Honey Cove Trail Loop to Spruce Flats Falls

HARD 61 reviews

Honey Cove Trail Loop to Spruce Flats Falls is a 8.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Townsend, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until September.

DISTANCE
8.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2506 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

rocky

no dogs

This waterfall is one of the parks best kept secrets.

17 days ago

My husband and I did the loop and clocked it on his Apple Watch today-- 7.34 miles in exactly 4 hours and burned 2,089 calories. Hiking boots are a must and long pants recommended (I wore shorts and got a little beat up).

After you pass the falls, the trail is overgrown at some places. If you have never done the trail it can be easy to get lost, but don't let this discourage you. We spent about 15 min trying to find the trail after we crossed Spruce Flats Falls, and almost turned around. Once you pass the falls, hug the trail on the left that overlooks the creek and you will be able to see where to cross. There was a wide path on the right, that lead us to a dead end, so avoid that guy. After 10 min or so, you will feel like you are terribly lost and the trail is not marked for about 2 miles. We saw ~15 piles of bear scat ON THE TRAIL, some very fresh! We stumbled across 2 black bears. We didn't bother them and they didn't bother us! Although it is 4 miles to go once you hit the intersection at the top, where several trails meet, you are in the home stretch! Mostly down hill from there and super easy!

I would say this is a moderately difficult trail (not hard).

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Did this today. 4hrs almost exactly for us. The trail beyond the falls is easy to follow. It is narrow and you need to pay attention but at no point did we lose the trail. Just follow the signs that take you to the falls from the parking lot. Just below the falls you can clearly see the trail on the far side. After leaving the falls it is fairly steep and narrow for maybe a mile or less. I think we counted 7 creek crossings. There were high winds here last week so there are a lot of trees across the trail. Since this is not an "official" trail I suppose they could be there for a while. The trail flattens out and this section is the most overgrown. We did this in May. Could be more overgrown during the summer. Eventually, about halfway the trail starts to go uphill again. Gradual but steady. Then it pitches sharply up for about a quarter mile or less. At the top you will find the intersection of several trails. Take the trail to the left, toward Tremont, and that will get you back to parking lot. The last half is well maintained.

We saw no one on the unofficial section past the falls. And just a few people on the maintained portion back to parking lot.

We asked the person at the store about hiking the loop as she told us as well the she couldn't provide any info on it because it was not marked. Having said that she didn't discourage us either.

Waterfall is very nice. Unofficial trail was fun. Mountain views are ok but this is not the trail I would take for that.

GPS worked ok my iPhone and the others that have mapped the route on this site that clearly show a loop are accurate and assured us we were not going off course. Not really necessary but nice to check every now and then.

hiking
6 months ago

I truly enjoyed this trail. We followed the signs to the waterfall and then ventured out on our own from there. There were times we were not sure if we were going the right way or if we were going to get lost. But in the end it was worth it all. As a previous hiker posted, you need to jump the rocks at the water fall to cross over to the other side. Then you cross several creeks (some kind of hard) but then you eventually get to an area where other trails meet. There is a sign that tells you where which one takes you. If you follow the one that says Tremont (4.1ml) it will loop around the mountain and take you back to where you parked.

Side note:
If you plan on continue past the waterfall I do not recommend hiking this trail without hiking boots/shoes. Additionally, I recommend long pants and long sleeves as some of the hike/ trail is through dense woods and you sometimes need to force your way through.

6 months ago

My sister and I did this hike in January. It most certainly was an adventure. We parked at the wilderness school where the lady at the counter said she could point us in the right direction was not able to show us the trail on a map due to it being man made. We found out man made is code for hidden and hard, but fun after all is said and done. We followed the trail signs to the waterfall and then jumped across the rocks to a hidden trail on the other side. From there we did out best to follow the map on the app. If you like to climb, bushwhack, crawl, and wonder if you're ever going to make it out alive then this is the trail for you. Honestly it was only bad for about two miles, but still.

hiking
7 months ago

The trail depicted on the map is incorrect, this is not a loop and Lumber Ridge does not go to Spruce falls (which is technically not a trail, but is still easy and okay to navigate to the falls -- heavily trafficked).

Lumber Ridge ends at Meigs (which is a fork) and is where you need to turn around and go back.

When you park in the parking lot, the trail heads' start up near the sign and gravel road,to the right when you are pulling in the parking lot / coming over the bridge.

Lumber ridge has a few party nice views itself but if you are coming for the falls (as I did) take the trail at the trail head that indicates the falls are to the right -- which is only a mile, maybe that.

Have fun!

hiking
11 months ago

I really enjoyed this hike .. lots to see . This had a really great incline, great views and lots of water falls .

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

hiking
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Trail is a bit rough incline going in to a high point then down hill to the falls. Narrow path footing isn't too bad. I would certainly suggest a walking stick. I didn't have one so picked up a branch to use. I went a bit slower than some people but I am a plus size woman and still accomplished the trail just fine. The water fall at the end is amazing!!! I could have stayed there for hours. The trails was not very crowded (on a week day). We had the falls to ourselves for a good 45 mins or so. It was a much easier hike on the way back out.

hiking
Saturday, July 02, 2016

To be a small hike it was amazing. When you get to the end there was a beautiful waterfall. Very nice hike.

hiking
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hiked from the Great Smoky Mountain Institute to Spuce Flats Falls and back. My 4 year old and I loved it!

hiking
Monday, May 30, 2016

Great trail and awesome reward when you reach the falls!!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

hiking
Saturday, May 07, 2016

The falls are absolutely beautiful! Would definitely do this one again.

hiking
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

hiking
Saturday, March 26, 2016

GPS did not pick up. Trail was well defined and there were a ton of people. Would have been nicer if left early to beat the crowd. Bice hike and 2 miles out to Falls and back.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

My wife and I hiked to the falls. Great trail and the waterfall is beautiful

hiking
Monday, February 29, 2016

hiking
Friday, January 15, 2016

Great hike. We only went to the waterfall and not the Honey Cove trail. With little ones, the terrain is challenging but doable. I needed a hand on a few higher step downs, with the baby pack on. The 2.5 yo hiked by herself up to the falls but rode in the backpack down. t was a good 2.5 hour adventure.