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Abrams Falls Out and Back

Intermediate
  4.5 ( 58 ) Favorite

Trail

5.1 mile 8.2 kilometer out and back
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 550' 168 m
Descent: -550' -168 m
High: 1,735' 529 m
Low: 1,470' 448 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 21% (12°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Kristen Arendt

A great hike to Abrams Falls that the whole family will enjoy!

Kristen Arendt

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

Family Friendly A relatively easy trail with gentle grades and a manageable length make this a great option for the whole family. Be sure to stop by the nearby Cades Cover Visitor Center before or after the hike!

Overview

This hike is one of the most popular day outings in the Smokies. Abrams Falls is a destination that you won't want to miss.

Description

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

Start your hike on the Abrams Falls Trail. A short way into the trail, hikers will cross a footbridge over Abrams Creek. The hike to the Abrams Falls is fairly level the entire time with a slight overall descent as it follows along the creek. Along the way, be sure to look for rhododendron in the woods surrounding the trail. The trail heads through a scenic pine-oak forest on the ridges and hemlock and rhododendron forest along the creek.

About 2.5 miles, you'll come to Abrams Falls which are a great place to sit down and relax for a picnic. While the waterfall is only 20 feet high, it pours a huge volume of water per second into a pool roughly 100 feet wide. The long, deep pool at the base of Abrams Falls is very picturesque. Use caution near the falls, however, and do not get too close. The rocks surrounding the falls are extremely slippery due to the mist from the falls.

From Abrams Falls, hikers can choose to extend their hike past the falls towards Hannah Mountain Trail and Little Bottoms Trail, allowing the option to hike some excellent loops for those looking for a longer outing. For those who are happy with an outing to and from the falls, just retrace your steps back to the parking area to finish out this hike.

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.

As for local fauna, black bears are common in the area, along with white-tailed deer and 31 species of salamanders. Birdwatchers can also spot a variety of species along this trail.

History & Background

The waterfall and creek are named for a Cherokee chief whose village once stood several miles downstream.

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Check-Ins

Oct 5, 2019
Jenny Bennett
medium difficulty hike, some rocky and root areas.
Oct 4, 2019
Ted Taylor
Sep 1, 2019
Andrew Turner
5.1mi — 2h 00m
Aug 9, 2019
Vickie Shackelford
5mi — 1h 52m
Jul 28, 2019
Trenton Dart
Long challenging hike
Jul 21, 2019
Jonathan Kilgore
Jul 12, 2019
Corey Kronman
Good hike, but not worth the travel time going so slow in traffic 5.5mi
Jul 3, 2019
Eric Hall
5.1mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 58 votes

#1

in Cades Cove

#92

Overall
  4.5 from 58 votes
5 Star
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40%
3 Star
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Featured Hike Rankings

#1

in Cades Cove

#92

Overall
136 Views Last Month
3,725 Since Aug 4, 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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