July 25, 2012 in Tennessee Hiking Trails
Abrams Falls Trail
We kicked off our trip to the Smoky Mountains with a trek along the very popular Abrams Falls Trail. Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited national park in the country and this trail certainly ranks among the most crowded that we’ve hiked. While it was crowded, this moderately difficult trail led us to the impressive Abrams Falls and swimming hole.
- Scenery: 3.5
- Difficulty: 3.0
- Length: 5.0 miles
- Dog Friendly Factor: 3.0
- Convenience: 1.5
- Bonus Funtimes: 5.0
Scenery (3.5 out of 5.0): The Abrams Falls trailhead starts off at a bucolic setting along Abrams Creek. The creekside views are almost continual throughout the hike. As we hiked along the dirt path, the laurels were in bloom, which made it all the more scenic. The highest point along the trail provides a lovely view of the surrounding area.
While the rest of the trail provides some idyllic scenes, the main event comes with the arrival to Abrams Falls. While Abrams Fall is only 20′ tall, the volume of the falls is tremendous. The pool that forms at the base of the falls makes for a great swimming hole that was filled with people of all ages. If you can get around the crowds to the base of the falls there are some large boulders that are perfect for soaking up the sun and enjoying the roar of the falls.
Difficulty (3.0 out of 5.0): While the pathway is well maintained and the footing is very easy, there are a couple of good climbs during this 5 mile trek – an elevation change of about 1,800 feet. There were people of all ages on this trail – lots of kids who seemed in pretty good spirits on the way to the falls, but were definitely dragging on the ascent back up the highest ridge. While the end result of the trail is a beautiful, family friendly swimming hole, flip flops and strollers are not suggested for the 2.5 hike to get there.
Length: 5.0 miles
Dog Friendly Factor (0 out of 5.0): Dogs are not allowed on trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so the pups stayed at home this day.
Convenience (2.0 out of 5.0): The trailhead for the Abrams Falls is about 4 hours from Nashville and located at the far end of the drive through Cade’s Cove. It’s an easy drive and readily accessible, just a ways away from Middle Tennessee.
Bonus Funtimes (5.0 out of 5.0): Aside from the awesome swimming hole at the base of Abrams Falls, you will certainly find plenty of ways to be entertained while at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are dozens of campgrounds and seemingly hundreds of trails. If lazing on the river is your preference, there are plenty of tubing outfitters and a few kayaking spots.