In the 521,000 acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Noland Divide Trail descends steeply through a sub-alpine spruce-fir forest with rosebay rhododendrons, flame azaleas, mountain laurel thickets, and stands of white pine. Following the crest of a razorback ridge, it runs along the divide that separates the drainages of Deep and Noland Creeks and is best hiked in a day from north to south, ending at Deep Creek Campground. Another great hike is the 11 mile Gregory Bald loop near Cades Cove Visitor Center or the Alum Cave Trail.
To reach the trailhead from Asheville take US 40 west 24 miles to US 19; head west for 23 miles to US 441, then north nine miles to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. The trailhead is on Clingmans Dome Road.
Overall, Noland Divide Trail is the 3rd most popular hiking trail of all 19 hikes in North Carolina.