Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Tennessee with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Trail Maintenance from Cloudland to Hughes Gap. A brisk 25 F at the Carvers Gap gate to 62 F on the drive home made for a huge climate change. Took out 15 blowdowns.

The drive up was beautiful!! Be careful when you pull in because of a lot of potholes at the beginning of the road. At the end, there is a decent size parking lot with picnic tables, but no bathrooms. I did the hike with my 7 year old son and 9 year old niece and they loved every minute of it. We saw two waterfalls and everything about the hike was beautiful! We saw people with dogs, elderly, children! In some areas, the hike can get challenging since there are rocks and stuff to climb over. I highly recommend this trail, you will not be disappointed. The waterfall, the aqua water, words can’t express just how beautiful it is!!

Great hike with a beautiful waterfall. Main road was closed for repairs so we had to hike two miles just to reach the trailhead.

Straight up. I wouldn't recommend for younger children. Fun hike though.

Loved getting back on the AT again!!

When you think you’ve found the falls, keep going. The trail dead ends into the tallest falls! Cool hike!

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 day ago

Love this trail and the multiple falls along the way. Not difficult, but there is some elevation.

AMAZING HIKE!! Rugged between miles 2 and 3 especially on the way out. So worth the effort though. Did not disappoint!
I would like to ruck it and stay the night next go around. Saw lots of folks doing it. Would be amazing to stay at the falls!
Word to the wise for those with kids....don’t let them use up all that energy going in!

This was a great trail. Followed rushing stream most of the way. Several nice waterfalls. We went in mid March and water was flowing nicely. It is a very rocky trail so walk carefully. Taking the fiery gizzard spur for a little is worth it for nice waterfall about a half mile out.

hiking
1 day ago

I found uneventful. I think it’s uphill all the way! Trail needs serious maintenance, too long of a trail to maneuver around downed trees. To have you come out and walk along hwy 64/74 for nearly a mile is mind boggling...dangerous enough in March I can’t imagine June/July with my family members. Find another hike.

Very strenuous, but fun hike. We parked at the Rainbow Falls Trailhead and went up Trillium from there. Started at 10am and got to the top of Mount Lecont at around 5pm. We stopped a lot along the way to take pictures and enjoy the views and many streams and waterfalls along the way. There were also many parts of the path covered in ice that took a bit of time to get across safely. We stopped for lunch at the top and got moving down the mountain at 5:50pm. We didn't stop at all on the way down because we were running out of daylight. Got back to the car at 9pm, wound up walking in the dark with a flashlight for about an hour, but it wasn't too terrible. Going down the rainbow falls trail was beautiful, very fun to go over the fun bridges and rocks crossing some of the waterfalls and streams. Wildlife wise we saw a couple groups of turkeys and some squirrels. We are in our 20s and in pretty good shape, but this trail was pretty rough on our knees and ankles. Quite sore the next day that is for sure! The last hour or so before the peak is pretty tough. It is steep and very rocky. Fun hike, just need to be prepared for it potentially taking a long time and be mindful of what your body can handle.

I stayed on the "upper trail" (according to other reviews on here) & it was absolutely gorgeous! I could see some of the lower trails but as many have said, they didnt look well marked. It was a gorgeous walk though!!

We hiked this trail yesterday and felt it definitely earned its Hard rating. The markings were easy to follow for the majority of the hike, but the end was extremely challenging to follow. The trail splits to difficult and easy options, with the split marked by a piece of paper and a sheet protector held down by a rock. The dots marking the two options make no sense. Sometimes there are no dots for a long way then several in a pack. Since we read the reviews about the trail being poorly marked, we took time to look very carefully to stay on trail. But the problem isn't that the markings are weathered or hard to see, but that they are very poorly planned and make no sense. Next time, we will probably turn around at that split so we don't circle our steps again.

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful water , moderate hike and I needed assistance climbing in one spot to get to the Falls. Thoroughly enjoyed up to the last 100 yards or so back to the truck where one of those loose rocks took me down! Fell hard on more loose baseball size rocks. Shook it off but it shook me up. Definitely worth hiking!

This is one of my favorite trails I've ever hiked. Not for beginners. Dont do this without a map or GPS.

hiking
muddy
1 day ago

Great trail. Unique scenery. One of my favorites. One thing... when you cross the new aluminum bridge, turn right. I chose left because the marked white trail went that way but the main Falls is a short distance if going right. Left provides an amazing hike and I’m glad I did it but if your objective is the Falls, go right.

Nice hike in Springtime for me. Trail was pretty easy. Temp when we hiked it was 55, perfect hiking weather. A nice wooden bridge to view and look around on. Parts of trail are lake accessible for enjoying the view of lake. I would recommend this hike. We're elderly and took our time on the trail. Took us two hours.

Awesome short but steep trail. Make sure to follow the yellow blazes to the left when you get to the bottom. The trailhead is on Shut In Gap Rd, Google Maps doesn't direct you there. Also if you are coming from the west and your GPS tells you to go down Lowes Gap Rd, DON'T DO IT unless you have a high clearance 4WD.

strenuous in some parts but not too bad of a hike all the way around. had two 11 yr old girls with me and we all had a blast. will definately return.

Excellent trails, can be difficult for inexperienced hikers due to the length and the downhill gradients. There were about 10 areas on bullhead trail that trees and brush were blocking the trail, but not terribly hard to get around. It snowed above 5500ft for the 2 hours we were up there. The falls were beautiful and an excellent place to relax.

hiking
2 days ago

Super fun hike!! There are some really pretty spots. I loved it!

This would be a 5 star rating if I had done it backward. if you start at signal mountain, you get gorgeous views and pretty rugged up and down climbing for the first 3.5 miles out. Then, if you're ambitious and want to do the whole hike, you'll noticed a steep incline akd decline toward the farthest point at suck creek. The "prize" is not worth the extra miles and elevation as it is a highway over a pretty lame creek. So of you're a distance junkie, wanting to do this trail in its entirety (16.8 miles btw), it is amazing and gorgeous. It just might give you more satisfaction starting at suck creek and treating yourself with a delicious treat of a view.

We started at 6:10 yesterday and hiked the first portion with headlamps. One if the most beautiful sunrises I've experienced. Had full visibility as we approached Alum cave. Decent amount of thin ice on the trail-microspikes aren't totally necessary but definitely are helpful.

Wish I hadn't forgotten my poles!
This trail is uphill the whole first half and downhill the whole second. I won't lie, it's a tough trail but absolutely worth it. We hung out for an hour or so at the lodge which was closed but staff were there prepping (and were so nice) and suggested we sit on the rockers on the porch. We did and it was lovely. There's a spring just past the lodge (treat water!). We went to the Cliff tops summit and the views were spectacular.

The way up took us 3 hours and the way down 2.5 (2 out of 5 of us had injuries that made the downhill climb pretty rough but still made decent time).

Absolutely recommend this trail!

GORGEOUS!!! Hiked here 2001 and May 2003. Cannot wait to come back!

Easy trail except one incline. Not sure why it’s rated as moderate.

My husband and I hiked this trail yesterday 3-20-19. We decided to hire an Uber (the lady at noc in gatlinburg gave us Ravi’s card). We met Ravi at noc parking lot at 8am where he followed us to alum cave trailhead parking. We left our car there and then got in with Ravi and drove to rainbow falls trailhead parking. Well worth the $35 to get both trails in a day! We left rainbow falls parking lot at 845 am and summited by 1130am. Spent some time walking around the lodge and enjoying the beautiful blue skies. There was some ice on the trail but if you’re careful, hiking boots alone were fine. Coming down alum cave was so nice for completely different scenery. Highly recommend doing these two trails in the same day.

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