Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

scenic driving
19 hours ago

Absolutely gorgeous!   This is probably my favorite part of the National Park.  Just a beautiful drive with plenty of stop offs.  Great valleys and mountain ranges in the background.  It does not open till 10am on Wednesdays and Saturdays so plan accordingly.  Also it is kind of way off in a separate area of the park so if you are thinking of stopping at the various historic buildings along the way and maybe adding in the hike to Abrams Falls plan this to be the only thing you do that day.  Plus the drive out there is just nice with some places to pull over and look at the view of the river.  Finally, we went in early May and there was a lot of traffic, as it gets closer to the summer expect significant traffic and delays.

hiking
23 hours ago

This is one of my most favorite hikes in the smokies. The terrain is manageable if hailed from the top down. Through the whole trail from start to finish you will experience the vast wild flowers that the smokies are famous for. The trail was in excellent shape given the amount of rain it had a week before. Very few campers in the area.

This was a very nice and easy trail. It is a beautiful area and the falls are really nice. This is a very popular trail for many and the only advise I would recommend is to go early and you may the place all to yourself. Parking is also a problem with only a number of parking spots at the trailhead. More parking is allowed along the road, but it adds to your walking and hiking distance.

Beautiful hike on a true nature trail complete with all the natural rocks and roots. Falls at the end was beautiful. Highly recommend.

Took the trail from the newfound gap parking lot. There’s a lot of uphill hiking at first (nice to get out of the way though because it’s all downhill for the way back). Charlie’s bunion is not listed on the first wooden sign at the 1.7 mi split. However, just keep following the Appalachian trail and you’ll eventually see signs for it. The view was incredible and worth every step. The trail is well maintained and just absolutely beautiful. If you have the time- definitely do this trail!

I took this hike while visiting the Clingman's Dome tower. This was a nice hike downhill from the parking lot. it is rocky some places but levels out a bit towards reaching Andrew's Bald. The hard part is the hiking upward towards the parking lot. it is a good workout and just taking your time it will be a pleasant experience.

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer.

The trail is typical Eastern US woodlands. Nothing special to set it apart from the other dozens of woodland trails in the Smokies. No epic scenic views. The only thing that sets this trail apart are the school and sister's cabins. If you like photographing log cabins and such is is the trail for you. I

if you are looking for scenic views, waterfalls, etc. pick another trail.

Having said that, I'll probably return in the fall to photograph the cabin with the fall foliage.

Terrific hike! This was my fav hike I have ever done. We climbed about 3,600 ft in elevation in rainy weather. We started at the trailhead about 7am and we seemed to be the early birds. We did run into about 12 people coming down from staying overnight at the lodge as we got closer to the top.. We ran into 20+ people on our way down as they hiked up. The majority were probably stopping at the Alum Cave and turning back. I recommend hiking sticks for the way up and down. They really saved my knees. Also the trail follows the edge of rock ridges that are very slippery when wet. Thankfully they have cables you can hold while walking along most parts like that. The first point of interest on the trail is the Arch Rock. It is a arch in a rock and you walk up a winding staircase through it. I want to say it was the half way point to the Alum Cave. The Alum Cave was not what I was expecting. Here in New York, we have ice caves you literally walk into. Not this one. This consists of 80-100 foot cliff/bluffs that tower and bend overhead.. and there is a big area of very dry sand that is mostly shielded from the rain when it storms. It was impressive. We hiked all the way to the Mt Leconte Lodge. but we did not venture further to the Cliff Tops because we knew there wouldn't be any view thanks to the fog. We also almost hiked alil further to the rock pile but I recently saw a pic from other hikers of it and it seemed to be demolished :-( We got to the top about 1115am.. They do not serve any food or drinks until 12 noon so we were not able to partake in that. The ladies who worked at the lodge, did welcomed us to sit in the dining room and snack on the protein bars we had brought with us. I definitely recommend wearing waterproof clothing. I was soaked when I got to the top from rain and sweat but did not realize it until I stopped sat down and it didn't help that up top it is like 30 degrees below the temp at the bottom. It was a foggy day but we were able to see a good bit. I heard that in the smoky mountains there are 2 bears for every 1 square mile, so I brought bear spray. Luckily we did not see any, maybe the rain kept them away I am not sure. There is an outhouse with a toilet up at the top which I was very thankful for as well. The hike took us 7-8 hours. The lodge has log cabins that bring you back in time. The fog rolling through also helps to create a unique atmosphere.

For the serious hikers only. Lots of covered, tight forestry to go through. we started backwards and did 3 miles up first instead of ending it that way. Glad we did, made the ending to the falls well worth the intense hike and challenge. Not recommended to go alone.

This was an easy, beautiful trail! It was pretty crowded, which was a bummer, but it was still worth it! It only took us about an hour and a half total, but we did hang out at the waterfall for about a half hour. I really don't think it would be good for strollers/wheel chairs, but is accessible for children.

Excellent trail. Varied terrain of forest, rocks, and vegetation. The falls were awesome as well. It is a bit strenuous if you're not experienced, but definitely one of my favorites yet.

Beautiful trail run.

Beautiful hike with some epic views. Was a bear near the trail, but we had just missed it. Been wanting to hike the AT, now just have to do the whole thing some say.

Peaceful hiking trail, didn't see anyone else while trail running it.

Great hike, beautiful river went up to husky gap. Plenty of fishing holes. It loops if you take Jacobs trail back but it's the next parking area over.

Steep trail. Paved with plenty of rest spots. The views from the top and the AT is well worth the climb!

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!

At the beginning, the trail is wide and easy. Some people come back without completing the loop. The second half of the loop has a couple of challenging creek crossings an the path becomes narrower. At some points, it is wide for just one person. The creek views and sounds are very nice. At the end of the loop there are very old houses where just the fireplaces stand. We enjoyed this easy to moderate trail.

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
5 days 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
6 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.

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
7 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.

Load More