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The 6 Most Beautiful Waterfalls You Can Hike to in the Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains are incredibly beautiful this time of year. While planning your hiking trips in the great outdoors, you should check out some of the waterfalls! Not only are they breathtaking, but it’s a great way to cool down after a hike with friends, family, or even by yourself. Be sure to take the camera!

Photo courtesy of smokymountains.com

Laurel Falls

Considered by many to be one of the most popular waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains, Laurel Falls is also situated on one of the shortest hikes. At only 2.6 miles roundtrip, this is an ideal hike for families enjoying the outdoors, especially because of its paved footways. You can find Laurel Falls in Cades Cove, TN. These falls are not only beautiful, but they’re extremely family friendly. Take some time to cool your toes in the small, shallow pools at the falls, and enjoy the beauty of nature!

 

Photo courtesy of nps.gov

Ramsey Cascades

Located near Greenbrier, TN, Ramsey Cascades is the longest hike on our list. To see this beautiful waterfall, you’ll go 8 miles roundtrip. The trail is also one of the more difficult ones, and it’s suggested that new hikers may want to work up to this trail. In addition to rough terrain, hikers will also have to conquer a footbridge hanging about 20 feet above the creek itself. In itself, the hike is a true adventure, leading you through trees that are some of the highest in the entire Great Smoky Mountains Park! You’ll also see smaller falls along the way, but Ramsey Cascades will take your breath away. This waterfall is the tallest in the Smokies, with water falling nearly 100 feet from top to pool. As it falls, it goes over many smaller ledges, lending a different sort of beauty than a straight-down waterfall.

 

 

Photo courtesy of nps.gov

Grotto Falls

A moderate 3-mile-roundtrip hike along the Trillium Gap Trail takes you to Grotto Falls, a beautiful 25-foot waterfall in the Smoky Mountains. While this is a moderate hike, the fact that this place is a survivor of the 2016 Gatlinburg fire makes this an interesting spot to go for more than just the waterfall. Grotto Falls is a wonderful name for the waterfall, considering the actual grotto behind the water’s curtain. Step behind it for a refreshing mist – you might even see the salamanders that take up residence there!

 

 

Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor.com

Spruce Flats Falls

With a total distance of 4 miles roundtrip, Spruce Flats Falls is a little-known oasis in the Smoky Mountains. Water drops 30 feet before cascading into smaller sections, ending with a gorgeous stream into a plunge pool at its end. While the hike can be considered moderate, the majority of it is made up of easy-to-walk trails. It’s not until you get closer to the falls that the ground gets rockier, so be careful during those last steps!

 

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of nps.gov

Abram’s Falls

This waterfall is the namesake of Abrams Falls Trail, a 5.2 mile roundtrip hike in Cades Cove, TN. The hike is considered moderate, meaning that it may not be the first choice for new hikers. However, the falls themselves make up for the time you invest in it! Though only 20 feet high, a large volume of water comes down the falls, making it a beautiful sight to behold. The pool at the bottom of the falls may seem inviting, but swimming here can be dangerous due to a strong undertow and currents that the falls creates. Every rose must have its thorn, but at least you can cool your feet in the water and enjoy the beauty of Abram’s Falls!

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of protrails.com

Hen Wallow Falls

Located in Cosby, TN, Hen Wallow Falls is a 90-foot waterfall found off of Gabes Mountain Trail. This is another moderate hike, with the total miles roundtrip being 4.4. Although the actual mouth of the falls is only 2 feet wide, the base fans out to 20 feet. Hen Wallow Falls is also a great place to check out during the winter, when the water freezes into beautiful cascading icicles. A year-round hiking location? Yes, please!

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