Explore smokeys - 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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Good easy beginners hike. All paved with slow grade up. Waterfalls was just another proof of Gods handiwork!

road biking
6 days ago

Beautiful, scenic loop. We did that on bike around 2-5 pm, which seemed to be a rush hour for cars. Everybody is driving slowly, there is not much room to overtake, so we had to stop every time a car would pass or we would overtake a car which slowed down for taking pictures. Next time we would rather go in the morning or on Wednesday and Saturday morning when it is completely shut for cars. Otherwise it was a lovely biking, would highly recommend.

Beautiful hike!

on Rainbow Falls Trail

hiking
7 days ago

Even though it was super cold it was still an awesome hike!!! Snowing at the falls and it was gorgous!!! Closer to the falls the ground and rock crossings were icy. But it was still a great hike!!!

Amazing trail. Paved all along the way and wasn't hard. As a novice hiker, this trail was a great start. Waterfall at the end was beautiful. Lots of people though so if you want that solidarity and personal experience, it won't happen. But still enjoyed it! Saw a cub up close too!!

hiking
10 days ago

Everything you’ve read about how relentlessly steep this trail is? It’s all true. Had we not been training for several months for this hike, wife & I probably wouldn’t have been able to get out of bed the next morning. Trekking poles are A MUST for this steep hike; your thighs and calves will thank you.
Even in the segments that don’t contain long flights of stairs, it’s still nearly always an uphill climb. All that said, the views from the overlook are pretty amazing. The bare “chimney tops” themselves are clearly visible from the overlook, so there’s really no need to follow the trail beyond the overlook (where it dead-ends at a gate).
After lots of rain a few days earlier, the trail was extremely muddy on the day we hiked it.
This trail is definitely showing signs of being “loved to death” by scores of hikers. (Wonder if some sort of daily lottery to manage the number of hikers might be the answer?)
Encountered a young couple on the trail with their dog, and had to politely let them know that dogs aren’t allowed on most hiking trails within the park.
Be sure to start this hike early enough in the day that you’ll arrive back at the parking lot before it starts to get dark. On our mid-afternoon trip back down, we encountered a number of folks just getting started who almost certainly would be coming down all those steep stairs in twilight.
As always, carry – and drink – plenty of water, and take some energy snacks (or lunch) to enjoy at the overlook before heading back to the trailhead and the pain reliever of your choice. Sunscreen and bug spray are wise precautions.
Although parking area is fairly large, it appears to fill up quickly, so plan to get there early to avoid having to park along the busy roadside and walk to the trailhead.
After completing this challenging but rewarding hike, treat yourself to a burger in Gatlinburg – you’ve earned it!

hiking
10 days ago

Wife & I did this hike after a day of heavy rain, and the falls were really pouring! Much heavier than in any of the photos we’d seen. Due to time limitations, we turned around at the falls rather than venturing farther down the trail to explore the old-growth forest.
Because the trail is paved due to heavy use, this hike can certainly be done in sneakers, although hiking boots to provide better traction are a good alternative.
Parking lot fills up fast, so arriving early is advised. No toilet at trailhead.

Great trail that isn’t too challenging with some great Mountain View’s.

just loved all aspects of this hike...the waterfalls were beautiful and the hike was worth every step!

Gorgeous views from the tower. Very busy, lots of people when we were there. Concrete pathway with incline.

Was very steep! The beginning along the water in the woods was beautiful. Waterfall not impressive. Much more abundant falls in North Carolina.

nature trips
14 days ago

easy trail

This is a great trail. We had limited time, so this hike fit. The trail is easy to reach, not hard to find parking, and was less traveled on the trail. GPS clocked 1.9 miles, but it is rocky and rooted, and the leaves hid a lot of that very well. I tend to agree that this is more moderate because of the terrain and narrow foot path. I took my 2 year old and it was pretty slow going.

Moderate not hard

Very nice trail with incredible views from the observation tower! Trail is wide and paved, but steep.

Easy hike, but the parking can be confusing. For the shorter hike, you can park right near the falls, which is located by Park HQ (not visitor center). For the longer trail (which I recommend), park at the visitor center and walk behind the building. You will see a sign for the falls. Nice hike along the streams.

nature trips
15 days ago

Went the day before Thanksgiving with our 3 and 7 year old boys. Like the reviews mentioned, it was quite busy. We parked in the loop before the actual parking area. It was an easy walk, just crowded. We enjoyed taking some steps off the trail to explore a bit, and sit on some rocks to just enjoy the beautiful views.

Easy and pretty

Beautiful and easy

It’s alright. Very, very busy. Fantastic views of the Smokies. Concrete path all the way up.

Short hike, but with an incline. We went at sunrise hoping to see the sun hit the trees in the fall, but the fog was so thick we could see much at all. However, this didn’t bother me. It was absolutely beautiful – the fog rolling off the evergreens. I’d say this is a must do for everyone visiting the park. It’s a great spot with wonderful vantage points.

walking
17 days ago

Nice hike up the hill. Mighty cold on top but nothing you can’t survive.

Nice paved trail. It was good for the whole family. A little busy on Thanksgiving morning. Plan for an early start.

My son and I hiked this trail this morning. It was challenging, but definitely worth the effort and we were glad we chose to do it. We will definitely hike this one again and hopefully the top portion will be opened up again soon.

Easy Hike up to the Peak! A lot of rocks and roots on the way which I had stumbled over, but nothing strenuous. The peak had some wonderful views! I understand the name now, this trail is not for those with a big fear of heights as this peak features a view on the edge of a cliff that goes straight down for a few hundred ft

love this trail, good morning workout , fun

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.

hiking
19 days ago

Nice short hike to lovely falls. Not as secluded as we had hoped.

on Laurel Falls Trail

hiking
20 days 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!

One of the best. Waterfall more impressive than Abrams—especially after rainfall. Little to no other hikers. Great hidden gem.

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