Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on May 29, 2018
Hopefully, you'll find some time to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park on your next trip to East Tennessee. Spread out across two different states, the park offers a beautiful and scenic way to enjoy some of your favorite outdoor activities, including fishing, camping, swimming, biking and touring historic sites.
Of course, hiking is one of the most popular things to do in the park. There are dozens of hiking trails in the Smokies, adding up to more than 800 miles in total length. And in summer, we recommend that you try to make at least one of your hikes a waterfall destination. They're fun to look at, and on those warmer summer days, they'll help keep you cool at the same time.
This week, we thought we'd share a few suggestions for waterfall hikes that are worth your time.
You'll find the trailhead for this five-mile, round-trip hike about halfway around the Cades Cove motor loop, at stop #10. The falls themselves are only about 20 feet in height, but their volume and powerful cascades of water plunging into a peaceful pool below have long made it a visitor favorite. This is a moderate hike that usually takes three to four hours to complete round-trip. The terrain is moderately rolling, but there aren't any significantly steep sections to slow you down.
To get to these falls, you'll want to head east on Historic Nature Trail from traffic light #8 in downtown Gatlinburg. From there, you go into the national park and onto the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. You'll find the Trillium Gap Trail trailhead at stop #5 on the motor loop. The three-mile round-trip trek will take you through old-growth hemlock forest until you get to the 25-foot-high waterfall. You can even follow the trail behind the falls to get up-close views and some cool spray. Allow two to three hours total for this moderate hike.
Hen Wallow Falls
This is a really impressive spectacle, located in the Cosby section of the national park. Travel to the Cosby picnic area, and then you'll find the trailhead about 100 yards from the parking area. From there, you follow Gabes Mountain Trail a little over two miles to the falls, which tower some 90 feet overhead. The water drops from a narrow creek at the top to a 20-foot-wide cascade below. The hike is moderate and takes three to four hours.
This waterfall gets its name from the rainbow effect produced by waters plunging from 80 feet overhead. The round-trip hike is 5.4 miles and is also moderately difficult. Allow three to five hours to complete it. Like Grotto Falls above, this one starts in the Roaring Fork community, and the trailhead is just past the Noah “Bud” Ogle homestead. You'll see a sign for the Rainbow Falls parking area.
This is the tallest waterfall in the park, measuring 100 feet from top to bottom. You start by driving six miles east of Gatlinburg on U.S. Hwy. 321 and turning in at the Greenbrier entrance to the national park. Drive 4.7 miles to the trailhead. The hike is eight miles round-trip, and because the trail gains 2,000 feet in elevation, it's considered a strenuous hike. But the payoff is worth it.
We hope that your next visit to the Smokies also includes some time ziplining at our Gatlinburg attraction. We have plenty of beautiful natural sights to see here as well, so don't forget to make Smoky Mountain Ziplines part of your vacation travel plans.