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very cool and gorgeous trail. very difficult at times. Definitely a quad and glute workout with all the steps. waterfalls are amazing

Great trail but it's closed past Sycamore Falls which was only around 2 miles in. Looking forward to going back after the gas line has been repaired.

Part of trail unknowingly closed "until September" after I read it supposedly opened around August 1st. Arrived at 5pm from 4 hrs travelling, and a citation issued on the windshield of our car the following morning for camping d/t campsite being closed, but too far in to hike out after arrival. Embarrassed to be escorted out (on our way out) by Park Rangers (eldest with 3 months experience after telling us we would be cleared of citation for not actually having been 'found camping.') Beautiful sights, however. Do your research more in depth than I did, apparently, before staying here or hiking past 5pm.

hiking
4 days ago

Breaktaking experiences of caves, patterned rocks, and mountain views.

This is a short hike with a great, refreshing reward at the end. Beautiful! We will hike this one again.

Nice hike with nice falls. We added busby falls to the loop just to play in the water more

rock climbing
6 days ago

Was a nice hike to the falls, recommend going in to the right at entrance so you end at the falls. Took climbers access 2 and ended with 2.5 miles total

Most of the trail is meh, the falls are great. Be sure to keep going back until you see the large drop off that’s impassable.

hiking
10 days ago

Awesome hike. Saw two little bears about a half mile into the trail. There are so many amazing sights along the trail and the terrain keeps changing. You’ll cross streams, crawl through little caves and scramble over boulders. There’s so much to see we spent six hours out there. Bring a lot of drinks and you can’t put on enough bug spray.

We came with our four kids, ages 2, 4, 6, and 8. We decided to go counterclockwise which I think was the right move. We already got the payoff of seeing the falls before we had to climb up the stairs, so we had no choice. :) We had the youngest boy in an Ergo, but the older girls all handled the trail—and the stairs—just fine. The trail was clearly-marked, but it did help to have downloaded the map from AllTrails just to be sure we were on the right path.

The falls were incredible, some of the best we’ve seen around. We really loved that the pools are wade-able, and you don’t have to decide you want to go swimming in the cold to get close. Combine that with a really wide, really beautiful cascading waterfall, this one is near the top of our list.

Fun little hike and easy to do with smaller children. Hike to the base of the waterfall is short and the swimming hole is a lot of fun. We did the loop on the way out and was moderate in a couple of spots and was maybe 1.5 miles or so. We had 4 kids (13, 13, 10 & 10), and they did just fine. Fun little rock formations to play on.

hiking
20 days ago

My husband and I took our kids (10 & 6) on this loop. We loved it! The only problem was that we missed the memo that we were supposed to turn on climber’s access #1 to make the turn back, and instead added an extra mile to our loop by turning onto climber’s access #2. Be ready for rocky, climby fun with some gorgeous sights!

hiking
24 days ago

Hiking was very difficult but well worth the trip. The hike was definitely more than 5 miles according to the fit bit it was 7.17 pack plenty of water and snacks.

Pretty easy hike. We took our 3 boys: 5, 6 years and a 5 month old in a baby carrier. The down slope wasn’t bad as long as you take it slow. We will definitely be back!

Actually backpacked this last summer. We brought our dog and I would recommend staying on the top of the ridge to ravens point if you’re hiking from sycamore falls. Hiking into the valley is quite treacherous with all the boulders, especially for a dog.

backpacking
1 month ago

Hike in was easy until you start dropping down to the falls, it had rained day before so it was a little slick in spots, had to watch where you were stepping for sure. The rain had made the falls run really full, it was beautiful! Hike out was super easy!

Great trail, but difficult for older and beginners. Enjoyed it!!!

I found this hike pretty easy! Trail was pretty well marked and we did it counterclockwise. Very beautiful rock formations. The middle section has some rock scrambling but not much. It was fun to go thru the caves and rock tunnels. My husband ended up spraining his ankle mid way thru, so we had a very slow final 2.5 miles... but even with that we finished in less than 4 hours. Probably could have finished in 3 hours. The first 1 1/2 miles and last 2 miles are fairly “flat” and easy trail.

Absolutely gorgeous waterfall, the hike wasn’t bad other than a bit slippery after the rain we’ve had. Looking forward to going back during the Fall & winter.

Beautiful but strenuous on Climbers Access!

it was an overcast day just after a rain storm. the trail was not crowded and very easy for the family. the waterfall was specracular.

Short and super sweet!! Amazing waterfall!!! Super clean. Not that easy, not that hard for beginners. Love the place. I’m coming back for sure!!

Amazing hike. Not for the faint of heart. Go counter clock-wise, makes scrambling, climbing and looking for signs much easier. In July not to much water, but some rocks are slippery, so poles and good hikers are a must. Take your time and enjoy the scenery. My husband and I are avid hikers. Took us about 5 hours with a stop for lunch at the overlook. Best to plan an hour per mile.

hiking
1 month ago

Arrived a little after 9 AM on a Saturday, waterfall was relatively empty with only two other groups there.

Park at water tower, trail is across the water tower (opposite side over the road)

Trail to me, was easily marked..
- WHITE marked trees — Machine Falls
- BLUE marked trees — Bugsby Falls

We took our 4 kids (ages 8,5,3, & 3months) on this hike down to the falls yesterday and had a great time! We had to go pretty slow to climb our way down to the falls, but everyone did well. And the way back up was much easier for me with the baby in her carrier than going down. The falls were beautiful and since it had recently rained they were very strong. The water was very cold so the kids didn’t want to swim for long. It was quite busy while we were there and there were several people smoking that really took away from the otherwise natural and beautiful scene. Gorgeous views and my husband loved climbing up and around the falls. Great day trip.

Beautiful waterfall! Went 6/27 in between rain storms. The way it’s nestled it’s like a hidden treasure. We got there around noon and no one was there. Then there were about 10 people that came in different groups. Perfect for wading, no deep spots. Saw a few salamanders by the rocks too.

Quick hike and great swimming hole. Beautiful falls, impressive rockfaces. Awesome spot to pack a lunch and take the kids and dogs. Descent is steep and rocky so be careful! And please LEAVE NO TRACE.

Pretty easy hike. I brought my dog who is still a puppy and he did great. There is a point where you kinda have to walk along the creek or in it if you don't go across the bridge, I thought it was more fun. You might as well walk along the water because if you want to see the falls up close - you're going to get wet. I went late in the afternoon around 7 and there wasn't a single person there and it was straight up beautiful.

Also if you do plan to walk around the falls I'd wear water shoes, the ground is uneven and rocky and hurt! I will admit to having been unprepared in that department as this was a spur of the moment trip. Well worth it!

Make sure that you and your group are prepared if you plan to hike this trail. You will read many reviews stating two varying opinions regarding how well the trail is marked and this is due to the direction you hike the loop. Almost all of the trail blazes are oriented so that they are easy to see when hiking this loop in a Counter-Clockwise direction. Even the painted arrows are oriented Counter Clockwise. So, hiking this loop clockwise makes finding the trail markers much more difficult.

The posted 5.6 miles is not accurate either, we had 5 people running different tracking and GPS apps and no one had less than 8 miles. Some of the additional distance was added looking for the marked trail but not an additional 2.4 miles. We did visit some side trails to check out rock features but this is something to keep in mind when planning this hike.

If you are hiking this trail in the heat of the day, bring plenty of water or a way to filter and replenish what you have. The heat and humidity in the summer of Tennessee just sucks the moisture out of your body and it's easy to get dehydrated. Not something you want on this trail given its strenuous nature. Bring food or snacks for energy as well.

Poles are extremely helpful and you need good boots for this trail as it entails a lot of rock hopping and down climbing. Gloves to protect your hands can be helpful. Bring bug spray if hiking this trail in any season other than winter, the horse flies are horrible.

As far as the trail goes, it's beautiful with huge rock features, walls, massive rock shelters, water falls, creek crossings, rock hopping and route finding. In most places, the trail is well worn but in others it becomes a bit more obscure and many social trails leading in different directions can become confusing. There are some excellent campsites along the trail if you plan to overnight. There aren't too many "Views" on this trail other than the marked Overlook as the trail is primarily under the canopy of the trees, rhododendron, and Mountain Laurel (which bloom the first and second week in June). Plenty of up and down hiking over uneven terrain to keep even the worst masochist happy! This is not an easy hike so the strenuous designation is accurate. Hiking this trail after a big rain will make creek crossings more difficult and your footing a bit more sketchy.

It's a great trail but it wouldn't make my top ten list for hiking.

hiking
1 month ago

I loved this trail. I did the trail clockwise, heading through the woods for a little over a mile, along side the creek part of the way. There were two spots along the wooded path where you have to cross water but it's shallow and there are rocks in place.

The path was a bit over grown in parts but manageable.

Once you get down to the Waters edge, you can make your way across it to get all the way to the base of the falls. If you don't mind getting wet, wade right through! I managed to stay dry and sat and had a bite to eat there.

A small word of advice for non hikers on the trail .... the trail and falls are gorgeous. Keep them that way. If you pack it in....pack it out. The trash along the way wasn't bad but it was noticable. Let's keep our parks clean eh?

Highly recommend this hike. The stars are the end are the only killer haha.

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