Laurel Falls and Cove Mountain is a 7.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, TN that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
Moderate hike with breathtaking views. Geology is very much a part of this hike, notice the interesting rock formations. These rock formations are called Anakeesta, Cherokee for place of Balsams. This type of very porous sandstone is the foundation of the crest of the Smokies. It can "soak" up rain and ground water and is pulverized into powder when it freezes. This is how Arch Rock was formed and explains the rock formations and the gritty trail. At approximately 2 miles a small side trail to the left leads to an interesting overlook on a heath bald. Inspiration point has a great view of Newfound Gap and the sandstone that makes up this mountain range. After leaving the "Bluff" the trail descends to a small saddle, a nice relief from climbing. The views through the trees to the right are beautiful. The trail becomes steep from here to the lodge. As you reach the top of the trail you are greeted with a Boreal Forest, more common in England.Since 1925 there has been a lodging facility here for hardy.
We hiked past Laurel Falls and up to the peak of Cove Mountain. The first ~1.5 miles to Laurel Falls is mostly uphill but is well maintained with a paved trail. Once you pass Laurel Falls (and 95% of the people you will see) the additional ~3 miles up to the top of Cove Mountain are mostly a continual moderate uphill hike through forest. No overlooks really on the way up or at the top. At the end of the trail you will reach the Cove Mountain Trail, there you can take a left and continue for 0.1 miles to reach a fire tower that is closed to hikers and is now used as a pollution monitoring station. Continuing to the peak is more for people who just want to summit the mountain. Plan for ~5 hours roundtrip at a moderate pace.
The Trail was very crowded and the falls were minimal. Good first hike for young children or people who have limits on mobility, but for a experienced hiker, I would suggest skipping this one.
Plenty to explore! A lot of people there, sort of took away from the peace.
way to crowded. the path while paved could use some renovation. not a bad walk. not stroller or wheelchair friendly.
Paved but paving is in a poor state, saw a few people with strollers who looked like they seriously regretted the decision. Falls were pretty with pools to cool off in if you wanted. Saw two bears. Very busy though! Views were decent.
Amazing. Heavily traveled trail with park rangers spaced out on the trail. A must see if you are in the park. Saw dozens of wild turkeys and thankfully no bears.
The falls are beautiful! We hiked to the old Fire tower and back (9.8 miles total). The trail past the falls is a nice single track. Views weren't great, it was a cloudy rainy day. I'd hike to the falls again but not to the top.
This was a great hike, moderate trail, very nice waterfall at the end.
Always a good hike. Much better in the off peak season when you can enjoy the serenity of the outdoors without the crowd.
Easy stroll. Great views.
Beautiful hike & the falls are gorgeous! Only downside is it gets VERY congested. Go early to avoid crowds. On a positive note, we passed families with kids of all ages, even in strollers. Trail to the falls is paved the majority of the way (fairly steep).
Pretty scenic hike and the falls are pretty cool too. I would recommend going early to avoid the crowds, I went and it was a bit crowded. But very easy and fun hike!
go early to avoid crowds and get the best experience. the falls are beautiful and are fun to climb if you're up for it!!
Paved trail, very busy. I've never actually done the whole thing, always stopped at the falls and turned around with my family (including small children). I've seen bears here! Go early to avoid the crowds. Parking at the trail head can get difficult during peak times.
Super fun and easy hike. I always do this trail when I visit. The view at the end is totally worth it. This time I was a little more adventurous and climbed down the falls. It made the experience even more enjoyable! The path is also paved so it's great for anyone who has younger children, strollers or wagons.