Porters Creek Trail, Great Smoky Mountains NP, TN In March, see dozens of flower varieties blooming simultaneously on this 7.8-mile out-and-back. Follow a surging stream to a campsite beneath old-growth hemlocks and yellow poplars. Watch for pale-purple spring beauties, violets, and blankets of white-fringed phacelia around mile one, and admire 65-foot seasonal Fern Branch Falls at mile 1.8. Continue two miles to secluded campsite 31 ($4/person/night). Trip ID1067244
“Blossoms can be so thick, they look like snow.”
Trail scout: Caitlin Worth, Gatlinburg, TN
Nubbin Creek Trail, Talladega NF, AL
Savor secluded hollows and cascading streams on the eastern flank of 2,346-foot Talladega Mountain on this 4.8-mile out-and-back in the Cheaha Wilderness. At mile 1.8, cross Mill Shoal Creek, which tumbles 10 feet over mossy rock slabs to intersect the trail. To extend the hike to about an 8.5-mile lollipop, turn right at the T-junction near mile three; follow a ridgeline section of the 335-mile Pinhoti Trail for near-constant views of rolling hills and valleys, then connect back to Nubbin Creek via the Odum Scout Trail. Trip ID14537
"Look upstream in all three gulches to see small falls."