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A steady climb through the forest along Gabes Mountain Trail to the 90-foot, cascading Hen Wallow Falls.

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Out and Back

2,874' 876 m


2,198' 670 m


855' 261 m


855' 260 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (14°)

Dogs No Dogs

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


This moderately challenging hike is 4.5 miles round trip, climbing steadily to the falls before heading back down. The falls themselves are spectacular, as are the numerous, mossy creek crossings and the old-growth forest. While Hen Wallow Falls may be a little lesser-known than other waterfalls in the park, they're stunning year-round and totally worth the trek!

Need to Know

Bears are known to frequent this area—check the NPS bear guidelines before setting out so you know what to do if you encounter wildlife: nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/b…


Gabes Mountain Trail begins from Gabes Mountain Trail. From the park entrance outside of Cosby, it's 2.0 miles along Cosby Entrance Road to reach the Cosby Picnic Area where there's parking for hikers. From the parking, head to the trailhead (which is on the opposite side of the road from the parking lot) and begin up Gabes Mountain Trail.

The trail switchbacks steadily up the mountainside, ascending at a fairly consistent rate—you'll gain over 800ft climbing to the falls. It's well-marked, easy to follow, and other than a couple of social trails branching off occasionally, there aren't any major trail intersections prior to the waterfall access trail.

At just over 2.0 miles, you'll reach the signed junction with the Hen Wallow Falls Connector. Descend this short, steep spur trail to the foot of the falls. Enjoy the cascade (but only from the bottom—do NOT climb the rock face as it is slippery and could result in a dangerous fall!!), look for salamanders in the pool at the base, and, when you've had your fill, clamber back up the spur trail to Gabes Mountain Trail and proceed back down to the trailhead.

Footing along this trail can be tricky at times as there are loose rocks, abundant roots, and multiple narrow bridges that can get slippery when wet. Accessible year-round, the falls are flowing most spectacularly after rainfall and they can form beautiful ice formations in the winter—but watch your footing when the trail is wet or icy!

Flora & Fauna

The typical, lush, Great Smoky Mountains fare - rhododendron, ferns, eastern hemlocks, and yellow poplars. The rhododendrons bloom spectacularly around mid-summer. Salamanders are common in the creeks, and bears do frequent the area.


Shared By:

Amber Scott

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 13 votes


in Cosby


  4.5 from 13 votes
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in Cosby


9 Views Last Month
940 Since Mar 16, 2020
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Hen Wallow Falls - courtesy of the National Park Service.
Aug 4, 2016 near Newport, TN
Bridge crossing on the way to Hen Wallow Falls.
May 3, 2017 near Newport, TN
Hen Wallow Falls on a cold winter day after a week of below freezing temperatures. It's beautiful when covered in ice.
Jan 7, 2023 near Newport, TN
Hen Wallow Falls after a good rain.
May 3, 2017 near Newport, TN
First foggy hike for us. Very creepy as we literally only saw one person on the trail. But, there was cell signal at the falls! Facebook live!
Mar 17, 2018 near Newport, TN



Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Oct 26, 2023
with boys
May 30, 2023
John Urh
Jan 20, 2023
Lara Verbecken
Dec 29, 2022
David Hitchcock
Falls were frozen due to recent snow storms and below freezing temperatures for a week.
Oct 22, 2022
Joshua Astin
Oct 15, 2022
David Carlson
Nice and relaxing all up hill till branch off for the falls lots of exposed roots along the way
Sep 14, 2022
Michael Day
Jul 23, 2022
Julie Ibanez
2h 30m

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