As temperatures begin to warm up, we’re all going to be itching to get out of the house we’ve been cooped up in all winter! Although Gatlinburg is most commonly associated with the spectacular mountains that surround it, other natural wonders also call this city home. Among these are a series of waterfalls that provide proper incentive for any visitor to explore the area. Most of the falls are the culmination of a sometimes difficult hike, but are always worth it in the end. Here are just a few of the waterfalls that the Smokies have to offer:
Laurel Falls – These 80-foot tall falls get their name from the lush collection of mountain laurels that are plentiful along the trail that leads to this site. This is one of the more popular falls of the area, so be aware that visiting them is an idea that might not be as unique as you think. The trail leading to these falls is 2.6 miles round-trip, and is marked as being only moderately difficult.
Hen Wallow Falls – A relaxing walk (4.5 miles round-trip) through a forest rife with rhododendron and hemlock leads to these impressive 90-foot falls. There are even marked trails that can take you to the base of the falls.
Rainbow Falls – These 80-foot high falls are named for the rainbow that is created by the mist on sunny afternoons, and they are truly a sight to see! Also, in winter time an extraordinary ice formation forms around the falls, making this a site not to be missed.
Ramsey Cascades – With an 8-mile round-trip hike being required to reach them, these falls sport what is perhaps the most difficult path. The path makes up for its difficulty by leading you along streams and rushing rivers for much of the course. The payoff for this hike is the tallest falls in the area, as the water drops from over 100 feet in the air and is impressive to behold.
Remember to always take appropriate caution when exploring the falls of the Smokies. Never climb any of the slippery rocks that surround the sites, as fatalities and injuries have been know to occur as a result. The National Park Service has a trail map available on the waterfalls page as well as other waterfalls not mentioned above. Be sure to rent a cabin with a hot tub or Jacuzzi tub to soak your muscles once you’ve made it back from the falls safe and sound. Call our reservations line and ask about our cabins within close driving proximity to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.