Length: 5 miles/ Difficulty: Moderately Difficult
We had one whole day in the Great Smokies, and there was a lot to see. Even with our 2 other trips in the past, we feel we haven’t even made a dent on all the sights in the park in seeing. Abrams Falls was calling me on the last trip though, and I had my heart sat on it. We arrived around 5 p.m. to the waterfall. The sign at the start of the trail was warning people the hike would take 3-4 hours. It is possible to do this hike in around 2 hours though as we found.
Cades Cove is a hopping spot in the park. For good reason since you can see a lot of animals here depending on when you go. A couple of years ago when we went we didn’t see a single animal. This year we saw deer, elk, and the BEARS. I’ve actually never seen a bear in the park till now, and we didn’t only see one but four. I suggest bringing a pair of binoculars for the best viewing. We saw tourists approaching a trio of bears way too closely. It’s a miracle there aren’t more attacks reported after we seen how close people get.
Back to the trail. The trail is 2.5 miles one way, so it makes a round trip of 5 miles. The hike was moderately difficult since there was a lot of going uphill before going downhill. The scenery was beautiful though. There were lots of wildflowers in bloom, and at one point the hike takes you over an overlook of Abrams Creek flowing through the mountains. We hiked on quite a hot day in April, so we chugged through some water. I was shocked to see that many people on the trail didn’t pack water though, even though a sign at the beginning of the trail warns there is no access to bathrooms nor fresh water.
The hike ends at 20 foot, Abrams Falls. We got there a little after 6, so the crowds had emptied a bit, so we were able to catch the waterfall for a few seconds without anyone standing beside it. It worked out perfect. The waterfall was a beautiful sight while sitting on a nearby rock to rest until it was time to go back.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is free to visit, but donations are accepted at the visitor center.