The Tennessee section of the Appalachian Trail (AT) is a stout 293 mile stretch with elevation ranging from 1,326 feet to 6,625 feet. It follows the border of Tennessee with North Carolina through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Pisgah National Forest. The route is mainly ridgeline trail through thick forests with awesome vistas. North of Roan High Knob, the route turns into the northeast corner of Tennessee in the Cherokee National Forest and through Laurel Fork Gorge on the way north to Damascus, Virginia. Along the way, you will ascend some of the highest mountains along the Appalachian Trail with several above 6,000 feet especially in the Great Smoky Mountain National park. This includes the famous Clingmans Dome at 6,625 feet -- the highest point on the entire AT.
The best time of year to experience this section of the Appalachian Trail is from late May through October. At the higher elevations, snow is common in April and early May which has stranded many thru-hikers. Matter-of-fact the 70 mile stretch through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park has the most rainfall and snowfall on the AT south of the Mason-Dixon line.
The Appalachian Trail, commonly known by backpackers as the AT, is a popular 2,167 mile thru-hike along a wilderness footpath. The Appalachian Trail is a registered National Scenic Trail that winds along the crest of the Appalachian Mountains from Georgia in the south to Maine in the north. More specifically, the AT runs through the scenic wooded and pastoral lands of fourteen eastern US states, stretching from Springer Mountain, Georgia, in the south to Mount Katahdin, Maine, in the north. The Appalachian Trail route is more than 99 percent protected by either federal ownership, state ownership or designated rights-of-way from local land owners.
Overall, Appalachian Trail is the 2nd most popular hiking trail of all 24 hikes in Tennessee.