Explore the most popular birding trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
5 hours ago

Great hike following the creek most of the way. First mile and a half is pretty easy and takes you to a nice overlook of the water. The next 1+ mile gets a bit more rugged and elevation begins to increase. Several nice foot bridge crossings. The remainder of the trail will test you. A pretty steep climb and one slightly depressing section that seems to lead you away from the sound of rushing water. But the struggle is so worth it. Enjoy!

hiking
23 hours ago

Went here on a day while exploring Cades Cove.  My biggest advice is: hike it in the morning because of shade.  Lots of the trail is uncovered, so in the late Spring it gets very hot.  It is a longish trail that is up and down both ways.  The waterfall was nice, but the payoff compared the cost of the long hike isn't there for me.  If you are already doing Cades Cove then yes go ahead and do it, but I wouldn't make a special trip to this hike.

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike and some mother daughter time. We live nearby so will go again.

The hike is short and paved, too steep for wheelchairs (posted on a sign there). This trail is more for the view, which is excellent.

Nice trail. Loved the large footbridge. Made one mistake and kept hiking 1.5 after the waterfall. 6.88 total a bit much for an older guy.

hiking
2 days ago

Scenic hike along the creek. Several small waterfall areas. A little crowded if you're looking for seclusion but the falls is worth it.

This loop is more moderate than hard. Really enjoyed it though. Walked around a bend on Lead Cove and a doe was in the middle of the trail. It must be accustomed to hikers because it slowly ambled off the trail so I could pass.
Bote Mountain had a fairly large blow down that was not any fun to climb over.

Great hike! View was amazing from Charlie’s Bunion! There’s a toilet at the shelter (FYI

I go here by myself at least twice a year just to get in the river after a good sweat.

We loved this hike! The hike to alum cave is an easy hike, beautiful scenery, you can see the ridge and “the eye in the needle.” We continued to Mt Leconte which is a more difficult hike - moderate/strenuous with beautiful views, flowers, unique rock, along the way. We learned the meaning of why these mountains are called the Smokies. When we got to the top, we were in the clouds! Wish we could’ve seen the view but sitting in the clouds was equally beautiful! We went straight to cliff tops, instead of the Lodge, but from reading other reviews wish we would’ve checked out the Lodge. We left around 9am and got out around 2 pm (We ran for part of the downhill portion back to get out of the rain).

Really nice trail though definitely a workout. No holes in the trail and awesome views. The waterfalls at the top are worth the hard work!

Beautiful, relaxing walk. Nice little waterfall, also.

Beautiful falls. Tough hike up. But worth it.

hiking
3 days ago

hike is as described, beautiful views and well worth the effort to get to the main falls,
this trail is only open fri-sun currently, with the active train maintenance crews working.

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike! Did this with the wife on 5-11-18 and had a great time. The creek was next to the trail for the majority of the hike lending to the hike the wonderful sound of running water. The forest was so very lush and green this time of year as well adding to the overall experience. Not too crowded, plenty of solitude...

This trail is a very nice trail to hike on any day of the week will do it more

A beautiful hike!

beautiful trail and area. It does have some steep grades but is well worth the walk.

First time on a trail

Beautiful hike.Started off early 700 am 1/2 hour spent at Lodge returned 130 pm so 6 hour trip.
50 years old with wife found it Moderate climb.
Be back next year to stay overnight in Lodge.
From Canada and love these mountains.
Tennessee you’re truly blessed.

Love it!

I started at the Rainbow Falls Trailhead and took the Trillium Gap Trail almost all the way to Mt LeConte before making the trek back to my car. This trail will definitely get your heart rate up! It is uphill 90-95% of the time. Starts out with just some small tree roots as obstacles, but you definitely have to work your way around/over large rocks and larger roots as you get closer to Grotto Falls. A walking stick (or two) is a must, as are good hiking shoes. There are a few small creeks to cross, but nothing deep or difficult. I was the only one on the trail from the trailhead until about a mile before the Falls, where there was a steady stream of people going to and from the Falls from a nearby parking lot. I did see two black bears and a handful of wild turkeys within the first two miles on the TG trail. Very little wildlife otherwise (besides tons of flies & mosquitos - bring bug repellant for sure!). It was my first time hiking, and even though I had physically prepared for it, I was definitely very sore the next day.

nice flat trails for the most part, very lush vegetation. unfortunately, we didn't get to see the elk. bummer.

we did see tons of wild turkeys. creeks are beautiful, a bit buggy in the bottoms.

crazy ride to get there on hairpin turns on steep gravel roads, but, very worth it.

hiking
5 days ago

Great spot and every reason why it’s rated so high in the like list. Easy trail to walk!

Strenuous on a hot day. Not easy by any means. The trail is very rocky and there is no view until you get to the top. There was a massive amount of bugs at the top. There must be better hikes in the Smokies...this is the only one I have done.

This is the most beautiful hike and very easy. There are many springs along the trail and ways to get sidetracked and go “off trail.” Be warned. Midnight hole and the falls are NOT marked. The only way you know you’re at the falls is by the hitching posts for the horses. The picnic area is also beautiful and located near Baxter Creek. Also bring water shoes. I regret not bringing mine as the water was very inviting.

First hike in a long time so took our time. Heavily trafficked in Spring. Lovely wildflowers early in season. Beautiful waterfalls.

First hike in a long time so took our time. Heavily trafficked in Spring. Lovely wildflowers early in season. Beautiful waterfalls.

The waterfall is breathtaking. We continued our hike up Cove Mountains. It isn’t the most scenic hike but a great workout. Would definitely recommend.

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