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Hiking Waterfalls in Tennessee
by Johnny Molloy (Falcon Guides)
The hike to this waterfall is so popular that the park service paved the trail to it. This makes the footwork easier but detracts from the wilderness aspect of the hike. However, a well-timed visit will allow you to view this 80-foot spiller in relative solitude.
Top Trails: Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 2nd Edition
by Johnny Molloy (Wilderness Press)
This very popular hike exudes beauty that outshines its sometimes-bothersome crowds. Start at Fighting Creek Gap, then angle up the north side of Cove Mountain. Turn into Laurel Branch, where rock formations and a steep-sided valley avail views. Come to the middle of 80-foot Laurel Falls, gaining glimpses of the cataract above and below.
Solitude seekers will want to visit the falls in the off-season, from late autumn through spring. Spring will also have the boldest falls. Winter is a good time for both solitude and views. If you’re going in the summer, when the crowds are at their peak, hit the trail at dawn or dusk.
Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park
by Kevin Adams (Falcon Guides)
This is a Jekyll and Hyde hike. The first 1.3 miles to Laurel Falls are possibly the most popular hike in the park and is insanely crowded. You might have the remaining 2.7 miles to Cove Mountain all to yourself, as nearly everyone stops at the falls. They don’t know what they’re missing, as this section passes through a scenic old-growth forest carpeted in spring with abundant wildflowers.
by Kelley Roark and Stuart Carroll (Falcon Guides)
This wide, paved trail is very heavily traveled for the first 1.3 miles until it reaches the 75-foot Laurel Falls. You will usually find a crowd at the pool at the base of the upper falls, but after passing the falls, the crowds disappear, and the trail ascends through mostly virgin forest to Chinquapin Ridge, and the trail connection to the fire tower on Cove Mountain, 4 miles from the base.
The Laurel Falls Trail was built by the Civil Conservation Corps in 1935. The trail begins on the north side of the road, bearing off to the left around the side of the ridge toward Laurel Falls. This paved trail is very heavily traveled, and its length makes it appropriate for families with children, or groups with a less ambitious hiker along. It has been paved to prevent erosion because of the heavy traffic.
Please be advised that Laurel Falls Trail is NOT a dog friendly trail. There are only 2 trails in the entire Park that are dog friendly and those are the Gatlinburg Trail located behind the Sugarlands visitor center and the Oconolufte Trail located at the Oconolufte visitor center. There are steep fines for having a dog on any of the other trails. Dogs are very upsetting to the bears, now numbering over 1800 in the park, many other visitors and all of the other small mammals within the park. Please make other arrangements for your dog if you plan to hike some of the over 800 miles of beautiful trails within the Great Smoky Mountain National Park
nice little trail for beginners real easy paved the whole way. not difficult at all
Was a nice hike there and back...beautiful waterfall... worth the trip
From behind Sugarlands Center, cross the creek and begin a gradual climb with nice views in and out along the way. Keep climbing for 8.5 miles til the sign for Laurel Falls off to the right. Easy trail down to the beautiful falls, across the bridge, it is mostly paved til you reach the parking lot.
Nice hike to the falls and back. The Path was iced over in a lot of spots, but I can't complain, it was the 29th of December. I would like to do it again in the summer months.
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