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Spruce Flats Falls via Lumber Ridge Loop

HARD 74 reviews

Spruce Flats Falls via Lumber Ridge Loop is a 7 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, trail running, and nature trips and is best used from May until September.

7.0 miles
1,509 feet


nature trips

trail running






wild flowers





no dogs

Park at the Tremont Visitor Center. There is a map near the entrance of the visitor center that details the way to the falls. The trail to the falls is NOT on the trail map for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

rock climbing
7 months ago

Was a very nice hike to the falls, beyond that point there really weren't a lot of views, definitely thought there would be an overlook of the mountains. All-in-All a great hike.

8 months ago

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.


9 months ago

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.

10 months ago

Great hike. The trail is fairly overgrown in some areas of the canyon as it follows the stream. Came across a large owl and a pretty big boar. The falls at the end are beautiful.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Had a great time with my best friend Hoss!!! Hiked 9 miles or so and it was a jungle for about 2 miles,but 2 beautiful falls!!!!

Monday, October 02, 2017

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).

Sunday, May 07, 2017

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.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

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.

Monday, April 03, 2017

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.

Monday, March 06, 2017

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!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

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

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.

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.

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!

Monday, May 30, 2016

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

Saturday, May 07, 2016

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

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

Thursday, February 25, 2016

I lead 5 other hikers through this trail. Fun and the scenery varies, but beware that in the last 3 miles the trail gets very obstructed and difficult to maintain. I loved the challenge as an experienced hiker, but if you're not very experienced I would recommend bringing someone along with you that knows their stuff, or setting out the entire day to do the hike and take your time. We did it in about 4 hours, but inexperienced hikers I would recommend allowing at least 6-8.

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.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Gorgeous falls and worth the strenuous hike. Although I said strenuous, I would only say it is moderate difficulty, but then again it is all relative. I could spend all day at the falls as it was that beautiful. Mostly uphill heading to the falls until towards the end when it was a little steep downhill. But overall, a nice hike.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Thank you to Casey Kimble for the trail directions. The only place they let you park at Tremont is by the visitor center/office and on a Sunday morning we were pleased to find it open - otherwise there is no bathroom. Walk across the lot from the office building and go up a gravel road and you will see signs for the trails and falls. I will post some photos. There is a little sign that says "falls" posted in a few places so it's easy to follow. For people like us that don't hike often, this is very strenuous. Rocks are in the trail the whole time and it gets worse in certain areas. There are steep uphill and downhill areas. This is NOT a good hike for little children. There is a dangerous dropoff immediately next to the trail nearly the whole way up, and the trail is not always flat. Sometimes it angles in the direction of the dropoff which is a bit freaky. When you first start climbing you hear falls but as you get higher the sound disappears and as you go higher eventually you hear Spruce Flats falls. It took us 40 minutes to hike to the falls (I took a lot of pictures) and 20 minutes to walk back.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Great view of the falls, and such a lovely view in a relaxing setting. Even though we weren't far off a gravel thru road once we got to the falls, we felt very far out. We sat at the falls for about an hour with no disruptions and no visitors. I particularly loved the little pool.

Although this hike has a few inclines, it's not severe and is over as soon as it starts. Roundtrip (not counting sitting time) took as max 50 minutes.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Nice trail. It rained my entire trip but seeing the falls was worth it.

Monday, October 05, 2015

A bit too hilly and dangerous for the little ones 5 and 6 years old. But a good hike for the adults.

Monday, September 14, 2015

We hiked today and it was a strenuous up hill hike with very rocky trails at times. The view at the end was well worth it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Nice hike. Don't go at night unless you are experienced.

Monday, July 20, 2015

This was our first hiking excursion in awhile. The hike is 1 mile in and 1 mile out. The mile in was more strenuous than the return. Even though it is prime season and crowded elsewhere, we actually had the falls to ourselves for 45 minutes! The trail is somewhat rocky, wet, and root filled (not easy, not hard). The falls were worth the walk without a doubt! The only problem we had was actually finding the beginning of the trail. (We drove right past it). Once on the trail, the signage is sufficient. We would definitely recommend this trail.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

This was a great hike, 2 miles round trip. It is listed as moderate-difficult and there were definitely parts of the trail that were rocky, steep, and wet. That being said, our 3 year old hiked most of the way without any problem. The views are beautiful and you can hear the falls for a good portion of the hike. It was not crowded at all. The Spruce Flat Falls were absolutely beautiful. Our boys (ages 3,6,8) got in the water and waded around and even went right up to the falls. We probably stayed at the falls for an hour and only saw 2 other groups of hikers. I would highly recommend.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

This hike is only moderately strenuous but is difficult due to loose rock and foot placement issues. It's a short hike with a wonderful waterfall at the end. I'd definitely recommend it.

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