Smoky Mountain Trails: Boulevard Trail

Orange and yellow fall foilage on tree in smoky mountain tennessee

The Boulevard Trail is an eight-mile walk to Mount LeConte. Follow the Appalachian Trail from Newfound Gap northeastward. The beautiful trail is wide and busy for the first mile or so. Frequent views through the trees are spectacular year round. Parking spaces are abundant at the gap.

The trail climbs 1000 feet in 2.5 miles from the gap to the branch-off at the Boulevard Trail. Once upon the Boulevard, you will descend 400 feet down the west flank of Mount Kephart. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow all the way. From this point on the trail is a veritable roller coaster (though slow) of ups and downs and ups and downs along the Boulevard ridge. At about three miles from where the turn off from the A.T., you follow the crest of a steep ridge, falling away on both sides, the views are gorgeous. Ahead looms massive Mount LeConte, appearing just minutes away.

The Boulevard is often claimed to be the easiest of ways to LeConte. Under no uncertain terms that this is the case. The Boulevard is a very long hard haul even without a pack. It is the most difficult, except for perhaps Porters Flat via Trillium Gap, which is longer and gains far more elevation. The combination of many uphill and downhill are more strenuous than even continual uphill. However, the Boulevard is a “classic must do” kind of trail, and very beautiful. Just make sure you devote the entire day to enjoy it.