Explore road trip south - 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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Easy hike! Get there early, it gets crowded by 9am. Please don’t bring strollers. This trail isn’t suitable for children under 7. It is paved but pretty narrow at some points. The waterfall is gorgeous and the views you get are nice. Plenty of good spots for photo ops.

on Laurel Falls Trail

hiking
19 hours ago

Fairly easy hike there and back although there are some slippery spots. Very pretty views and the falls are very pretty. There were a lot of people on the trail as it appears to be a very popular trail but worth it!

Good for kids

Great short hike to see beautiful views! The trail was very wet and muddy and I definitely enjoyed the trail up rather than the other side of the loop which felt more like a gravel road!

hiking
1 day ago

Nice trail that runs along the river. Has some beautiful spots along the river and in the trees. Obviously there are better hikes available within the park, but this one is one of two that allow dogs. If you have dogs, this is a great trail.
It does go along road to start and hen near park maintenance, but once beyond that then you are along the river.

Went their in the middle of October amazing views the walk would’ve been easy if I was in shape but the views at the end were totally worth it. Just take your time coming up the mountain. We came on a Friday and it was packed their was no where to park in the parking lot so we parked about a 1/2 mile down the road because that’s where most people were parking so be aware it gets busy lol but totally worth it

Loved it! Beautiful trail and I was very fortunate to have gorgeous weather.
There were many people out, including families. It seems to be a popular spot, not exactly secluded if that’s what you’re looking for.

Nice short hike, beautiful scenery!

hiking
3 days ago

Easy walk worth the views took about an hour to go out and back and that was stopping several times for pictures.

Easy and by far worth the walk...

Great easy walk to a great view. Most of this trail is on a paved road through a neighborhood... you can drive all the way to the top (past the signs that tell you not to) and it makes this about a .5 mile walk out and back.

Very easy trail plenty of awesome cascades along the way

Nice for beginners

Stroller and wheel chair friendly. Good for small kids and those who need a paved trail. It goes close to the river and past some chimneys from an old homestead.
Nice trees. Well forested. Good parking.

Beautiful Rhododendron covered tunnel trail most of the way. Great views of the fall foliage off of the side trails and at the top. Met a few adventurous climbers rappelling over the beautiful rock face who were more than happy to show us how its done. Today the road was in great shape for our little Kia Soul to travel on.

Nice hike. It was the only blue sky day of the week. We got to the parking area about 10:00 am and did find a parking spot. There is a bath room at the trail head. It was fairly busy to the falls. Easy to moderate. The falls is beautiful and it’s cool that the Trillium trail passes behind it. We had a snack there and continued up the trail another mile or so towards LeConte. Here, we were wonderfully alone. This trail is much less traveled. Only saw a group of 6 people coming down from the Lodge. The snow line started around 4000 ft. I found some neat ice needles forming in the mud at the base of some of the fallen tree roots. We turned around at a river crossing around 4500 ft. There are several turn of the century log homesteads on the motor trail that are interesting history to spend time at on your return to Gatlinburg.

This was a nice hike. The views at the research station are great. There are several picnic tables and bathrooms there. Don't miss the old cabin.

scenic driving
7 days ago

I have done this drive a few times while staying near Gatlinburg; usually during the summer. The loop can be a slow drive if crowded and this is the reason why I give it a four star rating. There are some places to park and exit the car to explore.

Very short hike, but steep going up the steps. Every person we saw on the way up said it was worth the climb and it absolutely was. I haven’t seen very many falls to have much to compare it to, but it did have that...WOW this is so awesome effect on us both. We even saw some people on their way back down, who had made it to the falls in flip flops, which I would not recommend, as it can be slick on the rocks after the steps part of the climb. I’d go again if in the area.

The road was closed so we hiked the 1.5 mile to the trailhead but honestly it was just lackluster. It was all gravel access roads.

hiking
8 days ago

One of my favorite trails. I did not like all the bear jams along Cade’s cove though. Took a long time to get out of the park. But we’ll worth it. Saw a total of 16 bears mostly mammas with their cubs. Wild turkey. The biggest red headed woodpecker I ever saw and bunch of deer. Great day.

hiking
8 days ago

There is a paved steep pathway to the observation deck. Not far but steep. Beautiful view from the top. Take the clingmans dome bypass trail back down to the parking lots it’s worth it. I wish I knew there was an adjacent trail before I saw the ranger at the deck.

hiking
8 days ago

My wife and I took turns doing this on a rainy day. It was an easy hike with rewarding scenery and great fall foliage. Because of the rain, we each had the trail to ourselves. 40 minutes out and back if you walk fast—easy to knock off while your 2 year old explores the visitor center with your spouse.

on Cataract Falls

hiking
8 days ago

Not really sure how long this trail was but it seemed like maybe about three quarter of a mile round trip. The falls itself was ok. And if you continue to the left of the falls you can reach laurel falls in about 10 miles and cove cave in about 8. Lol.

hiking
8 days ago

Cool short trail about 1.3 miles. Halfway around the loop you come across an old house. Pretty neat. Saw lots of wild turkey. Easy leisurely hike. Nice end to a strenuous day.

The hike to the falls is easy, beautiful scenery along the way. Path is narrow in certain points and heavily trafficked.

The hike to the top is very steep but the views are amazing and so worth it! Parking is a challenge.

Nice walk through the woods. The leaves were just past peak this weekend. Some muddy spots on the trail. There’s an observation platform with wonderful, panoramic views at the end.

Steady climb up, steady descent back. Nothing too harsh.

The walk in was steep and slippery in spots. Bridge crossings where slick and had ice. Snow closer to the Falls. Was worth the hike! 16,433 steps according to my watch. Recommend for those that want to see beautiful water falls. We did see a huge buck driving in. Then we saw a bear both going up and heading down.

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