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

Great hike from either end but for me it is a little harder than moderate but well worth the 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!!

God this was the trail that led to my first view of a waterfall. Waterfall was breathless and worth the hike. However park ranger told us it was pretty easy hike, but my friend and I were struggling. Then again we weren't used to the altitude. Also lots of inclines, definitely not for beginners. Plenty of people hiking on trail which made me feel safe.

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.
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.

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.

hiking
10 days ago

Wife & I made this our first stop in Cades Cove to beat the crowds while everyone else was exploring the 3 churches. Large parking lot with 2 pit toilets at trailhead.
This hike was quite enjoyable on a beautiful autumn day, and the falls themselves were impressive. The trail stays close to Abrams Creek much of the way, which makes the hiking all the more pleasurable.
The path is broad and smooth most of the time. On the way to the falls, the trail makes 4 crossings of feeder streams on sturdy footlogs. Although this hike could probably be done in sneakers, hiking boots with good ankle support are perhaps a better choice.
Recommend the side trip to the Elijah Oliver Place – interesting cabin and outbuildings.
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. Even though much of this trail is shaded, sunscreen is never a bad idea. And since the trail is near the creek much of the time, bug spray is advisable during the warmer months.
Highly recommend driving Rich Mountain Road out of Cades Cove. It’s a winding forest road with awesome views! And dinner at one of Townsend’s restaurants is a nice alternative to the craziness of downtown Gatlinburg.

walking
14 days 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.

nature trips
14 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

on Grotto Falls Trail

hiking
15 days 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.

Day after Thanksgiving, not too crowded. I have heard the trail can get busy. It was just the right moderate for after turkey day.

great hike on the way in, few streams to cross but nothing bad, close to the falls it’s really steep but nothing bad, however the way back is the worst part because it’s all up hill well worth it though

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

hiking
17 days ago

The falls are great. The trip out is tough.

hiking
17 days ago

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

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.

on Laurel Falls Trail

hiking
19 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!

hiking
22 days ago

Easy walk worth the views took about an hour to go out and back and that was stopping several times for pictures.

Easy and by far worth the walk...

Nice for beginners

hiking
25 days 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.

hiking
27 days ago

One of my favorite trails. I did not like all the bear jams along Cade’s cove though. Took a long time to get out of the park. But we’ll worth it. Saw a total of 16 bears mostly mammas with their cubs. Wild turkey. The biggest red headed woodpecker I ever saw and bunch of deer. Great day.

hiking
27 days ago

My wife and I took turns doing this on a rainy day. It was an easy hike with rewarding scenery and great fall foliage. Because of the rain, we each had the trail to ourselves. 40 minutes out and back if you walk fast—easy to knock off while your 2 year old explores the visitor center with your spouse.

Great trail. We entered from the road that leads up to the water tower (look for signs for loop D and park off to the right before the “road closed” sign). Definitely easier to start on the left side than the right. Lots of mud on the trail made it challenging (but fun) because we had to do a lot of “off roading” to avoid mud. Many small water features along the way. The trail is rather rocky, so wear good shoes. Leaves made it difficult to see the rocks on the trail this time of year.

The hike to the falls is easy, beautiful scenery along the way. Path is narrow in certain points and heavily trafficked.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail! Longer than expected, but worth it. There were down trees, and a lot of rocks and roots, so you have to be cautious. The waterfall was beautiful, and I’ll never forget it. My boyfriend proposed at the fall. What’s not to love?

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