9. Laurel Falls
Laurel Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and for good reason. It's a relatively easy hike, and the falls are absolutely stunning. The trail is paved for the first half, and then it becomes more natural. It's important to wear sturdy shoes, as the trail can be slippery in some places.
The hike to Laurel Falls is 2.6 miles round trip, and it takes about an hour to complete. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow. You'll pass through a beautiful forest of oak, maple, and rhododendron trees. As you get closer to the falls, you'll start to hear the roar of the water.
When you finally reach Laurel Falls, you'll be amazed by its beauty. The falls are 80 feet tall, and they cascade down a rocky cliff into a pool below. You can take a dip in the pool if you're feeling brave, but be careful, as the water is cold!
Here are some additional tips for planning your hike to Laurel Falls:
- The best time to visit Laurel Falls is during the spring or fall, when the weather is mild. The falls can be crowded during the summer months, so it's best to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks, as there are no facilities on the trail.
- Wear sturdy shoes with good traction, as the trail can be slippery in some places.
- Be aware of your surroundings and watch out for wildlife, such as bears and snakes.
- If you're planning on swimming in the pool at the bottom of the falls, be careful, as the water is cold and there are rocks in the bottom of the pool.
Overall, Laurel Falls is a beautiful and easy-to-hike waterfall that's perfect for people of all ages and fitness levels. If you're visiting Gatlinburg, be sure to add Laurel Falls to your itinerary!