Explore <5 mile river hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

<5 mile river hikes Map

Very poorly marked. We figured out we went the wrong way after it was too late. When you begin the trail after you park stay to the LEFT. I’m sure we will be back to hike the correct trail next time. Kind of a bummer.

2 days ago

The river is fantastic. Steep climb out once you get down to the river, but well worth it.

trail running
17 days ago

Second time there and we found the river! There is a sign at the beginning of the loop that is extremely misleading....ignore it as it will guide you right off the river loop trail. It points to a different direction with a picture of horses, hikers and bikers. At any rate, the loop starts and ends at a big oak tree in the middle. Stay on the narrow path and you're on the way to the river and sand bars.

This place is gorgeous and the main trail is easy enough but the hike down to the falls was pretty vigorous for someone not in the best shape cardio wise but worth it! Note to wear actual hiking shoes instead of runners for better grip on the gravel.

Lula Lake is a great place to go hiking. one of my favorite courses I do, is from the parking lot to middle Trail. Then take that to the bluff Trail. A great view of the valley. Then Bluff Trail down to the falls which is great on a nice hot day. I usually spend about a half an hour at the base of the falls. Then back to the parking lot. I have it as 4.6 MI. You do some climbing but the hills are long and gradual.

I've hiked at Lula on 2 separate occasions. I look forward to more visits for years to come.

22 days ago

Nice trail. Not too strenuous, but still a decent workout if you keep a good pace. The trail looks like it was an old road at one time, so it's very wide and in good shape, overall.

Short trail with good waterfall. Was great for my 9 year old and 2 Jack Russell’s. Watch out for stinging insects, my son was stung twice by hornets.

Really beautiful-both the trail and the falls. This is also suitable for most people-less than two round trip-so you can pretty much bring anyone. We carried a couple of light backpacks and picnicked at the falls.

23 days ago

Hike was beautiful. So much greenery right along the river! Water was warm also, with several small beach areas along the trail. Only negative was the bugs! (And I got stung by a bee)

Long Creek Falls is well worth the short hike in. It's quite the popular place on the weekends when the weather is good, so pick and choose when you go.

1 month ago

Beautiful easy hike

very easy, well maintained, recommend the adventure trail. remember- open only 2x a month!

It was an easy beautiful hike!

1 month ago

Between Townsend and Cades Coves, I enjoyed the trail. Steady incline up but not bad. Would have never known about Campsite 18 had it not been for two other hikers who said it was a must see. The campsite was the highlight of the hike for me. Very close to the trailhead for the Schoolhouse Gap Trail if you want a two for one.

First of all, there is no marking that says there is a hike. You have to follow the map on the app and keep driving to the arrow marker. You will see a gate that says “no vehicle beyond this point “ and an open field. Once you cross the field, you have to cross a creek which leads to another open field and another creek. After another two fields, you will enter the jungle and can see a trail. It’s not marked except for few ribbons tied to the branches. After around 1 mile of hike, the trail will become less narrow and you have to pass through dense bushes. The final 0.2 miles of the hike is tricky and u have to crawl and jump the rocks. The waterfall at the end of the trail is really fantastic and rewarding.

Cons- don’t take children with you as it can be a little tricky for them. Wear long pants and boots as u have to walk through grasses and trees and god knows what u can find there. Also there is a big safety concern. You have to park in the middle of nowhere and when I did it, I couldn’t find a single soul on the entire hike. So be mindful when taking your family to this hike.

To me it was a harder hike on the way out to the falls. It is .5 mostly uphill. The way back was easy, I have bad knees and I could do it easily on the way back. The hike out isn’t bad but it is uphill and there are roots and rocks to watch for. Worth the short hike to see the falls and let the kids play in the water. One mile total hike.

Easy, pretty waterfall

1 month ago

This trail is very easy to access from Townsend. While this trail can't boast of the spectacular views that some others can, it was quiet and enjoyable. Backcountry Campsite 18 was a great spot to relax. The rhododendrons were in bloom.

It has been raining for several days so we had the added challenge of mud/slippery areas along the hike. It would have been significantly more difficult had we not had walking sticks with us. The falls are absolutely beautiful and worth seeing, but when the reviews say the last 1/4 of the trail is difficult, they are not over stating it.

on Lee Falls Trail

2 months ago

What a nice hike. Starts off very easy through several fields, cross the creek several times and into the woods. Approximately 0.2-0.3 miles before you arrive at the waterfalls, trees are down making the trail harder to follow. Overgrown and rocky at the end. However, very worth it for the pictures of the falls. Would not recommend for any one younger than 10. Recommend long pants and waterproof hiking boots as well as reading others descriptions here. It was an easy hike with a beautiful waterfall.

One of the best waterfalls I have ever seen! In my opinion, this was not strenuous. If you go, get their early, this is on private land and only open on first weekend of the month, so it gets busy early on.

Raining hike today. This hike was amazing. First time actually following the trail on All Trails App. It was great. Walked through several open fields. You have to go through 4 plus creek crossing. Wear pants ... there is a leaf all through trail that made my legs itch so bad. Kept washing my legs in creek. Climb boulders to get to base of falls. A really fun hike.

Easy trail that my dog loved. Camped right down the road too at a huge campsite alone!

2 months ago

If you hike this trail I would suggest wearing pants and boots, you cross about 6 creeks (yes tennis shoes will get wet) and towards the end near the waterfall it is VERY grown up with plants that make your legs itch and trees have fallen you have to climb over! The waterfall was WELL worth it but be careful to not get lost on the trail, use this app and it will lead you straight there. When you get to a creek towards the end, you can follow down the side of the bank to get to the waterfall. Much easier than going through a small part in the woods climbing over trees and over grown plants. There is not much elevation to this trail so if you feel like you have started to increase drastically in elevation, you are going the wrong way. We loved it and would definitely do it again, but with pants and boots on next time!

The trail was overgrown, and there was a Rattlesnake in the trail. I gently moved it out of the trail so I could pass. the trail is washed out in places, in other places, you can't see the trail for the weeds. I think it would be a better hike for early spring. with that being said there was a nice little waterfall.

be careful. trail not marked well and several times the path goes through the creek.

This trail can get tough but it’s absolutely the most beautiful waterfall I’ve been to. So worth the pain!!

3 months ago

Hiked this yesterday with a friend. Very easy going in to falls, coming back was another story. The hike back to trailhead was immensely steep for a bit of the way. We had trekking poles and they were a tremendous help! Very worth the hike!

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