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Laurel Falls Trail

 3.8 (13)

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


All Clear 7 days ago
Mostly Dry History

Getting forecast...

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


Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Nov 20, 2018
Cody Gartman
Falls and back only 2.7mi
Oct 20, 2018
Connor Greene
Oct 17, 2018
Bryan Younger
Oct 16, 2018
Tim Redel
To Laurel Falls and back. 2.5mi
Sep 20, 2018
Kelsey S
Jul 28, 2018
Jeff S
Jul 18, 2018
Ian A
5.2mi
Jul 16, 2018
Bryan Hale
Have done trail twice. Falls are beautiflul, but very crowded. Falls are seen in two distinct sections: the upper along trail, and the lower which…

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 13 votes

#3

in Elkmont

#5571

Overall
  3.8 from 13 votes
5 Star
23%
4 Star
38%
3 Star
38%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#3

in Elkmont

#5,571

Overall
55 Views Last Month
1,165 Since Sep 4, 2015
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

29%
57%
14%
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