5 Top Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail Things to Do

Explore the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail. It is a 0.5-mile loop trail near Gatlinburg, Tennessee and is located at the Sugarlands Valley Nature Visitors Center. The trail is generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 10 min to complete and is 100% accessible, the only such trail in the park.

Although the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail is used frequently for jogging and walking, you can still find some peace and quiet during the slower times of the day. The route is lovely to explore at any time of the year and is open all year. Dogs must stay at home because this trail is off-limits to them.

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.5 mi
Elevation gain: 19 ft
Route type: Loop

Wheelchair friendly, Kid friendly, Stroller friendly, Walking, Running, Forest, Paved, River, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Historic site, No dogs,

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Sugarlands Visitors Center and Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail Hiking

5 Top Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail Hiking Things to Do

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Located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park it is close to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. There is a short, 0.7-mile circular hike called the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail Loop .

Don’t miss the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail if you’re looking for a relaxing and beautiful hike that is ideal for the whole family. This short, convenient half-mile hike offers interpretive exhibits, breathtaking natural features, and interesting historical relics and is conveniently situated just south of the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

The trail itself is much more interesting than the name suggests. The Sugarlands Valley used to be a group of private homes that were eventually given to a national park.

Along the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail, you can also find interesting historical relics, which is another great reason to go there. On this trail, you can see what’s left of two homesteads. Two fireplaces and a stone wall are the only things that are still there. The trail also goes next to a creek that runs through the Sugarlands Valley.

There are places to sit along the creek and the trail. There are signs along the trail that explain a lot of the interesting natural and historical features. A black bear walked across the fresh concrete as the trail was being built, which is another interesting thing to see.

The Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail is made of concrete and is easy to get to, except for where it goes along the creek. One of the few trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that can be used by strollers and wheelchairs is the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail. The half-mile loop trail is paved and well taken care of, so even small children can walk it without getting tired.

The Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail is also different because it has its own parking lot, which makes it easy to get to the trailhead. This is a great way for people who can’t hike the normal trails in the park to enjoy the outdoors.

The Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail, like most of the other trails in Smoky Mountains National Park, might give you a chance to see some wildlife. Even though the trail is close to the road and doesn’t look like much, you never know what you might see on it.

Bears can be dangerous and unpredictable, so keep an eye out for them as a safety measure. Keep in mind that hikers in the park are allowed to carry bear pepper spray only to protect themselves from being hurt by aggressive wildlife. It should never be used to scare animals away from people, backpacks, or other gear.

Hiking Tips For Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail

Wear shoes that fit well and are comfortable.
Bring a lot of fresh water with you.
Wear clothes that are right for the weather.
Bring a snack.
Don’t go off the path.
Keep track of the time and daylight.
Do not get close to wildlife.
Don’t throw trash away; clean up after yourself.

Directions To the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail

Drive south on US 441 (Newfound Gap Road) for 0.4 miles and the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail trailhead is on the left. The parking area maintains five designated handicap parking spots and seven general use parking spots. You can purchase a trail brochure at the trailhead for .50 cents. Just drop your coins into the receptacle and take a copy.


A short, nice walk through the woods. It felt good to hear the river. We haven’t had much rain lately, so it’s pretty low. I liked reading about the area’s history on the informational signs and looking at the ruins of what used to be there. I took a lot of pictures. Not many leaves change color in this area.

Across the road from the Sugarlands Visitor Center is a flat, paved, and educational hike, the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail. It goes through the forest and along the Little Pigeon River’s West Prong. There are a lot of spots for people with disabilities. This is a great walk for people of all ages and abilities.

Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail Flowers. White with red, not sure what they are.

Nearby Trails to Hike

Baskin Creek Trail

Try this out-and-back trail that goes 10.1 miles near Hays, North Carolina. It takes an average of 4 hours and 33 minutes to finish what most people think of as a difficult route. This trail is great for hiking, and you probably won’t see many other people while you’re out there. The trail is beautiful and can be used at any time of year. This trail allows dogs, but they have to be on a leash.

Difficulty: Challenging
Length: 10.1 mi
Elevation gain: 1,591 ft
Route type: Out & back

Dogs on leash, Hiking, Forest, River, Views, Waterfall, Wildflowers, Wildlife


The trail is great and very runnable, though it goes up slowly… I lost track of how many times we crossed water, but I’m guessing it was close to 20. The last mile up to the cabin was the steepest, and I lost the trail about a mile in, but it was easy to find again and get back on track. Beautiful scenery and great views of the water the whole way up. The trail was clear and well-kept on this day.

Elkmont Nature Trail

This loop trail is 0.8 miles long and is close to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Most people think of it as an easy route, and it takes an average of 19 minutes to finish. This trail is used by a lot of people to camp, hike, and run, but you can still get some alone time when it’s not busy. The trail is beautiful and can be used at any time of year. Dogs can’t go on this trail, so you’ll have to leave them at home.

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.8 mi
Elevation gain: 95 ft
Route type: Loop

Kid friendly, Camping, Hiking, Walking, Running, Wildflowers, No dogs


Nice trail with some cool little bridges. I found a lot of cool mushrooms with my son. In some places, it was pretty how the trees grew together on both sides. It had been raining, so it was easy to just walk to the side and avoid the mud.

Balsom Point Quiet Walkway Trailhead

Learn about this 0.2-mile trail that goes out and back near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Most people think of it as an easy route, and it takes an average of 7 minutes to finish. This trail is great for walking and fishing, and you probably won’t see many other people while you’re exploring. Dogs can’t go on this trail, so you’ll have to leave them at home.

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.2 mi
Elevation gain: 45 ft
Route type: Out & back

Kid friendly, Fishing, Walking, Forest, River, Rocky, No dogs


This trail is a lot harder than you might think. At the bottom, there is a steep drop that was a little bit slippery. I went straight down the hill, got pretty hurt, and ran into the person behind me. Also, there is no view at the end because a pile of logs left by the river blocks the view of the river.

Things to Do Near Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail

Stop At the Sugarlands Valley Visitors Center

The Sugarlands Visitor Center is the perfect spot to begin your Smoky Mountain vacation! The visitor center features knowledgeable rangers, maps, restrooms, animal exhibits, informative museum, and a free movie. Stop here to stretch your legs, get your bearings, and speak with experts about your itinerary.

The Sugarlands Visitor Center is open every day of the year except for Christmas Day. Be sure and take a walk around the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail while you are there.

At Sugarlands, visitors can view extensive natural history exhibits and a free 20-minute film about Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ranger-led programs are offered seasonally. The facility includes a Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop, as well as a Backcountry permit station.

Information desk staff can answer your questions about planning your day in the park. Nature trails nearby feature a historic cabin and waterfall. Public restrooms, telephones, and drink machines are available.

Visit Carlos Campbell Overlook

So there are many scenic overlooks in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Carlos C. Campbell overlook is one such overlook that you can stop at to take in the beautiful mountain views of the Smoky Mountains! This is a must stop-by place and is near the Sugarlands Visitors Center and Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail

The beauty of Tennessee is truly unparalleled here in the American South, and thankfully the state has developed and maintained a series of overlooks and vista points for the enjoyment of visitors. If you find yourself driving the historic Newfound Gap, then we’d highly recommend stopping along the way at the Carlos Campbell Overlook. You can find it in East Tennessee, and it offers views that you’ll never, ever forget.

Visit Courthouse Rock Trail

Everyone loves to find hidden gems in the Smoky Mountains, and one of the best kept secrets of the national park is Courthouse Rock Trail! The trail is near both the Sugarlands Visitors Center the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail. From huge natural rock features to a beautiful waterfall, there are all kinds of things to see along this hike! Learn even more about Courthouse Rock Trail, a secret hike in the Smokies you don’t want to miss:

One of the first things you should know about this secret hiking trail in the Smoky Mountains is that it’s not on the official national park map. Don’t let that deter you from finding the trail and hiking it, though! Many hobbyist hikers enjoy exploring undesignated trails, and this is a great one to try!

Courthouse Rock Trail is considered difficult with its elevation gain and since the trail isn’t easily laid out. There are several areas along the trail where you will cross creeks on foot, and there are junctions in the trail where you must choose which way to go. Cairns, or rock formations people have set up, point hikers towards the correct direction of which way to head towards the features at the end of the trail.

In order to find the trailhead, you should use exact GPS coordinates. These coordinates will place you across the street from the trailhead where the parking area is. Most hikers use their GPS to ensure they are staying on the right path as they hike through the woods. Here is the GPS 35.65298482516813, -83.5210265460345

Food and Diner Locations Near Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail

Land Shark Bar and Grill

515 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738-3201

Land Shark Bar and Grill is a Margaritaville State of Mind restaurant in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg. We serve American favorites such as wings, burgers, and fresh seafood daily!


Absolutely the best service, menu and view that we’ve experienced on our current vacation! We’ve spent time all over the strip while vacationing with our adult children and grandchildren. To start, the host sets a great tone and everyone and everything followed suit!

This is the best restaurant we’ve spent time at this week. I have to compliment the staff and say that the server we had was attentive and polite… pretty hard to find here as we’ve learned this time, and it’s been very disappointing until now. Thank you for being so friendly and polite.

I also have to say they have an amazing beer selection as well as a great food menu. Highly recommend if you’re into great beer, service and food!

Best Italian on the Parkway

710 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738-3206


But the pizza we received was the best I have found between Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, or basically, anywhere in the county. A good New York style pizza with a good crust, plenty of cheese, toppings and sauce. We will definitely return to this place when in Gatlinburg.

The Park Grill

1110 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738-3108


We visited the Park Grill after a morning walk at the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail and it was FABULOUS. It was made even more so was our waitress Lisa. She was so ontop of service and such a kind soul. She is a main reason we came back a second time during our trip, she just made the first experience so enjoyable!

Before going we saw reviews saying the pricing was too high and not worth it, well if you’re smart you can get out at $70 or less like we did both times INCLUDING tip.

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