Explore Townsend/Gatlinburg areas - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Townsend/Gatlinburg areas Map
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hiking
8 hours ago

Challenging but a fun trail. Hiked this with my wife and daughter, neither have been hiking for some time but still made it. It still has burnt trees as a reminder of the terrible fires from 2016.

hiking
13 hours ago

Went this morning before 9am. Not too many people compared to coming down after 10am. Wow, what a difference. Very pretty waterfall and very manageable hike.

hiking
17 hours ago

Beautiful falls and an easy hike for all ages. Wildlife is abundant and there is always something interesting to look out. The trail is a little broken up for the last .25 miles, so just be careful with where you step.

Absolutely love this trail. The trail itself is pretty steep on the way up, but there are views all around, so take your time and enjoy the scenery. Every time I drive through the Smokies I make sure to stop at this trail, especially if it's clear and sunny. Last time we were able to spot a black bear alongside the road as we drove to the trail head. There are also plenty of wildflowers growing along the trail as well.

The steep drop-offs made me nervous, but it was a beautiful hike and the waterfall was an amazing destination.

hiking
3 days ago

A beautiful short "walk in the woods" Most of the way out to the falls is a gentle uphill and it is only a little more than a mile out. This path is all paved and the hike is good for all ages. Not a lot of parking so you should probably plan on being there early

Nice paved trail. Takes some effort getting up but it’s totally worth it. It is a little colder at the top but so so beautiful. My husband proposed to me up there and it was a wonderful memory I’ll never forget!!

Hiked yesterday. It poured with light rain throughout the entire trek. Beautiful misty waterfall at the end, at the second log bridge (you can't miss it). Saw very few other hikers thanks to the weather.
This is a great hike if you want something slightly more challenging. However, anyone can do it if you just go at your own pace.

Awesome! We loved it! It’s cold up there and VERY windy so be prepared. Totally worth it though. With the paved path easy for the kids too!

Not really a trail. A steep short paved path up to the observation tower. A decent amount of people around and some AT-thru hikers starting in early April. A nice little shop and bathrooms by the large parking lot.

beautiful view. step hike, but worth it

8 days ago

Great hike with beautiful views and spectacular waterfall!!

I wouldn’t call this a hiking trail by any means, I honestly wouldn’t have walked up if it weren’t for my significant other telling me how amazing it was. Granted the view from the top was amazing and there are real trails that lead up to the same place you can hike if you want the true experience, but honestly the crowds and actual trail makes me want to rate this as 1 star the view makes me want to rate this as 5.

hiking
11 days ago

Nice hike waterfalls worth the hike. You would enjoy it more if you don’t have young children. It was a bit crowded but we expected that.

Very steep climb, but beautiful view from the top. Paved trail, and the Appalachian Trail crosses near the top.

hiking
11 days ago

Easy trail, beautiful falls.

Very foggy that day

hiking
13 days ago

I loved the trail. My wife and I along with our 4 year old son completed the trail on today 4/8/18. It was cold and snow everywhere. We are from Florida so the snow was absolutely amazing to see. The trail starts out very easy and becomes more difficult further in. Wonderful memories made.

hiking
13 days ago

My wife and I walk the Rainbow Falls Trail and found it to be very difficult. I am 65 years old and am way over weight. The trail started out easy enough. It was wide with only a slight incline. As we continued our walk the trail became narrower, rockier and steeper. It took all I had to make it to the top and back down again. I found coming down much more difficult than going up. I was happy I did it.. The trail lost one star because the falls itself was not very spectacular. It is the journey not the destination.

New to hiking or out for a walk- this will be work. Used to hiking and/or younger, this shouldn’t be too difficult.

hiking
16 days ago

Took this trail two days ago. Not what I was hoping for. Very very busy. The trail is paved but run down to about 3 feet across. A bit of an incline but manageable. The last half mile could be nerve racking to anyone that don’t like heights. The trail followed a ledge and rude hikers all over that are looking down the whole way and not watching where they are going. Causing people to hug the ledge. For an adult family it’s ok but anyone with little ones please control them and hold the tightly.

The falls were good but we visited at a way to busy of a time which ruined it for us. One infant had pooped there pants and the mother was washing it at the base of the first section of falls. Everyone below got to enjoy. The vehicle traffic was worse to get out. Tourist trap for sure.

hiking
16 days ago

We accessed the trail head by the rainbow falls parking area. Road was closed so we had to hike to the trail head. There are two options to get to the trail head. First option is to take the paved road all the way to the Grotto falls trail head, Good incline the whole way with a couple of stop points to look at the view of the mountains. Second option is about half mile in you will see a sign for Trillium gap trail. Go right in the woods then left up the hill. This is a much better hike but harder. It follows the paved path but much closer to nature in my opinion.

We saw three bear, a bob cat and a deer almost ran into us on the trail. The Grotto falls trail was busy and it was busy at the falls. Total trip was around 5 miles with the road being closed. Worth it to walk behind the falls.

We took the pavement path back.

Very nice trail, crowded right now due to springbreak.

hiking
18 days ago

great hike. I do this one almost every time I visit the Smokey Mountains. 5.5 miles isn't exactly correct, I measured 2.80 miles one direction to make it 5.6 miles. I also wouldn't call it hard. My 4 year old just finished it with no problems. I would say that it is a moderate difficulty. The work that they did over the winter really shows. the new steps were beautiful. this is one of my favorite day hikes on this side of the country.

hiking
18 days ago

I knew this was a tourist-filled trail before arriving, but I still wanted to hike it one time and figured a Tuesday in April wouldn’t be so busy because Spring Breaks are over. I thought wrong.

This trail is VERY EASY and paved- though it is not smoothly paved anymore. DO NOT BRING STROLLERS, you WILL regret it. There is up pavement and it is thinly paved in most areas.

It would’ve been much more enjoyable if people were conscious of those around them. Walking 2-3 people wide across a trail that can only fit 2-3 people in addition to traffic going both ways with different speeds of hikers is RUDE. Please for the love of gosh move over for faster hikers and stay to the right.

The waterfall is pretty, but it’s nothing immensely spectacular to draw such a huge crowd.

Really fun and enjoyable trail. It's honestly not very difficult. If you enjoy waterfalls and constantly walking through running water, then this is the hike for you!Some of the rocks are a bit slick so, be cautious while crossing over them. The trail is somewhat busy but, not too bad. It's a pretty quick hike, about 4 hours, including sitting down for lunch.

hiking
20 days ago

Great hike to start the day! We parked and started at the Rainbow Falls trailhead and hiked up along the Trillium Gap Trail due to the road being closed. This added a couple of extra miles to the total hike. The trail was heavily trafficked; the only thing to watch out for are the roots and rocks. Would recommend sturdy shoes. The Falls were flowing beautifully due to the recent rainfall.

hiking
20 days ago

Great hike for visitors newer to Great Smokey Mountain National Park! The trail has some elevation change and crosses streams at multiple points. Would recommend sturdy shoes simply because of the exposed rock and roots along the trail. Some mud along the trail, but nothing unmanageable. The Falls were great because of the recent rainfall.

Great hike. The falls were pretty full because of the rainfall lately.

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