Explore Melinda Brooks - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
11 hours ago

My wife and I enjoyed this hike. Some nice water along the way and small waterfalls along the way.

hiking
1 day ago

We started the hike at the Trillium Gap Trailhead (easy access from the auto tour--we didn't experience any roads closed on Saturday). It was a quick hike to Grotto Falls. It's always fun to see a waterfall, but I wouldn't suggest this one unless you have extra time to kill. We weren't overly impressed with the hike or the waterfall.

hiking
1 day ago

This hike was recommended to us by a staff member in the visitor center. He said it is his favorite hike in the whole park, and we could see why! Gorgeous scenery along the way, including wildflowers, the river, and old trees that are huge. And the view of Ramsey Cascades at the top of the hike is incredible! Well worth the strenuous trip up. However, be warned--LOTS of rocks and roots the entire hike once you get off the old logging road. So it's a workout on the way up, but you have to be especially careful on the way down. There are a lot of opportunities to trip or twist an ankle. We started the hike at 3pm and saw about 10 people on our way up, but on the way down we didn't see anyone.

This trail is a great workout! The first part of the trail (Low Gap) was very steep with a lot of rocks (you definitely have to watch your step on the way down--lots of opportunities to misstep and trip). There were a lot of pretty wildflowers. It was neat to see all the thru-hikers once we got to the AT. We ate lunch at the top and enjoyed the view and learning about the fire lookout. We were glad we hiked this trail, but wouldn't do it again if we had limited time and could only pick one long hike. The views weren't as good as Mt. LeConte, and we thought this trail was just as or a little more strenuous.

the road is still closed! If you have older kids the extra 3 miles might not phase them but it's steep to get up. wait to take your littles.

Trail was nice. 2.5 miles to a small waterfall. nothing to brag about.

Great hike, nice virgin timber, nice way to spend the day, but please stay off the falls!!

hiking
3 days ago

Challenging but a fun trail. Hiked this with my wife and daughter, neither have been hiking for some time but still made it. It still has burnt trees as a reminder of the terrible fires from 2016.

hiking
4 days ago

Spring budding and plenty of water at the falls made this hike exceptional

Very scenic trail with at least a dozen stream crossings. So do not recommend after a heavy rain, the high water makes navigating across some spots a little difficult. But on normal does u can step stones across most places. The trail it's self isn't to hard my 8 year old daughter made the hike. When you reach the Devil's bathtub it is beautiful and offers a good size water hole below it, which is good for cooling off on a hot day. So pack a swim suit.

crowded right now! April.

Absolutely love this trail. The trail itself is pretty steep on the way up, but there are views all around, so take your time and enjoy the scenery. Every time I drive through the Smokies I make sure to stop at this trail, especially if it's clear and sunny. Last time we were able to spot a black bear alongside the road as we drove to the trail head. There are also plenty of wildflowers growing along the trail as well.

Great hike with awesome views along the way! Hiked this with my wife two days ago and it took us about 4.5 hours. We are novice hikers in fair shape and found it moderately difficult. There were snow flurries during our which made the trail a little slick but was manageable. Pretty steep, steady incline throughout, mainly during the last half, but well worth the effort when you get to the end and see the Falls.

hiking
7 days ago

Wonderful hike. Snowed yesterday and there was still a dusting on the way up. Wild flowers were out in full on the way back down. Lots of roots and rocks on the trail along with two very large old growth trees that had fallen across the trail and had to be climbed over, manageable but they are BIG trees. Overall just a beautiful hike.

Nice paved trail. Takes some effort getting up but it’s totally worth it. It is a little colder at the top but so so beautiful. My husband proposed to me up there and it was a wonderful memory I’ll never forget!!

Hiked yesterday. It poured with light rain throughout the entire trek. Beautiful misty waterfall at the end, at the second log bridge (you can't miss it). Saw very few other hikers thanks to the weather.
This is a great hike if you want something slightly more challenging. However, anyone can do it if you just go at your own pace.

Nice trail, not too long and you’re rewarded by a beautiful waterfall at the end.

Awesome! We loved it! It’s cold up there and VERY windy so be prepared. Totally worth it though. With the paved path easy for the kids too!

One of the most beautiful wildflower trails in April. Little river trial is gorgeous anytime, it is minimal grade following Little River for most of the hike.

hiking
10 days ago

This is a great hike for the whole family but not small children

Not really a trail. A steep short paved path up to the observation tower. A decent amount of people around and some AT-thru hikers starting in early April. A nice little shop and bathrooms by the large parking lot.

beautiful view. step hike, but worth it

Love this hike, it is beautiful! The hiking path is clean and wide and unobstructed. The hike for the most part follows the river closely but at times the trees obscure the view of the water. I wish there were markers to let you know when arrive at the falls because I have missed it and walked right passed it and arrived at the next falls. You do have to “hunt” for it along the river if there is no crowd to tip you off. No dogs are allowed on the trail, which stinks. I’d really love to take my 4 legged child with me. We always clean up after our pet and they enjoy the outdoors and need exercise also.

One of our favorites. 4/12/18, many flower species emerging ....wild ginger around Fern Branch falls, etc, etc...now’s a good time for this trail. Suggest taking your Smokies wildflower book to reduce identification frustration.

I wouldn’t call this a hiking trail by any means, I honestly wouldn’t have walked up if it weren’t for my significant other telling me how amazing it was. Granted the view from the top was amazing and there are real trails that lead up to the same place you can hike if you want the true experience, but honestly the crowds and actual trail makes me want to rate this as 1 star the view makes me want to rate this as 5.

Very steep climb, but beautiful view from the top. Paved trail, and the Appalachian Trail crosses near the top.

hiking
14 days ago

Great hike! If you drive past rainbow falls trail and continue onto the roaring fork road you will park at the Grotto falls parking lot and from Grotto falls trail head it’s 3.3 miles to brushy mountain. It had rained a few days before so the top of brushy mountain was very muddy. I would recommend a waterproof boot.
Beautiful waterfall and awesome views!!

hiking
14 days ago

Great trail. Saw a young black bear in a tree about 1.5 miles in.

Very foggy that day

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