I arrived in Gatlinberg early enough in the day to see the visitor center and talk to the rangers before hiking. I remember asking them about bears and if I need bear spray. (She basically said no.)
It was too late to do a full on hike but there a couple of short trails behind the visitor center: Nature Trail and Cataract Falls. I did the full 0.8 mile loop that combines both trails. It was more of a “walk” than a “hike.” Despite how crowded the area was, there weren’t many people on the Nature Trail part but Cataract Falls was busy. I didn’t even take any photos there.
After the “hike” near the visitor center, I drove up to a scenic overlook of Gatlinburg.