hiking

no dogs

views

forest

nature trips

walking

wild flowers

birding

wildlife

trail running

backpacking

camping

horseback riding

kid friendly

river

waterfall

fishing

mountain biking

wheelchair friendly

lake

road biking

scenic driving

The Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains, have a wide range of elevations, making them home to over 400 vertebrate species, 100 tree species, and 5000 plant species. Hiking is the park's main attraction, with over 800 miles (1,300 km) of trails, including 70 miles (110 km) of the Appalachian Trail. Other activities are fishing, horseback riding, and visiting some of nearly 80 historic structures.

hiking
9 hours ago

Easy trail. Nice and quiet early in the morning. No issues for our crew of 9 with 5 kids (ages 6 to 14). Personally not a fan of paved hikes, but easy for all levels. Nice waterfall.

Great trail. The section from the cave to the peak is tough but rewarding with amazing views. I recommend trekking poles to help with the steep descent.

hiking
11 hours ago

Great waterfall hike with small children!

Primarily old logging roads and wide horse trails. The creek and waterfalls made for an enjoyable hike.

Nice hike with a pretty waterfall and great spot to swim at the end. We saw a bear on this trail!

Love this hike! Hiked it with my husband and three girls ages 7 to 13. It’s tough towards the end but worth it. We stopped at alum cave for lunch and then went on with a couple more short breaks. It took us about three hours to get up and two to get down. Drank our weight in hot chocolate and coffee at the lodge.

Way too crowded!

Very good trail for the family. We have three 7 year olds and they did fantastic. At the waterfalls you can go down to the bottom. They discourage it but if you use common sense it makes the trail that much better! We loved it! On the way out we saw a black bear that made the trail that much better.

Directions from this site take you to the "out" end of this mostly one-way route. The directions need to start the driver off Cherokee Orchard Rd.

hiking
1 day ago

Nice trail - easy to follow. Not a lot of people since it’s a moderate trail and out to the falls is all up hill. The top of the trail is really nice with the water fall to see and rocks to sit on to enjoy the scenery. Definitely recommend good shoes and water for the hike. About 3 hours for approx 6 miles.

This trail was perfect for our family (kids 11 and 14). Based on the previous review, we planned to get in the creek. The pool at the waterfall was perfect! Although a bit chilly for some. The cool water of the creek kept the air temperature about 10 degrees cooler than the trail head. The trail to the waterfall is an old road that is gravel with minimal uphill grade and lots of mid-day shade. The crowds were minimal compared to our hike at Laurel Falls the day before. Rated 8 of 10 by the kids (they requested warmer creek water for wading). :)

Did the trail today starting up Little River trail to the Cucumber Gap, then down the Jakes Creek trail. Great variety of terrain but very manageable. The hike along the river was outstanding, with many Appalachian Tiger swallowtail butterflies. They were plentiful and swirled around us as well as many congregated on the ground. Then the Cucumber Gap trail was an up and over, but not too exerting. We actually encountered a full size bear on the trail. We kept our distance and were fine. The final leg passed through remnants of older log homes as we neared the end. We absolutely loved this trail loop!!

on Grotto Falls Trail

2 days ago

We got there around 8:30am on a Sat. The trail was not super busy and we even had some time to ourselves at the fall. We enjoyed every part of this hike. It was not too strenuous, interesting things to explore and awesome waterfall to walk behind. When we left, the crowds were coming in.

awesome short trek.....a leg workout 4 sure.....bummer the cliff top portion was closed....

hiking
2 days ago

Very beautiful trail ! It is easy but not a well paved trail. But the waterfall in the end is amazing

This hike is on the moderate side of easy. There is a good amount of elevation change that may be difficult for some. There are 4 creek crossings right before the waterfall. Very few other hikers using the trail on the day we used it.

Couldn’t go up to the observation deck due to renovations but pretty Hike up. Found a trail that connected to forney trail. Nice hike.

Great hike, beautiful views. Unique in that you hike down first and ascend on return.

Great trail. Beautiful views at every turn. Hiked to lodge and then went to Cliff Tops to see the view as the view from lodge was beautifully foggy. Will come and do it again. Took me about 6 hours with some stops for snacks and views with an hour at the top.

hiking
4 days ago

Main trail muddy in many spots. Side trail to waterfall at .7 m from Heintooga Rd, once again open, is very steep, muddy and very slippery. Do not recommend.

There were many great views on the way. Left the trailhead at 7 am. saw quite a few people near the end,that's why we left early.

hiking
4 days ago

Short hike, moderate climb, beautiful waterfall.

hiking
4 days ago

Went with the wife and kids very easy and manageable for everyone.

Great trail. We made the same mistake lots of people make. If you start at the falls, when you get to the spot on the light red line where it looks like you go forward then backtrack, don’t go forward. Look for the spot just ahead of you to the left to go down the hill and cross the stream (the light red line on the map that looks like a back track IS a backtrack from people missing the stream crossing). From there on the path is fairly clear. If you think you missed the turn and you start getting into bushes with thorns, then you did go too far.

Enjoy!

Lovely hike in the beautiful lush forest, with a waterfall at the end. My first "long" hike. Being from Florida I practiced for a long time on the uphill treadmill, and it worked, because it wasn't too hard or too steep for me, and I enjoyed it so much I have sought out vacations with beautiful day hikes ever since.

Great hike. Went on 7/10. We arrived at the falls around 9:00. By the time we left at 9:30, there was a line of 50 or more people trying to reach the falls. There were lots of folks walking up as we walked down. Go early and bring a towel. The pool at the base is great to wade through.

Very nice hike. I took my wife and daughters age 7 and 10. It's a tough go, but a nice view at the end. In the summer, bring a swimsuit because there are some falls to swim in.

It’s a really beautiful trail! It’s mostly wooded, flows a creek for the first half, and a ridge for the second. We took it slow with our packs full of gear for an overnight in the backcountry. I took us about 5 hours to get up with plenty of breaks, and 3 hours to get down. Without a pack, it would be doable for most people.

Absolutely gorgeous hike. My wife and I enjoyed being by the river, and the tighter spaces of rugged terrain this trail offered. Without a doubt worth the hike to see the cascade. A favorite for sure!! This was about 10 miles stepping distance due to the terrain, and was hard but doable.

My stepdaughter and I hiked this trail on April 5 and we had a great time. We spent 4.5 hours in hiking time only, and had a nice rest while enjoying the view and the hot chocolate at the top. (Bring some cash). There were still some icy patches on the way up, but they were melted by the time we went down. It's worth watching your step in the icy spots! Overall, the hike was not as hard as I expected. it is popular and busy, but we enjoyed visiting with the various hikers we met. Highly recommended. The views are stunning.

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