Sunday, April 1, 2012

Abrams Falls Hike

Saturday we hiked 2.5 miles each way to see Abrams Falls.  There’s been a lot of rain this spring in the Smokies and the rivers, creeks, and waterfalls are full of water.  We figured Abrams was a good place to see what all this water looks like.  We were not disappointed.
Foot bridge at the beginning of our hike
Abrams Falls Trail is almost at the back of Cades Cove Loop Road not far from the Visitor Center.  There is a short gravel road to the right off the main loop road which leads to a large parking lot at the trailhead.  Since we were last here, there has been a bathroom installed.  It’s a pit toilet, but very clean and well stocked with tissue.
Catesby Trillium
The trail begins by crossing the footbridge over Abrams Creek.  This is a popular hike and the trail is wide and well worn.  There are rocks and roots to watch out for and, since it rained heavily Friday night, there were several muddy spots to step over, around, or through.

The trail follows Abrams Creek all the way to the falls.  The creek can be seen and heard as the trail rises far above the water and then drops back down to creek level again.  There are 4 stream crossings, but all were on foot bridges.

About half way to the falls, we passed an area which had damage from recent tornadoes.  Many trees have been lost in this quarter mile section which was sad to see.  The trail has been cleared so there was no problems with blowdowns.  It was in this section that we saw so many Bleeding Hearts and large patches of star chickweed.
Bleeding Hearts
Speaking of wildflowers we saw many besides Bleeding Hearts and Star Chickweed--Polygala, Catesby Trillium, Wood Betony, white, yellow, and purple violets, Bluets, and many we didn’t recognize.

Abrams Falls was spectacular.  More water rushing over than I’ve ever seen.  (I think this is my 4th hike to the falls.)  We found a rock with a good view for our lunch spot and sat back just enjoying the beauty of the place and the day.
Abrams Falls
We retraced our step coming back stopping occasionally to admire the flowers and the view one more time.
Star Chickweed
There were plenty of folks out for that same walk today.  We probably saw close to a hundred people.  If you’re looking for solitude, this might not be the trail of choice.
Wood Betony
Our next hike will be Tuesday--Gregory Bald.
That’s all for today.  Thanks for tagging along.


  1. I wonder if there will be any wildflowers left by the time I get there.

    A question for you: why does Gene wear gloves when hiking?

    Nice shot of the Polygala with the rain drops on it.

  2. that 'bridge' looks like fun! least there is a handrail!

  3. What a great looking hike - terrific photos!