Hiking Project Logo

blue Abrams Falls Trail

Trail

4.3 mile 7.0 kilometer point to point
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 310' 95 m
Descent: -747' -228 m
High: 1,746' 532 m
Low: 1,271' 387 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)

Dogs

No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Max Willner

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

Max Willner

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

Rate This Trail

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In

Check-Ins

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 18, 2019
Paul Vincent
Oct 26, 2018
Corvus T
college actually
Aug 24, 2018
Scott Gaskin
Aug 23, 2018
Scott Gaskin
hard steep climbs leave early to get a good start! lots of people
Jul 14, 2018
Mike Matthews
Jun 19, 2018
Crystal Burchfield

Stewarded By


Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 8 votes

#4

in Cades Cove

#6147

Overall
  4.1 from 8 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
63%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#4

in Cades Cove

#115

in North Carolina

#6,147

Overall
23 Views Last Month
959 Since Apr 13, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate

25%
13%
50%
0%
13%
0%

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking