There is no better outing during the summer than a trip to one of the many Waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains. Luckily, there are over 2,000 miles of rivers and streams in the national park, resulting in a series of over 100 cascades and falls. We have picked out a handful of beautiful hikes in the Blount County side of the park for every level of experience.
Meigs Falls is one of the most accessible waterfalls to visit. In fact, you can drive your car up to within 500 feet of the falls. The drop is only 28 feet, but it is nestled into a breathtaking spot of the Smokies.
Directions: Only located 12.9 miles west of the Sugarlands Visitor Center, near the Townsend “Wye”.
If you are looking for a more strenuous adventure, check out the Ramsey Cascades. The hike is 8 miles roundtrip, and as the tallest waterfall, it follows over 100 feet of tumbling cascades throughout the park. The trail to the waterfall gains over 2,000′ in elevation, passing through old-growth cove hardwood forest.
Directions: Take Highway 321 east of Gatlinburg to the Greenbrier entrance to the park. Follow the signs to the Ramsay Cascades trailhead.
Spruce Flat Falls
The hike to Spruce Flat Falls is only two miles roundtrip, but it can get significantly steep, making it a more challenging hike. Located in the Tremont section of the park, a still relatively unknown area, there is a chance for a more private experience. At the bottom of the 30-foot fall, dropping in four stages, you will find a pool of water perfect for a refreshing summer swim.
Directions: You will find this trail located on Tremont Road near Smokey Mountain Institute at Tremont, near Cades Cove.
Abrams Falls is one of the “Waterfall Quartet”, a group of four waterfalls, including Abrams, Laurel, Grotto, and Rainbow Falls. Although the waterfall is only 20 feet high, it has the highest volume of water, making it the most voluminous falls in the park. It empties into a large, picturesque pool, but swimming is off-limits because of the strong currents and dangerous undertow.
Directions: From Townsend or Gatlinburg, follow signs to Cades Cove. The turnoff for Abrams Falls Trail is located past stop #10 (signed) along Cades Cove Loop Road.
Indian Creek Falls
The Indian Flats Falls is beyond Toms Branch Falls another half-mile, turning right onto Indian Creek Trail. The trail begins as a wide path as it traces Deep Creek upstream. After walking just one-tenth of a mile, there will be a short spur trail on your left that leads down to the 45-foot waterfall. If you were to climb back to the main trail and walk a short distance up, the Indian Flats Falls looks more like a water slide than an actual waterfall.
Directions: Located on Tremont Road near Smokey Mountain Institute at Tremont, near Cades Cove. Hike on Middle Prong Trail to Panther Creek Trail.
These are just a handful of the waterfall opportunities in the Great Smoky Mountain National Parks. Take the time to do a little more research and find yourself in a world of awe-inspiring waterscapes and hiking opportunities for the whole family.
Check out the following links for more waterfall options:
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