The Abrams Falls Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers one of the best day hikes for those seeking a mountain waterfall experience.
The hike is a pleasant five mile round-trip excursion that takes you alongside Abrams Creek through a deep hardwood and rhododendron forest. The well used trail offers a moderate amount of climbs over root, rocks and ridges, and can be a bit slippery after a rainfall, but should not be too strenuous for the average walker.
The highlight of the trail is the beautiful Abrams Falls. Although the falls are only twenty feet in height, they carry the highest volume of water of any waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
And the combination of large water volume, a beautiful deep pool below the drop, and relatively easy access make Abrams Falls one of the most photographed waterfalls in the Smokies.
Plan at least four hours for the complete trip as you'll want to stop and take photographs along the way. Those not used to trail hiking may also have to pause for brief rests here and there on some of the longer climbs. And of course, you'll want to linger at the falls to enjoy the sight, sound, and smell of this wonder of nature.
To get there from the Townsend Tennessee park entrance, take a right at "the wye" onto Laurel Creek Road. In seven miles, you will enter Cades Cove. The road becomes one way at this point, and you will have to drive five miles to the far side of the Cades Cove Loop. In times of high park usage, this can take up to an hour.
A short road will take you to the Abrams Falls Trail parking area, which can accommodate many automobiles. The trailhead is on the westernmost side of the lot.
Be sure to carry water and other necessities for the four hour round-trip. Also, be prepared to say "hello" to a lot of fellow park visitors, as the trail is heavily used during peak times.
If you only have time to take one hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Abrams Falls Trail is in the top five. It's a great way to experience what the park has to offer up close and personal!