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So beautiful! It rained the whole time! Totally worth it! High 40s in temp great trails! Watch the little ones there are steep parts walking toward the falls! Wear shoes with good traction! Bring your camera (if not raining) and a lunch!

2/3 of the way is pretty basic. The last 1/3 was more fun. Stepping through and over more creeks, trees, rocks. The terrain became more intense. Once I reached the waterfall, the temperature had dropped and the rocks were iced over. It was beautiful, very private and reclusive.

hiking
14 days ago

Outstanding trail. Lots of diverse terrain, amazing views, and a good overall workout. Took right at 6 hours starting from the 605 fire road gate, going counterclockwise, and stopping for water and pictures a few times along the way. There are Lots of trees down across the trail, which made it a bit difficult to navigate, and probably added nearly 60 minutes to our hike time. I highly recommend the starting point on 605 and the counterclockwise route because going down the clockwise route would be very difficult with all the trees down (1/2019) and slippery leaves covering the trail; plus, the fire road is a nice easy way to finish on tired legs. .

*** NOTE: My dog was covered in ticks at the end of the hike, and this was the first week of January! Use caution and do a good tick check on your pets and yourself when you get done ***

hiking
17 days ago

Spectacular scenery today! All the recent rains have made the waterfalls amazing. Trails are muddy and slippery but that is to be expected. I agree with the moderate rating. Lots of rocks and roots but the trail is well marked. Lower Greeter Falls with the spiral staircase and Blue Hole are not to be missed!

hiking
21 days ago

Did this hike on the way to Mt LeConte. Falls were gorgeous and you're able to walk behind them. Went on a Monday in December so there were no worries of crowds whatsoever.

hiking
23 days ago

Really enjoyed this hike. completed the last 2 miles in the dark.

hiking
23 days ago

Nice afternoon hike to the overlook. The "Falls" is really a rapids in the Big South Fork, but still well worth the effort.

hiking
27 days ago

Great trail. It has a little of everything; great views, crawling over rocks, stream crossings, variety of terrain, steep ascents/descents. I parked at the Rock Castle Gorge Overlook, off the Blue Ridge Parkway (mile 169) and went clockwise. Took me 5 hours with a couple stops to change layers and have a snack, plus a number of pauses for pictures. Trail is well maintained, but has a lot of down branches/trees from the recent storms.

We were there today. The trail has a very easy incline bit unfortunately there were many fallen trees across the trail that made it difficult to maneuver. A lot of widow makers, full tree tops and elevated falls. We pushed through to mile 1.5 to the first ford and due to so much rainfall and the fact that there was a log laying on the downstream side, creating a pool, we could not cross without getting soaked. We spent 45 minutes going up and down the creek looking for a suitable crossing but have up on it. Hopefully when the water recedes and the trail is cleared it will be doable. At this time I would not recommend children on thos short trail.

hiking
1 month ago

The road to the trailhead was closed when we attempted on 12/15/18.
I believe you can get to this trail by starting on the Rainbow Falls trailhead and branching off to the left for the Grotto Falls trail, but it’ll tack on another couple miles to your hike.
We ended up taking the Rainbow Falls trail instead since it was the same distance.

hiking
1 month 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.
Also due to the rain, the several side stream crossings weren’t the easy rock hop they probably are under normal conditions. A couple of strategically placed footlogs – so common on other trails throughout the park – would be welcome here.
The trail was extremely muddy because of all the rain; even without the mud, this trail definitely shows signs of heavy use.
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.
We were hoping to cross paths with the llama train, but no such luck.
As always, carry – and drink – plenty of water, and take some energy snacks (or lunch) to enjoy at the falls before heading back to the trailhead or on up to Le Conte Lodge. Even though much of this trail is shaded, sunscreen is never a bad idea. And bug spray is probably advisable during the warmer months.
Parking lot isn’t terribly large, so plan to arrive early or be prepared for a walk to the trailhead.

Absolutely gorgeous!

walking
1 month ago

We just hiked this trail on 11/23. There were 7 of us, 4 adults and 3 kids. It was definitely a fun trail. The falls were gorgeous. Lots of places for the kids to explore and climb. We turned back after the falls (the kids couldn't handle another 5 miles to LeConte).
Lots of roots and rocks but overall an easy hike. It was VERY muddy in some areas but nothing that a good pair of waterproof hiking boots couldn't handle.
The only thing was, with it being Thanksgiving week it was VERY crowded. Way too many people to the point where it was difficult to maneuver around everyone at the falls. I highly recommend this trail, just not during a heavy tourist season.

Easy and pretty

on Grotto Falls Trail

hiking
1 month ago

We loved this hike and you can walk behind the falls! We hiked it the day after Thanksgiving with our 8/11 yr old boys. We got there about 9:30 and it wasn’t too busy until we made our our way down, it took us just over two hours including time at the falls. You cross several small streams on the way up and the falls are gorgeous. There are numerous spots you have to walk over areas of roots which could be challenging for some but the trail has some great views of ridges and areas that are dense with rhododendrons along the sides of the path and hills which I’m sure are even more amazing when in bloom. We saw people of all ages on the hike so I’d rate it as easy but do recommend hiking boots as it can be muddy and wet. The drive out of the park was stunning and is worth the drive even if you don’t do the hike. You pass many smaller falls, cross single track bridges and pass Cade’s Cove I believe (we didn’t have time for this). We did Rainbow Falls a few days before which is about 5.6 miles in and out but the scenery on this hike is on par with Rainbow and shorter if pressed for time or not up for the longer uphill hike.

Easy trail filled with families and presumably first time hikers, AKA no hiking etiquette what so ever. Quick and easy to get to the waterfall, keep following the trail past the waterfall for peaceful hiking. I suggest doing this early am or before sunset to beat the crowds and ease of parking. Would not do again or recommend to friends

Very beautiful, not difficult, and good for kids. Bring extra socks and shoes as it gets muddy and slippery and your socks will get soaked. At least one bottle of water per person. Get there early like 7-8am or you won’t find parking.

Beautiful and scenic walk in the woods, very gradual incline. Nice wide trail good for in-shape people, the length makes this a moderate hike, not the elevation changes.

hiking
2 months ago

great trail, a lot slippery though from the little river but the views and the end are well worth it

Typically a great trail. We did it two days after an ice storm. It took at least 2.5 hours more to do this than last time in 2017. Many large branches across trail and some very big trees right across the trail. It required considerable bushwhacking on steep hills. It will probably be some months before the trail is fully clear. Check with park before you go or allow extra time. Be careful.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

Fantastic! Last part a little tricky but not bad. Wonderful!!!

What a wonderful trail A+++++

Beautiful hike, 10 mile round trip from Rainbow falls parking lot.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike this time of year! The GOLDEN canopy of fall foliage was.breathtaking.
The Gift at the end of the climb is walking behind the Falls. I captured some mesmerizing photos on the way back down at sunset looking over the mountains.
Great hike for ALL.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy hike, but really touristy. Perfect for kids and new hikers though! The falls are beautiful and you can go under them. I recommend continuing to Brushy Mtn (2mi further).

Greeter Falls is worth the effort. The trail is a bit rough in spots (rocks, roots, etc.) and the staircase down to lower Greeter Falls was a little daunting. Nice trail with a good amount of people enjoying it. Highly recommend.

on Grotto Falls Trail

2 months ago

This is a moderate difficulty hike. Trail is well kept and beautiful at the top.

Did this trail Oct 28. I actually added going into the Big Creek Gulf then to Stone Door then took the Big Creek Rim trail back. 12.5 miles. 2500 feet. If you do this hike don't pass up ranger falls. Very worth the trek and a beautiful falls. Be ready though this complete trail plan isn't moderate it's hard and trying. But very rewarding. Leaves haven't completely changed yet but the Rim trail is going to be one of the best views for foliage. Good luck.

hiking
2 months ago

Monday 10/22/18

This is the most peaceful hike that I have been on in the smokies. I was completely alone! The forest smelled amazing and the trail was surprisingly easy to follow for being so lightly trafficked. This trail is used for horses as well and most of the prints I saw were hooves and manure.

When you begin you’ll reach a sign that says “Turkeypen Ridge Trail .1” a little ways in. This threw me off because I’m bad at directions, but go RIGHT. There are 4-6 water crossings (depending on rain fall), but all have stones high enough out of the water that you can easily avoid getting wet. There were a lot of trees down and I’m curious why, but not too many covering the trail luckily (5-10 total).

The only chance at a view (like in some photos) would be at the end of the trail and during winter when all of the leaves have fallen. I hiked down the trail that this one dead ends into hoping to find a view and did not. I also hiked up behind the horse tie-off area hoping that the trail there would lead to a view and it did not.

This was seriously the best trail: not too difficult, not too easy, and a lot of change of terrain for an easy-rated trail. Total time for me was 2hrs 45min and that is with a little extra exploring, stopping to nurse the baby, and carrying a baby. I would definitely recommend this trail!!!

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