Explore the most popular 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.




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Townsend, Tennessee Map

on Abrams Falls Trail

1 hour ago

Overall a simple hike that winds through the forest over a handful of rolling hills. Be prepared to do some uphill hiking with this one. The trail is in great shape and there is a sizable area to enjoy the falls once you arrive.

Definitely a favorite of ours. We hiked this one twice now. Last time with all our children. They truly love this trail. follows the river through most of it so can always stop and take a break, especially with little ones and let them splash around. The waterfall is beautiful and some areas shallow enough to walk around and enjoy the water before heading back. We also started at the Abrams trail head, so was only just over 5 miles for us.

Did this in January '18. Went counter clockwise due to not getting started until noon. Pretty steep for the first 2 miles. Had campsite 6 all to myself which was awesome. With no leaves I had a few good views, but don't expect much with leaves on.

not a bad overall hike, basically following an old logging road. if your not paying attention you will miss the hiker signs for the car and the falls, redid the wood arrows while I was out.

scenic driving
2 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous!   This is probably my favorite part of the National Park.  Just a beautiful drive with plenty of stop offs.  Great valleys and mountain ranges in the background.  It does not open till 10am on Wednesdays and Saturdays so plan accordingly.  Also it is kind of way off in a separate area of the park so if you are thinking of stopping at the various historic buildings along the way and maybe adding in the hike to Abrams Falls plan this to be the only thing you do that day.  Plus the drive out there is just nice with some places to pull over and look at the view of the river.  Finally, we went in early May and there was a lot of traffic, as it gets closer to the summer expect significant traffic and delays.

Beautiful hike on a true nature trail complete with all the natural rocks and roots. Falls at the end was beautiful. Highly recommend.

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.

Went here on a day while exploring Cades Cove.  My biggest advice is: hike it in the morning because of shade.  Lots of the trail is uncovered, so in the late Spring it gets very hot.  It is a longish trail that is up and down both ways.  The waterfall was nice, but the payoff compared the cost of the long hike isn't there for me.  If you are already doing Cades Cove then yes go ahead and do it, but I wouldn't make a special trip to this hike.

This trail is a very nice trail to hike on any day of the week will do it more

10 days ago

Beautiful wildflowers, poison oak, fun and easy walk in the woods. Oh, did I mention the timber rattler?

Strenuous on a hot day. Not easy by any means. The trail is very rocky and there is no view until you get to the top. There was a massive amount of bugs at the top. There must be better hikes in the Smokies...this is the only one I have done.

Great family hike. My 2yo toddler was able to hike for 2 hours straight. Bring enough water.

12 days ago

Solid trail. Lots of varied terrain. The waterfall was pretty crowded but otherwise no complaints. Worth the walk in the end though. Saw lots of butterflies, insects and deer. My wife got an awesome shot of a deer in the creek so that was pretty cool.

This is an excellent trail with some spectacular river/waterfall views. Though this trail is rated as moderate, I found it to be an easy hike due to its gradual climb. The best views are only about 4 - 5 tenths of a mile from the trailhead. A must see if hiking in the Smoky Mountains.

Beautiful waterfall, tough little trail, up n down

scenic driving
21 days ago

Great drive with spots to pull off and take pictures!

22 days ago

Loved this hike! Great scenery, peaceful sounds and a nice workout. We saw lots of butterflies, soaked our feet and met friendly folks. Well-maintained trail that will definitely help you burn some calories.

25 days ago

It was raining and there was very little traffic, so we were happy. There are lots of wildflowers and greenery on the trail if you're into botanicals. The waterfall is pretty cool, just pack water and a snack it's a great walk through the woods. We had lunch at the waterfall and drank a liter of water each.

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer

This is one of the best wildflower trails in the Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s relatively long and has some significant elevation gain (at least from the perspective of a 60+ hiker). But it’s worth it.

I’ve counted at least two dozen species along the trail and there are probably more. The highlights are both pink and yellow Ladyslippers and the rare Shooting Star

If you want to see Ladyslippers go the first week of May. If you want the see a meadow full of Blue Phlox go in mid-April. The wildflower show is generally over by mid-May.

scenic driving
27 days ago

Lots of cars but it was still nice. Saw a mamma bear and two cubs napping in a tree.

not to crowded, easy walk with two children, falls are beautiful, well worth it

wow what a wonderful hike

1 month ago

I've done this hike quite a few times during different seasons of the year. It's been busy in summer and winter. Summer is best for swimming. Winter is great if you're interested in seeing part of a frozen waterfall. I went today....it's been raining for the last 4 days, and it rained during the hike. The Falls were so cool, overpouring with water. The places people usually sit were under water. Hardly any room to sit and relax. The trail was also extremely wet.

1 month ago

Trail is fine, pretty darn well worn. Waterfalls are pretty massive and sweet. Fairly crowded.

1 month ago

We did Chestnut Top to Schoolhouse Gap and it was absolutely beautiful. Wildflowers everywhere and beautiful mountain views in the Spring as you hike the ridge. We saw a deer and fresh beer poop (but no bears). We are moderate hikers and the way up was a tough hike and 8.6 miles roundtrip.
Beautiful hike for not having a waterfall. Beautiful mountain views of Townsend and the Smokies.

A great hike with an amazing view. Walking up a creek/spring along a couple points at the beginning of the trail. A solid elevation gain with some roots and mostly leaves and dirt. The view is wonderful! More secluded and not as used. Easy to find. A must!

Trail was nice. 2.5 miles to a small waterfall. nothing to brag about.

1 month ago

The route is quite challenging, though there is never a part of it that is overwhelming or very steep. It just steadily climbs and climbs and climbs. It gains over 4000 ft, and that’s rare to find among trails. The view at the top is amazing, like something out of lord of the rings. When I hiked, the upper elevations were sans leaves, but wildflowers were coming through. The one thing I wish were featured was a greater variety of landscapes. Most of it was through similar looking forest until the Appalachian trail. I would do again for the challenge. Plan accordingly: I would allocate 6-7 hours if you want a nice break at the top.

three stars only bc there is alot of driveway and store crossings. its great for biking and walking. super easy on the river side. the other side has a few hills that take your breath away but my kids 12 and 7 did great on them. Also had the kid trailer on our bikes and had no issues. would recommend bring your lock and wallet and check out the stores and eat at the apple valley restaurant very good, but worth the price. all in all great 10 mile ride..

My review is from the perspective of an amateur photographer.

I only did the first half mile of this trail because I was looking for wildflowers in mid-April in the Smoky Mountains National Park. In that first half mile I encountered at least a dozen species of flowers and have posted them.

In my opinion this is one of the top 10 wildflower hikes in the NP in terms of variety and ease of hiking.

Start with this hike. If it’s too hard then you probably don’t want to do the other wildflower hikes. But if you do it, you won’t be disappointed in the variety of flowers you find

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