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Abrams Falls Trail

Intermediate
 4.0 (15)

A scenic hike that follows Abrams Creek to a 20-foot tall high-volume waterfall.


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Map Key

4.3

Miles

7.0

KM

Point to Point

1,746' 532 m

High

1,271' 387 m

Low

310' 95 m

Up

747' 228 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

All campsites must be registered with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. (nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/…).

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park also closes secondary roads on a seasonal schedule due to snow. Schedules can be found here:
(nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/…)

Backcountry rules and regulations can be found here:
(nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/…)

Description

Just northwest of the Cades Cove Visitor Center, the trailhead for the Abrams Falls Trail is off the side of Cades Cove Loop Road, between exits 10 and 11. A gravel road leads to a large parking area near the trailhead.

This is one of many popular day trips in the Smokies. Shortly into the trail, hikers will cross a footbridge over Abrams Creek. The hike to the Abrams Falls is fairly level the entire time. Along the way, the forest and rhododendron surround the trail as it follows the creek.

The falls are a great place to sit down and relax for a picnic. While the falls are only 20' feet high, it pours a huge volume of water per second into a pool roughly 100' wide.

It's important to exercise caution near the falls and not to get too close. Don't climb on the slippery rocks or swim in the water. Backpacker Magazine listed this trail amongst the "10 most dangerous hikes in America" in 2008 (due to accidents near the falls).

Hikers can choose to hike along past the falls towards Hannah Mountain Trail and Little Bottoms Trail, allowing the option to hike some excellent loops and head back to the parking area.

Flora & Fauna

The Smokies are home to more than 1,600 species of plants, most of which produce an abundance of flowers in the spring. These species include mountain laurel, rhododendron, azalea, and many others. Spring wildflowers peak from early April through late May. To learn more about the plants of the Smokies and even get a trees and shrubs checklist, visit (nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/p…).

As for local fauna, black bears are common in the area, along with white-tailed deer and 31 species of salamanders.

Birdwatchers can spot a variety of species, notably the northern flicker (Colaptes auratus) and red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus).

For more information on black bears, refer to this webpage:
www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/black-bears.htm

Contacts

Shared By:

Max Willner

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 15 votes

#3

in Cades Cove

#6028

Overall
  4.0 from 15 votes
5 Star
27%
4 Star
53%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
7%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#3

in Cades Cove

#109

in North Carolina

#6,028

Overall
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1,304 Since Apr 13, 2016
Intermediate

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Photos

Abrams Falls.
Feb 3, 2016 near Wildwood, TN
Abrams Falls in the summer.
Jan 23, 2016 near Wildwood, TN
Cades Cove. with permission from Justin P
Aug 4, 2016 near Wildwood, TN
Rhododendron blooms as you hike the trail in June.
Jan 23, 2016 near Wildwood, TN
Abrams Falls. with permission from RAllen
Aug 4, 2016 near Wildwood, TN
Abrams Falls.
Apr 15, 2016 near Wildwood, TN

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Check-Ins

May 17, 2020
JC Rapp
Saw deer in the creek 5.2mi
Nov 8, 2019
Evan Bingham
11/8/19 hike with Mariah and Tommy to abrams falls.
Oct 20, 2019
Shaun Anon
Jul 10, 2019
Zach Anzelmo
Jun 21, 2019
Jess K
Apr 27, 2019
Brian Carpenter
The trail past the falls was very smooth and quiet. Crossing Abrams Creek at the end (Hannah Mtn) was one of the most difficult crossing to date. 4.3mi
Apr 26, 2019
Kim Scalamandre-Lee
Apr 18, 2019
Paul Vincent