Spruce Flats Falls Trail

MODERATE 100 reviews

Spruce Flats Falls Trail is a 1.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Townsend, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
1.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
469 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

hiking
21 days ago

Trail is diagonal from the building, see photos.

This is the perfect trail for those who want to see mountains & waterfalls but don’t have much time. I wouldn’t recommend this trail to anyone without sure footing due to the amount of roots and slick spots. I saw a few older folks turn back because of it.

I would definitely do this trail again.
Great for kids!

26 days ago

great for familes. we hiked in with 3 kids 8 and under. they did great and we had lunch by the falls. quick 2 1/2 hr round trip..and that includes an hour by the falls exploring.

26 days ago

Great trail ! Recommended for first timers.

hiking
26 days ago

Obstacles of many roots, rocks & lots of mud to get there, but the waterfall at the end is worth it.

27 days ago

Great hike for the whole family with beautiful waterfall at the end. Took us about 1 hour, 45 min round trip, including ~30 minutes spent by the falls. We went on a Tuesday, and probably saw only 25 or so other hikers. You’ll need to help little kids navigate the obstacles and stay away from the drop offs, but it’s certainly doable for them.

hiking
27 days ago

Lovely waterfall, not very crowded, and lots of spring wildflowers to see! The trail has areas that are covered in roots, rocks, and some wet spots but it makes it very engaging and fun to climb.

1 month ago

Amazing trail! It was a great short hike to our day. We had 6 of us on the walk including an 8 year and a 7 year old who absolutely loved the trail and of course the falls. It is definitely a moderate trail so be ready for some roots and rocks!

1 month ago

Our family enjoyed the hike. My 8 and 5 year old enjoyed the obstacles. Very treacherous for them, but fun.

1 month ago

Loved it!!! Nice hike!! I packed my 40 pound toddler on my back the entire way and I am a plus size momma. Yes, I sweated and had to take a moment or two to catch my breath, but it was truly great!!! We visited today, 3/4/18, after all the recent rain, the falls were too beautiful for even cameras to capture the true beauty.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike waterfall was super flooded today

hiking
2 months ago

First, my review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer.

The trail is easy to follow even through it isn't marked. I think it's rated moderate not for the length of the trail, but rather it's condition. You'll find rocks and tree roots across the trail. Nothing a 60+ year old in good shape can't negotiate, but it's not like walking on a side walk. There is also on 200 yard section with a 10-20 drop off. Trail is also muddy after rain.

One advantage of this trail is that it's lightly traveled. The most people I've ever seen at the falls is 6 even during the height of the tourist season.

The waterfall itself is a photographic jewel. I've been to this falls at least five times and have always enjoyed the photos I've taken. As a bonus the falls have ample water even during the summer since its partially spring fed.

If you have time for only one waterfall in the GSMNP, skip Laurel Falls and it's hugh crowds and go to Spruce Flats.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Great short hike to a nice waterfall. It is kind of steep in a few areas, and may be difficult for someone who doesn't hike a lot, but the shortness of the trail makes up for that. The trail itself has a lot of roots and rocks as well but again, if you go hiking often this will be an easy hike for you. Loved the waterfall.

hiking
3 months ago

My boyfriend and I went on this hike just a few days ago and LOVED it! The waterfall was still almost completely frozen and was such a beautiful sight to see. I would definitely recommend this shirt hike to anyone, but especially those that are looking for a unique winter hike!

hiking
3 months ago

Great short hike if you’re limited on time and want me to see a nice water fall feature.

hiking
4 months ago

Very short hike with beautiful falls!! ❤️

hiking
4 months ago

Got away from the crowd with this one. Nice trail, great views of the falls

5 months ago

Nice trail. Pretty technical but worth the hike.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a pretty difficult hike but it's short and with a great reward! If you park at the small visitors center, walk up passed the gravel road and follow the signs that say "Falls."

hiking
5 months ago

Loved this! Not as heavily traveled or busy as some of the other (more popular) trails in the Great Smoky Mtns.

My husband and boys (10, 15) thoroughly enjoyed the hike and scenic views at the falls.

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail! I took my wife and 4 kids (7-12) up to the falls today, and we really enjoyed it. There are some pretty steep drop offs on the trail, so keep your kids with you! Beautiful trail and beautiful falls!

6 months ago

This a great hike and well worth it! Falls were following well. Amazing beauty!

hiking
6 months ago

A short and rewarding hike, but not always easy. This trail has a couple of steep sections; and because the Park doesn't do regular maintenance on it, the rocks and roots are pretty treacherous if you're not paying attention. The falls are beautiful though, and it's well worth finding this little trail that isn't listed on the Park map.

hiking
6 months ago

A short, and steep in places, hike to a lovely waterfall. The trail is not very well maintained and has plenty of rocks and roots--you have to watch your steps carefully. A couple of nice mountain views. We saw a bear cub when we hiked it, but no mama bear or siblings.

hiking
7 months ago

Good trail, has rocks and roofs. Water falls is picturesque. Beware of the yellow jacket nest where the trees are marked with caution tape

9 months ago

It is a beautiful hike. Definitely a work out but worth every minute.

hiking
10 months ago

Has a climb and flats. Rocks, roots, and smooth walking. Beautiful waterfall and casual climbing area.

hiking
11 months ago

11 months ago

Beautiful waterfall

hiking
11 months ago

With each new hike we do in the Smokies, we fall deeper in love with these mountains. This trail was no exception. From the parking lot at the Institute, you will walk uphill to the gravel way and follow well-marked signs from there. While only two miles total, the elevation gain up some of the rocky inclines can be a little tough. I would recommend hiking poles and plenty of water and snacks. There is a nice overlook about halfway to the falls, and the actual falls are gorgeous and flowing, as long as we are not in another drought. You can also climb to the top of the falls on a very steep side trail (would not advise for anyone with younger kids or anyone not in good shape). You'll have to do some tricky rock and root climbing but being at the top of the falls is lovely. There's another waterfall up there not visible from below, and then some smaller ones cascading above those! We put up the hammock here and relaxed the afternoon away. We passed 2 groups of young kids coming out, and just a dad and his two younger kids on the way with us. The institute does lots of field trips so kids all around is not uncommon.

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