While I have been to Great Smoky Mountains National Park now several times, I have yet to have the opportunity to take a backpacking trip deeper into the area. However, I have been able to get at least a taste of the region with several day hikes and some fishing.
One that’s great for small kids or those who can’t go for long periods of time is the nature trail loop off of the Roaring Fork driving loop. It starts behind some old homestead structures at the Ogle historic area and winds through heavily forested hills and beautiful rocky streams. You certainly get a secluded feeling along the wooded trails, but you are likely to be within earshot of other hikers most of the time.
A few old mill structures and trail markers dot the otherwise primitive feeling trail. Take a water bottle, decent hiking shoes and read up on the old settlers of the surrounding area. Be aware that bears are in the area, so educate yourself appropriately and stay watchful as you explore this scenic park.