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Hiking to a Smoky Mountain Waterfall: Abrams Falls

Abrams Falls in the Smoky Mountains National Park
October 18, 2023

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a large, picturesque park that lies in Tennessee and North Carolina. One of the many features of the park is that it has 850 miles of hiking trails for visitors to enjoy and explore. Abrams Falls Hiking Trail is one of those trails, found in the heart of the Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg. It is an extremely beautiful trail and offers a scenic hike through the mountains, featuring a 20-foot waterfall. Learn more about this incredible Smoky Mountain waterfall and how to get there!

Abrams Falls Hiking Trail

abrams falls in cades cove

The Abrams Falls hiking trail runs along Abrams Creek and is considered to be a moderately difficult trail to hike. The trail takes you on a 5-mile round trip adventure that, of course, features Abrams Falls. The trailhead of Abrams Falls Trail will be found at stop number 10 on Cades Cove Loop Road, a little over 30 miles from the Sugarlands Visitor Center. As you begin to hike the trail you will cross over Abrams Creek by way of a large wooden bridge. The trail will lead you over hills, rocks and dips, and past some of the hundreds of species of trees and plants found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You may also have the opportunity to see one of the thousands of species of invertebrates and animals in the area.

Take note that from dawn to 10 a.m. on every Wednesday in May through September, Cades Cove Loop Road is closed to cars. On other days, plan to come early so you have plenty of time to savor all the outstanding sites you will see as you hike on Abrams Falls Hiking Trail.

About Abrams Falls

Abrams Falls is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Although this waterfall is only 20 feet high, the large amount of water that rushes over the fall more than makes up for its lack of height. It’s the most voluminous waterfall in the park! The rushing water from the falls collects in a large, deep pool at its base that creates a picture-perfect sight. Please keep in mind, however, that swimming here is extremely dangerous because of strong currents and an undertow. During peak season in the Smoky Mountains, this waterfall can see as many as 1,000 visitors per day!

Other Popular Smoky Mountain Waterfalls

laurel falls and walkway

Abrams Falls isn’t the only breathtaking waterfall you can see in the Smoky Mountains! In fact, there are more than 100 waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains. Here are some of the most popular Smoky Mountain waterfalls you have to visit:

Laurel Falls

Laurel Falls is a gorgeous 80-foot waterfall in the Smoky Mountains. The waterfall has both an upper and lower section. The two sections are divided by a walkway that crosses at the base of the upper falls. The total distance to and from Laurel Falls is 2.6 miles.

Grotto Falls

Grotto Falls is another popular Smoky Mountain waterfall. Located about 1.3 miles along Trillium Gap Trail, it’s a 25-foot-high waterfall. The trail actually runs behind the waterfall! This is a great hike to do during the summer because of the cool and moist environment near the falls.

Ramsey Cascades

Ramsey Cascades in Smoky Mountains

Ramsey Cascades is the tallest waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! The water drops 100 feet over rock outcroppings and collects in a small pool at the bottom. To get to the waterfall, you’ll hike for 4 miles along a trail that gains more than 2,000 feet in elevation.

After you’ve enjoyed hiking to Abrams Falls or another popular Smoky Mountain waterfall, you’ll still have plenty of other exciting things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Take a look at our ultimate Great Smoky Mountains National Park bucket list for ideas of what else to do.

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