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Laurel Falls Trail

 3.8 (17)
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Map Key

Length


4.1 Miles 6.6 Kilometers


1,759' 536 m

Ascent

-32' -10 m

Descent

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

4,017' 1,224 m

High

2,290' 698 m

Low

Shared By David Hitchcock

Conditions


Unknown

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An extremely popular trail to Laurel Falls, but a quiet climb to the Cove Mountain Fire Tower.

David Hitchcock

Dogs No Dogs

Features Waterfall

Family Friendly The first 1.1 miles of the trail are paved, with a moderate climb. Due to steep drop offs at the end of the trail, its a good idea to keep a close eye on children during the hike.

Closed when the Little River Road is closed from the Townsend Y to Sugarlands Visitor Center. For park road conditions, information can be found at twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps or by calling (865) 436-1200 and dialing extension 2, 2.

Description

From the Sugarlands Visitor Center, go 3.8 miles on the Little River Road. The main parking lot for Laurel Falls is on both sides of the road at the trailhead, with additional parking in lots on either side of the gap. From the Townsend "Y" intersection, take the Little River Road 13.7 miles to the Laurel Falls Trailhead.

The first portion of the Laurel Falls Trail is one of the most popular hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park due to it being paved, having only 300 feet of elevation gain, and a rewarding view of 80 foot Laurel Falls 1.1 miles into the trail. However, once you pass the falls, you have a relatively quiet hike in the woods to the top of Cove Mountain, where there is an old fire tower with limited views into Wears Valley, an area outside of the park.

As you start from the parking lot, follow the paved trail to Laurel Falls, an 80 foot waterfall that offers great photo opportunities, despite the number of people who will probably be there. Once you have taken all of your photos, continue on the trail up the hill. This is the beginning of your 2.9 mile climb to the top of Cove Mountain. You'll wind through a quiet forest, some areas which were not heavily logged by the various lumber companies in the early 1900s. About three miles into the trail, you'll find the intersection of the Little Greenbrier Trail, which you can take down to the Little Greenbrier School and Metcalf Bottoms via the Little Brier Gap Trail.

Continuing on the Laurel Falls Trail for another 0.9 miles, you end up at the intersection of the Cove Mountain Trail. You can turn right and take the 8.5 mile trail to Sugarlands Visitor Center or go left up the hill to the Cove Mountain Fire Tower. It's a great place to grab lunch before taking the Cove Mountain Trail or returning to your car via the path you came.

Flora & Fauna

Mountain laurel around the falls.

Contacts

You & This Trail


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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Nov 21, 2019
Korey Raymond
Mar 8, 2019
Charlie Nichols
3.2mi
Mar 7, 2019
Bonnie Kernan
Dave waited in the car while I hiked the rrail to the falls. Took some really cool pics. 4mi
Mar 1, 2019
Thomas Mcadorey
4.1mi
Feb 21, 2019
Jaime Watzlavik Hebert
Jan 6, 2019
Halle Coate
4mi
Jan 5, 2019
Halle Coate
Nov 20, 2018
Cody Gartman
Falls and back only 2.7mi

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 17 votes

#3

in Elkmont

#5045

Overall
  3.8 from 17 votes
5 Star
24%
4 Star
35%
3 Star
35%
2 Star
6%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#3

in Elkmont

#5,045

Overall
110 Views Last Month
1,477 Since Sep 4, 2015
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

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