beautiful trail. The heavy traffic is at the first 2.4 miles to the awesome falls. The 1st mile lulls you into a sense of ease but some real nice rocky climbs makes you glad you came prepared with good shoes & shorts. felt over prepared at first with 170 ozs of water in our CamelBaks but was glad to have it by the time we got to the falls. Looking forward to doing the full 8.4 next time.
What a beautiful trail! We hiked the trail today all the way to Indian Flat Falls. It's an excellent hike. I would say heavy moderate hiking. The majority of this trail was carved by a railroad company that logged the area prior to the establishment of the park, so the first 3 miles or so is wide and well kept. A lot of rocks. The views of the stream are incredible with a lot of opportunities to get down into or cross the stream. Love the huge boulders. Lots of other water falls along the way. If you maintain course you can connect to the Appalachian Trail..another 4 miles beyond the Indian Flat Falls.
The trail starts from a very scenic spot on the Cades Cove Loop Road. It is a short hike to see the old Appalachian homestead. This is a good place to explore and take in the beautiful valley scenery...and it will likely not be as crowded as the visitor center area just up the road. You can also take the mile-long Wet Bottom Trail to connect to the popular Abrams Falls Trail.
A remote and gorgeous section of GSMNP that reminds you of a bygone time...wonderful views of the valley, lots of wildlife and historic buildings. The ten mile one-way loop road and the area around the visitor center can get congested though. Best to get an early start and/or save for a weekday if possible. Well worth the trip!
Overall this was a great hike. Our two boys really loved it as well and we all felt it was pretty challenging. I would personally rate it a bit more tough than just a moderate hike as there are quite a few substantial inclines and areas where you have to be careful with proper footing. In short, it was a really fun and challenging hike!
Great for a bike ride. We've driven out by car 3 times, and while it is gorgeous, it's much calmer and enjoyable by bike. Some of the hold are difficult if, like me, you are awful at hills, but just putter up them and you'll be rewarded with a fun downhill.
The views are much easier enjoyed on the bike without the car windows in the way, and much lower stress than following behind some of three cars because most well let you pass.
There are the occasional grumpy cars that want to pass you, only to pull off at the next spot.
Roundtrip on our bikes was about an hour flat, but we didn't turn it into a combo hike-bike trip this time.
I love this trail! Not a very long hike, but a nice incline. it's in a popular area, but for some reason folks don't know about this trail. which is exactly why it rates so high with me. I'll take a pic of the falls next time I go up and post. I told a friend about it and he proposed up there!