one of two hikes in the Smoky Mountains National Park which visitors can walk dogs and bicycle. This is an in and out trail (about 1.5 miles each way) and is primarily flat, with only a few small hills. Most visitors start their trek at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center’s Mountain Farm Museum.  This path will lead you through the forest and provides beautiful river views. Fun item to note - many of our guests have seen elk on this trail!

For more information, click HERE. 


MINGUS CREEK TRAIL

6 Miles (moderate to challenging).

Also accessible from the Oconaluftee Visitor Center’s Mountain Farm Museum, is the Mingus Creek Trailhead.  An in and out hike (3 miles each way), this trail offers a bit more of a challenge with its 1500+ foot elevation gain.  This path is great for those who love solitude, but fair warning, it's all uphill after the first mile!

For more information, click HERE.



CLINGMANS DOME

0.5 Miles (challenging).

At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is the 3rd highest point east of the Mississippi. The trail up to the “Dome” (which is actually the mountaintop and not the observation tower) is only a half-mile and paved, but it is considered difficult due to its elevation gain. During the short hike, you will gain 332 feet, which makes the climb gradient almost 13%! While you're legs and lungs might hate the hike, we promise, the views are worth it. 

For more information on Clingmans Dome, click HERE.