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

Enough uphills and downhills to keep everyone happy. Make sure to check out the trees early on in the hike and you can see where the forest fire must have come through.

3 up hills and 3 downhills going to the Falls and then back to the parking lot, Abrams Falls is well worth the walk. It is usually very crowded and you have to drive about half of the one way, Cades Cove Loop, to get to the trail head. I like the hike, but it isnt one I choose very often

hiking
7 days ago

Enjoyed the trail. Beautiful waterfall although I wish it was taller for a round trip of 5 miles just to go see it. Some members of my family found the trail to be a bit too challenging for them because of all the climbs and rocks along the trail. It is rated moderate and I would not recommend going on it if you’re looking for an easy trail. Liked that the trail goes along the river.

hiking
8 days ago

Beautiful waterfall and great for swimming on hot days. Can be very crowded on weekends, so I recommend going during a weekday if possible. I think its about a mile or so longer then the 5 miles listed. Saw a bear on the long winding road there (plan time for the drive). Good for all skill levels.

hiking
9 days ago

Always a nice hike. Go early if you want to beat the crowds.

hiking
11 days ago

A beautiful trail along a river that leads to the Falls.
So many butterflies. Saw a large snake. I felt like definitely more uphill coming back!

Nice trail, not much to see until you get on top of the ridge, then beautiful. Saw two on the trail. Pretty cool.

hiking
21 days ago

A great family hike! Awesome views and the falls where a fantastic lunch spot!

hiking
22 days ago

Nice trail. Not too strenuous, but still a decent workout if you keep a good pace. The trail looks like it was an old road at one time, so it's very wide and in good shape, overall.

My first hike I loved it

Very tough trail for the occasional hiker. Round trip took about 6 hours. views were fantastic at the top even with cloud cover. Bring plenty of water and snacks along with a blanket or eno to enjoy the views at the top

Nice hike with a pretty waterfall and great spot to swim at the end. We saw a bear on this trail!

This is one heck of a hard hike! 13.4 miles in and out. Saw a rattler around mile 4 and had to wait awhile for him to move on. On the way back saw a bunch of snake holes in the ground for about a mile stretch. Around the same spot as the rattler. They must really like that location. Dodged a few bears along the way. Thought we were only gonna be doing 12.2 miles, so the extra mile and some change surprised us. Took about 7.5 hours round trip. This is definitely not for the weak of heart. My husband, I and 2 kids made it the whole way. Only saw one other woman on the trail, everyone else was an adult male. No other kids. Lightly traveled, maybe 8 hikers total today. View was great, flowers were almost completely out of bloom, glad we saw a few. Would have been a great place to camp overnight. Checked this one off the bucket list. Would not go back unless flowers were in full bloom.

Great hike! I did not think it was as difficult as others have stated. Take a lunch and enjoy the view from the bald.

Great hike! We encountered bear, snakes, deer, etc...great wildlife hike. It rained so we did not get to see the view from the bald (still worth it). I hiked with my two boys, 11 & 14 yrs old. It challenged them but they loved it.

More than 2 hours, started to get crowded coming out but very pretty!

on Abrams Falls Trail

1 month ago

We went early on a weekday last week and it was not too crowded. This hike has many different views and never disappoints. We got to see a mama bear with 3 cubs and it was an amazing experience. This is one of my favorite hikes.

hiking
1 month ago

Hike was great. 5 miles round trip total from the parking area. We walked at a good pace and took about 2 hours (not including time at the falls). The trail and falls were very crowded even though we arrived early in the day.

This trail is very special to me. I was never into hiking before because of my job that consisted of long hours of walking. I went with someone that was special in my life and in that moment something happened. It triggered a missing piece in my empty soul that to this day gives me goosebumps thinking about. Not only did it have amazing lookout points along the trail but had a beautiful waterfall at the end. Now I'm constantly hiking and looking for my next hiker "high" all because of this one trail. I highly recommend it.

on Abrams Falls Trail

hiking
1 month ago

What a beautiful hike! My 9 year old loved it. Lots of rocks on the trail and up & down. We took rain gear just in case and I’m glad we did because it really poured for about 15 minutes on our way in. The rest of the hike was slick but still doable. The falls were really worth it. It’s our favorite hike and he has already said he wants to do it again. It’s a long hike so have water with you.

hiking
1 month ago

Great Trail! Get there early to beat the crowd. Took about 2 hours to complete.

on Abrams Falls Trail

1 month ago

Great trail. Took 2.5 hours to complete round trip in and out.

The distances are slightly off from the trail map. From the Gregory Bald Trail/AT junction to Mollies ridge Shelter is 3.1 miles (10.1 miles total). From there to Russell Field Shelter is another 3.3 miles (13.4 total). From Russell Field Shelter to Anthony Creek Trail junction is 3.5 miles (16.9 total). Then Anthony Creek is another 1.6 miles. Following the Anthony Creek Trail back to the Cades Cove Picnic area you come across the horse campground on your left approximately .2 miles from the end. Camp #9, #10, and Russell Field Shelter were all closed on June 22, 2018 for bear activity.

Water source at Russell Field wasn't the most enticing. But not many other option along the route between Mollies Ridge and the Anthony Creek Shelter.

I also took a trip up to Gregory Bald which is .6 miles of steady climbing up from the Gregory Ridge/Gregory Bald Trail junction. The Azaleas this time of year were beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

Between Townsend and Cades Coves, I enjoyed the trail. Steady incline up but not bad. Would have never known about Campsite 18 had it not been for two other hikers who said it was a must see. The campsite was the highlight of the hike for me. Very close to the trailhead for the Schoolhouse Gap Trail if you want a two for one.

The azaleas were really pretty but don’t go when there’s a chance of rain unless you wanna get soaked and not see the view.

We really enjoyed this hike away from the crowds at Cades Cove. It is certainly the trail less traveled. We came across a good bit of wildlife, including mother bear and cubs, deer, wild turkeys, and frogs. The wild flowers were nice and in some spots there are great long range views. This hike is pretty strenuous and you’ll want to be sure to take plenty of water if you hike in summer.

hiking
1 month ago

Great out and back trail with a beautiful waterfall! They advertise at the park that it is 2.5 miles each way but it is more than that.

hiking
1 month ago

Had a awesome family hike with my wife and two kids. We all had a blast. Waterfall was beautiful!! Love Tennessee!!

This trail was great. It’s within walking distance to cafes cove camp ground right across from a visiting center with trail maps. Trail is marked really well and easy to follow. Definitely on the upper scale of moderate a lot of elevation. We saw a lot of bear poo on the trail but no bears.

We hiked this today, a Wednesday. We headed out early so we wouldn’t get caught in the slow moving
Cades Cove Loop traffic. But we outsmarted ourselves, since the Loop is open to only bike traffic until 10:00 am on Wednesdays and Saturdays. If you want an early start go a different morning. The trail is as advertised, moderate ups and downs all the way. Some parts are more rocky than I like. The mountain laurel was still blooming in many places. The falls are quite pretty with nice areas to rest and regroup before heading back.

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