Explore TN to do - 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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Jan. 20, 2019. 23 degrees. our first time hiking to the falls. started at the nature center and crossed the suspension bridge. even tho it was really cold it was an incredible trip. the river was really flowing because all the rain we've had. can't wait to do it in the spring...

hiking
1 day ago

Nice paved trail. Easy short hike with a beautiful view.

hiking
2 days ago

The actual overlook and waterfalls are not seen until the very end of the hike. The sound of the interstate can be very annoying but at times you can’t hear it. There are different parking locations to go straight to the waterfall and main overlook so you can skip the majority of the trail if you’d like. Overall not bad hike but not one I will be returning to.

One of my favorite hikes! One great thing is if you don’t want to hike or are unable to do the amount of walking, the view from the parking lot is just as breathtaking!

hiking
muddy
rocky
4 days ago

Awesomely hard trail. Rained all day but grip was still good for most of the trail on rocks and roots. Falls were overflowing and beautiful. Highly recommend but please keep in mind it is not an easy trail.

My favorite hike in the Smokies.

Amazing hike! It’s not too long of a hike and it’s on a paved trail with dirt trails coming and going from it. The falls are amazing and your able to get right up too them. There’s a upper and lower fall. You can get down to the lower part but you have to be careful with the rocks! Beautiful views!

[TL:DR This trail, by itself, is a solid workout, if subdued. You won't be doing any rock fields or sharp ascents, just moderate, but continuous, elevation changes over 13 mi. The lack of technical or demanding spots make it a solid winter weather trail, as well.]

If you choose to do the trail by itself, you can park directly at trailhead. It won't really make any difference if you go clockwise or counter-clockwise. The clockwise side does have a bit more open space on trail, but nothing much other than that.

The main benefit for this trail is that it's a continuous, moderate grind over a moderate distance. There's no single part of it that will push you to any kind of a limit. I wouldn't recommend it as a recovery trail, and not as an easy day, either, but it occupies a happy middle.

However, if you want to add some challenge, there are plenty of connecting trails close to its trailhead, so you can easily tack on some extra miles and difficulty. I look forward to linking this and the Lower Loop for a one-day this summer.

As for appearance, I recommend going after a good amount of rain. You'll have a number of minor fords, but it's easily worth it for all the rivers and streams that pop up or flood after a good rainfall. This area really shows off that jade color spectrum the waters at this park can have. Both the campsites take full advantage of this to create some truly beautiful pockets along this trail.

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
10 days ago

Really nice hike. 4 waterfalls and a rugged trail. Interesting water features...some with no outlet. Be sure to take the Sheep Cave side trail. Not a beginner hike.

Went in November 2018. Right after a decent snow. About halfway up it was all snow and ice. Massive ice icicles were falling from the top of Alum Cave. Was a little daring trying to hurry up the frozen ground to get under the protection of the cave. Highly enjoyed the excitement of it all. The steps at Arch Rock were a solid sheet of ice. Fell only one time going down them. I enjoy the harder trails with a little twist of ice and snow.

hiking
12 days ago

This is a beautiful trail, kid friendly. Short with some elevation gain. The waterfalls make it all worth it, we spent about an hour taking pictures and splashing in the pool at the bottom.

Waterfall is best part no surprise but hike is busy because it’s paved with all levels able to enjoy it. Mostly tree high Mountain View

hiking
12 days ago

It's a nice looking (though not very dramatic) water fall at the top of a fairly large ascent. The trail is easy in the sense that it's well paved, without any rocks to climb over. Just keep in mind that you are basically walking a ramp to the equivalency of the top of a thirty foot building.

It was great to see, along with all of the other folks hanging out up there, but I don't feel the need to ever return.

hiking
12 days ago

Very nice trail. We saw very few people on our hike. The old farmhouse and cemetery were awesome, as was the old hiking lodge. Debris and fallen trees along the way, I cleared out what I could but I'm only one man and I didn't have a chainsaw. Beautiful photography opportunities if you take your time along the river and explore.

We hiked this trail Jan 11th 2019, about 3/4 of the way up there was a bad icy patch, not un-crossable with out clips but definitely not for the feint of heart. There were 9 of us and 4 were inexperienced hikers. This trail was hard but entirely worth the effort. The views from the top were worth all the pain of falling on the ice. Bring lots of water, it gets warmer as you ascend due to the sun shining on the mountain. There are plenty of places to rest and take great pictures.

nice short trail. easy walking.

Worth all the effort! from the moment you see arch rock you know this is gonna be a cool hike. inspiration point should be enough to propel you to the end of this hike, but if that's not enough allum bluff is a wonderful turn around point and not much further past inspiration point. 10/10 will definitely do this hike again.

walking
13 days ago

Nearly better than clingmans dome due to the fact you can pretty much access this year around. the hike is short. about 3 fairly steep switch backs made of gravel start you out before switching to a paved maintenance road. at the T turn left and the tower will be just a ways up ahead of you. incredible panoramic views, just be sure to dress warm because it can get super windy at the top. took my 80 year old grandparents and we completed it in about a hour and a half. good for the whole family. foothills parkway is worth the drive all by itself too, this is just a bonus.

So so pretty. Definitely a little challenging but doable. Just have to pay attention to what you’re doing. I would be very reluctant to do this trail after some rain. A lot of rocks but well marked. Virgin Falls at the very end is worth it I promise!

loved the trail,rough at times,some of the best scenery I have I have ever seen.looking forward to going back now that it has rained so I can see the waterfalls.

hiking
15 days ago

ran out of time but hiked it for a couple hours. gorgeous. hope to go back and finish.

great hike but better take note of the firwt sign you see it is strenous but well worth it. i do believe we will camp overnight sometime

very easy hike I walked a 2 year old anyone could do it beautiful trail nice view

Love this trail for a good challenge! Be ready for steep inclines and declines!

hiking
17 days ago

Its been raining a lot so some of the trail was quite muddy. Bring water proof shoes and you’ll be fine. Awesome trail.

Awesome hike! Did the hike to the base of the falls. It’s been raining the last few days so it was super muddy and slick but worth it. The way the rocks are makes it hard to get good footing - so I’d rate this more strenuous than moderate. Also hiked back up and did Cane Creek Falls over the suspension bridge. My husband , I and pup enjoyed the day exploring nature ! Check out Cane Creek Overlook if you’re looking for a good spot to stop and eat lunch.

Short, paved trail with lots of traffic and great views.

on Laurel Falls Trail

17 days ago

Very nice hike, very busy even though we went early. The waterfall is smaller than imagined but very nice area to sit and take the view in.

Beautiful flaming azaleas on the bald!

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