Grotto Falls Trail

Grotto Falls is a stunningly beautiful waterfall and popular attraction for hikers that are visiting the area of Gatlinburg, TN. It is an easy hike if you're moderately in shape. There are few little streams you will have to cross and you will get a little muddy. This trail requires about a 3 mile round trip hike into the surreal beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the side on Mount LeConte. But it only took us less than 2.5 total even though we spent a LOT of time hanging out by the fall, taking pictures and enjoying the view.

On the way out we did see a bear cross the road in front of us, which kinda freaked me out at first, but also made my day! So they aren't joking about bears being in the area. And if you're lucky enough, you would see the group of Llama passing Grotto Falls trail heading out to Mt. Leconte with supplies usually they hike on Mon-Wed-Fri traveling on Trillium Gap or could change if severe weather.

DIRECTIONS: Turn at Traffic light #8 in Gatlinburg and follow it to Roaring Forks Road. Keep right and stay on Roaring Fork past the Rainbow Falls parking area. Follow the signs towards Grotto Falls. Another great reason to go early is because parking spaces are limited. Once parked, go right along the concrete walkway which points straight toward the trail head.

Roaring Fork Rd
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Phone number (865) 436-1200

Pretty waterfall that you can actually walk behind.
I loved the unspoiled nature, the serenity and privacy


Cane Creek Cascade Falls

   We have only been to Fall Creek Falls State Park to hike and haven't had the chance to camp yet, although I would love to go back for a full camping experience.  We started out viewing the massive 254 foot Fall Creek from an overlook and headed down to the base of the falls on a trail that was fairly strenuous and rocky at times.  On another trail going towards the nature center, we viewed the Cane Creek Falls, which are only 85 feet, but still rather impressive.  Only few people were there, so we sat on some rocks and dipped our feet. The water continues to flow around a small bend which we followed, and came across the top of another waterfall. By the time we reached the nature center, we were at the Cane Creek Cascades Falls, which are 45 feet and flow into a swimming hole area that was quite crowded but its pretty fun to splash around. 

Location Address:
Falls Creek Falls State Park
2009 Village Camp Rd
Pikeville, TN 37367

No need to describe this beauty!


A suspension bridge crosses Cane Creek just above the falls. This connects to the trails that lead to Fall Creek Falls and the overlook to Cane Creek Falls.

Simple pleasure!


Journey to Bigfoot Peak

   This is our second time joining The Smoky Mountain Jeep Club. And today were heading to a scenic journey to the Citico Creek/Bald River falls area and ride to the top of BIG FOOT PEAK at 3,900 feet elevation to hunt for the elusive Sasquatch of Tennessee. The Peak is one of the highest spots accessible by Jeep. This ride is 110 miles round trip from the start point, and includes stops at Tellico Plains, Big Foot Peak and Bald River Falls. This is an all day event! Our first stop is at Tellico Plains Visitors Center for a bathroom break. From there we drove up the Cherohala Skyway onto back dirt roads into the winding trails to the summit of Big Foot Peak. There is a park and breath taking view, eat  and socialize. Big Surprises in store for all on this ride! After lunch we drove down to Bald River Falls. After the falls whoever is interested can stop at the famous Citico Drive-inn for ice cream. At this point the ride ends and Jeepers can go their separate ways.

At the visitor center of Cherohala Skyway
Jeep convoy's are a lot of fun!
See something, say something
Fun ride for a beautiful mountain  view 

Total of 86 Jeeps join the road trip. Fun to watch people mesmerize seeing group of Jeeps driving together.

Kid ain't scared 
We encounter Mama Bear and her cub 

Spruce Flats Falls

My husband and I hiked to Spruce Flat Falls in mid May. This trail is narrow with lots of rocks and roots but it is a fun hike on a beautiful day.  If you are short on time or want to do a couple of short trails in a day. It is challenging enough to keep things interesting but won't wear you down and the waterfall is a nice reward. It starts from the Tremont Institute which has a bathroom and little visitor shop. The man working the shop was wonderful and gave a full description of the trail. This trail is not  listed on most maps or websites so it is pretty quite. Sunny afternoon sitting by the waterfall was refreshing I hated to leave. We met a few people on the trail but it is not crowded like other trails in the Smokey Mountains. Overall a wonderful hike, one I would love to do again it is a gem in the Spring.

Directions: From the Sugarlands Visitor Center, drive west on Little River Rd for 17.6 miles to the intersection of Laurel Creek Rd and TN 73, also known as the Townsend Wye. Bear left on Laurel Creek Road towards Tremont and Cades Cove. In .2 miles, turn left on the road towards the Great Smoky Mountain Institute. Drive 2 miles up this road and turn left across Middle Prong. Park at the Institute parking area for the trail on the right.

I had a butterfly hang out on my foot while I was standing on a rock and enjoying the gorgeous view. 


A hidden Gem

Look up view from the Waterfalls

Abrams Falls

Abram Falls has the highest volume of water flow of any waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, which easily makes it one of my favorites. The drive to get here and all the things to see once you arrive in Cades Cove makes it my BEST recommendation for outdoor activities when visiting the Smokies. You' will want to come back here again and again.

There are rocky areas and tree roots along the way but if you hang in there it is well worth it. Once you arrive, you will know it. The falls are glorious, but because of the curve of the trail, they remain hidden from your view until you are only 50 yards away... but what a sight! It is hightly discouraged to swim here or climb the wall of stone nearby to reach the top of the falls. Yet that never seems to stop large groups of families from doing just that. 

I could honestly spent the entire day camped out along the rocky shore.  Some sections of the water near the shore are calm pools that have little to no current and are moderately safe (in my opinion). But it is best to not disregard the warnings, because several deaths have happened here. BE SURE to backpack in a lunch. It is a very tiring walk and many, many people enjoy picnicking here once they've arrived. Just remember to backpack out your trash. You do not want to encourage Black Bears to come here looking for scraps of food.

Trail Location:   Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Cades Cove Loop Rd & Laurel Creek Rd
Townsend, TN 37882
 Roundtrip Length:   5.0 Miles  
Total Elevation Gain:   340 feet  
Highest Elevation:   1710 feet  
Trail Difficulty Rating:   5.68 (moderate)


 Beautiful forest scenery, bigger than photo suggest.

A good 2.5 mile hike to and from. The hike is pretty good and the trail is a bit rocky and jagged

Shallow waters near the waterfall where you can get down.
Great Waterfalls

 

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