Are you looking for a new hobby? Hiking is one of the healthiest and most enjoyable pastimes you can opt for. Not only is it a wonderful opportunity for you to exercise, but it gives you a great chance to appreciate Mother Nature in all her glory. A hike that culminates in a scenic waterfall makes the experience even more memorable. Here are several hiking trails with waterfalls around Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which will take your breath away.
The Ramsey Cascade is the largest and one of the most magnificent waterfalls in the park. It is also the highest falls that can be reached by means of a trail. It is found on the Ramsey Cascades Trail. The hike to the waterfall is considered strenuous because it is 4 miles long; it is not for the faint-hearted. The water flows down 100 feet amid rock outcrops to a small, salamander-filled pool. If you visit it in May, you will be enchanted by the blooming wildflowers along the paths.
Named after a beautiful evergreen shrub, the mountain laurel, that grows along the path. The paved trail is quite easy, and stroller, walker and wheelchair-friendly so you can bring your child or a sick relative for some fresh air. The 2.6-mile round trip will not tire you out. The cascade is 80 feet high and is one of the most popular to tourists. The spot is perfect for taking memorable photos, especially early in the morning.
A hike through pine and rhododendron forest leads to this 20-foot high feature. Despite its small height, Abrams Falls boasts a stunning amount of water flow and a long, deep pool at its bottom. A 5-mile trip will take you there and back. The creek and falls are named after a chief who once lived downstream. Swimming in the pool is highly restricted due to its depth and the strength of the current. Many wayward hikers have drowned in the seemingly harmless poll.
Follow the Tirillium Gap trail through a hemlock forest and behind the Grotto Falls. The trail allows you a view of the curtain of water from behind as it comes crashing down into the pool from 25 feet above. The cool and misty environment creates an ideal environment for breeding of salamanders and summer hiking. The trip is 3 miles and of moderate difficulty.
Juney Whank Falls
A very short 0.4-mile hike takes you to this unique falls. It has two sections, which are a total of 90 feet high and can be viewed from a footbridge that traverses the Juney Whank Branch at the falls. It is named after a man who is supposedly buried in the area, a Mr. Junaluska Whank.
Mouse Creek Falls
Mouse Creek Falls can be reached by following Big Creek Trail. 1.4 Miles along the trail, you can stop to see Midnight Hole, a deep, picturesque pool. 2.1 miles along the path, take the branching trail to a bench, where you can relax and enjoy the view of the 45-inch high falls.
Named after the impressive rainbow that forms at its top on sunny afternoons, this magnificent waterfall is found on the Rainbow Falls Trail. During winter cold spells, the ice forms breathtaking features on the falls. The hike is 5.4 miles long for a round trip. If you are still up to the task, you can follow the trail for a further 4 miles to the top of Mt. Le Conte and add one more item to your list of hiking achievements.
Indian Creek Falls
If you choose to follow the Deep Creek Trail, you will get the chance to see two lovely waterfalls in one hike. It is not even a daunting task; a mere 1.6 miles will see you there and back. Just follow the Deep Creek trail to where it meets the Indian Creek Trail. From there you can view the Tom Branch Falls on Deep Creek’s far edge. Proceed on Indian Creek Trail to the falls, which are 25 feet high.
Hen Wallow Falls
Located on the Gabes Mountain Trail, the falls is a superb 90-foot high work of art. The trail has signs and leads to the falls’ base by means of steep switchbacks. The creek is rather narrow at the top, only 2 feet wide, but spreads out to about 20 feet at the bottom. During winter, the water freezes into a beautiful column. To the keen eye, colorful salamanders are visible on the sides of the pool at the bottom of the falls. The trail continues from the falls into an old-growth forest. The 4.4-mile round trip is considered to be fair in difficulty.
Mingo Falls is located outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. It is a whopping 120 feet high, making it one of the most magnificent hiking trails with waterfalls of them all. It is celebrated as the tallest waterfalls in the Southern Appalachians. A moderate 0.4-mile hike along the Pigeon Creek trail will take you to the waterfall. Despite being located on a reservation, there are no special permissions required to gain access to the trail or to visit the falls.
Gatlinburg has a lot more to offer in terms of hiking trails with waterfalls such as the: Cataract Falls, Husky Branch Falls, Roaring Fork Falls, Baskins Creek Falls and so much more. It is pretty much the place to be if you are looking to try out new territories.
When hiking, do not forget to follow safety procedures, they are for your own protection. Always stick to the trail to avoid injuring yourself or getting lost. It is very hard a lost if they wandered off the trail.
Finally, do not forget to take lots of pictures and videos to eternalize the memories. Most of all make sure that you enjoy all that nature has to offer.