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6 Scenic Tennessee Trails for Spring

We compiled six hikes guaranteed to impress with the help of Tennessee trail guru Johnny Molloy who has spent more than 800 nights in the Smokies and hiked the majority of the state’s trails. Now, it’s your turn to boot up and experience Tennessee’s plethora of hikes and paths.

Written By:  Whitney Boland

Photographers:  Supplied

Roan Mountain Highlands

Evergreen forests, stunning 360-degree views, exposed balds (that’s hiker-speak for a low-elevation mountain that’s surrounded by forest but has no trees), and blueberry-bush-lined trails—Roan Mountain Highlands is the farthest from Nashville but a must-do hike because of its ethereal beauty. From Carver’s Gap—open year-round, though there is often substantial snow in the winter and early spring—on the Appalachian Trail, this is the longest stretch of grassy bald in the Appalachian Mountains.

This trail takes you toward Round Bald, then Jane Bald, and on toward Grassy Ridge. The origin of these balds is unclear, but many believe Native Americans and grazing animals kept the trees at bay. Regardless, the balds expose panoramic vistas from an impressively high vantage.

Trail tip:

The exposed rock on sections of this hike is among the oldest on the Appalachian Trail, dating back 1.1 billion years.

Distance from Nashville: 390 miles
Level: Moderate
Length: 4.8 miles

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