10. Cataract Falls
Behind the Sugarland, Ranger Station is Cataract Falls, a minor waterfall that makes a perfect stay for families with little kids. If you park near the ranger station (rather than at the Sugarlands Visitor Center), the falls are only a.1-mile walk through dense hemlock forests.
Cataract Falls is a beautiful and easy-to-reach waterfall located just two miles from downtown Gatlinburg. The trail to the falls is paved and wheelchair accessible, making it a great option for families with young children or visitors with mobility issues.
The hike to Cataract Falls is only 0.6 miles round trip, and it takes about 30 minutes to complete. The trail winds through a lush forest and offers several scenic overlooks along the way.
At the end of the trail, visitors are greeted by the stunning sight of Cataract Falls cascading down a rocky cliff face. The falls are 25 feet high and drop into a small pool below. Visitors can take a dip in the pool on hot days, or simply relax on the rocks and enjoy the view.
Cataract Falls is a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, and photography. It is also a great place to simply relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Here are some additional details about Cataract Falls:
- The falls are named after their resemblance to a cataract, or waterfall.
- The water that feeds Cataract Falls originates in the Roaring Fork River, which is a tributary of the Little Pigeon River.
- The falls are located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is one of the most popular national parks in the United States.
- Cataract Falls is a popular destination for hikers of all ages and skill levels.
- The falls are also a popular spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts.
Here are some tips for visiting Cataract Falls:
- The best time to visit Cataract Falls is during the spring or fall, when the weather is mild.
- Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing, as the trail to the falls can be rocky and uneven.
- Bring water and snacks, especially if you plan on hiking to the falls during the summer months.
- Be aware that the falls can be crowded, especially on weekends and holidays.
- Leave no trace. Pack out all of your trash and respect the natural environment.