Located just outside of the community of Hampton and off the Appalachian Trail in Pond Mountain Wilderness, access to Laurel Falls is fairly easy, making it a destination that can often be crowded, but the falls and the whole hike is still worthwhile - for there is a lot more to see along this stretch of the AT. As I mentioned, this one is popular, so I'd recommend starting out early and/or going on a weekday if possible. The tower once allowed visitors views into the surrounding mountainside of the Great Smoky Mountains but is no longer considered safe to mount. The old-growth forest here was never logged (as most forests in the area were), most likely due to the difficulty in transporting materials to and from the isolated region. Please make sure that your actions don't contribute to the death of a bear. Laurel Falls is an 80-foot (25m) multi-level waterfall. .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg")right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}"Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Plan Your Visit: Laurel Falls". Opening & closing timings, parking options, restaurants nearby or what to see on your visit to Laurel Falls Trailhead… In 2010, a bear bit a visitor on Laurel Falls Trail. The Laurel Falls Trail is the most trampled, beaten, and worn down path in the entire national park– at least to the waterfall. This waterfall trail near Gatlinburg is considered by many to be a must see. Enjoyed the falls, but it would have been better if there were less people. It’s marked well and is right off of the main parking area. Do not climb on rocks around the waterfall. When one stops to consider how wildly popular the short trail to the waterfall is, s/he may wonder whether most patrons to Laurel Falls even realize that the trail does continue on beyond the point where it is no longer paved. • Do not allow bears to approach you. At the Sugarlands Visitor Center, turn towards Cade’s Cove, and the trailhead is 3.5 miles down on the right. Fortunately, the visitor's injuries were minor, but sadly the park was forced to euthanize the bear. This is also the main road out to Cades Cove if you’re headed out that way.. Finding the trailhead is easy. Toilets at Laurel Falls trailhead. 107 Park Headquarters Road Laurel Falls is one of the most popular destinations in the park and parking at the trailhead is limited. Website. The path runs along bold streams and through thick Rhododendron tunnels. Laurel Falls Trailhead attraction travel guidebook, Sevier County must-visit attractions. Because of this the national park service has had to pave this segment trail with a dark concrete, so as to prevent further erosion of the trailside. Hikers threw their litter by the side of the trail-apple cores, candy wrappers, soda bottles. A drive from Pigeon forge to laurel Falls to see some snow.SmokyMountainHiker Merchandise: https://teespring.com/smokymountainhiker We hit the falls first before doing a nice loop up to Sunfish Pond using Garvey Springs, the … So again, your destination for google maps can be the Laurel Falls trailhead. The paved section of the path, while often very crowded, does offer a nice, gentle walk in the woods, accessible to most children, and inasmuch has been designated as a nature trail by the park service. Laurel Falls Trail. There are no bathroom facilities directly at the Laurel Falls trailhead. The easiest way to access the Laurel Falls trail is to enter the park from Gatlinburg, TN, and head towards the Sugarlands Visitor Center. Laurel Falls is just a 5-min hike from the Douglas Trail parking lot in Worthington State Forest and is a potential stop if you’re just out for a scenic drive and not looking to hike. Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}35°40′19″N 83°34′50″W / 35.6720°N 83.5805°W / 35.6720; -83.5805, Laurel Falls to Cove Mountain lookout tower, "Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Plan Your Visit: Laurel Falls", "Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Maps", Hiking information for the Cove Mountain Lookout Tower, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Laurel_Falls_Trail&oldid=977469058, Hiking trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Protected areas of Sevier County, Tennessee, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 2.6 mi (1.3 to Laurel Falls); 6.4 km (2.1 to Laurel Falls), Fighting Creek Gap, near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, inside of the, Easy (to falls); Moderate (to lookout tower). • Do not feed wildlife. Directions to Trailhead: The hike to Cove Mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains begins from Laurel Falls Trailhead at Fighting Creek Gap. Directions to Laurel Falls Trailhead From Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Check out updated best hotels & restaurants near Laurel Falls Trailhead. The Laurel Falls Trail is paved over the first 1.3 miles (2.1 km) of its course, where it runs just in front of Laurel Falls, the single most popular attraction via trail in the national park. Mile 0.7 (0.9) Reach the foot of Laurel Falls. Gatlinburg, TN Laurel Falls is one of the more popular waterfalls in the park, and the trail to this point can be a bit crowded, but the falls are worth the hike to see them. The second-growth forest is rather thick over this period, and is often decorated with a thick laurel thrush, for which the Laurel Branch and her signature waterfall are named. It goes without saying that Laurel Falls Trail is one of the most popular hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The trail crosses over the midsection of the waterfall via a bridge, as the gushing waterfall sprays mist overhead and dives into a narrow gorge below. The tantalizing smells of food enticed the bear to the area, where she found small bits of food mingled with the scent of humans. Laurel Falls Trailhead Gatlinburg TN 37738. The main parking lot for Laurel Falls will be on your right, with additional parking across the street. This multi-tier fall tumbles 80' down Laurel Branch, a heavily forested drainage on the south slope of Cove Mountain.The fall is named for mountain laurel, an evergreen shrub with prolific blooms. Laurel Falls Trail is a popular short out-and-back hike to an 80 foot waterfall. Or you can purchase a … 73 Reviews. The 55-foot Laurel Falls is one of Northeast Tennessee's most breathtaking waterfalls. Trail Notes: The roundtrip distance to the waterfall is 2.6 miles and the hike is considered moderate in difficulty. Laurel Falls Trailhead travelers' reviews, business hours, introduction, open hours. Do you want to know the entry ticket price for Laurel Falls Trailhead? Finally the day came when, in search of a handout, she bit a visitor and had to be euthanized. Once you've had your fill at the falls, head back down to the trailhead. However, Laurel Falls is a favorite haunt for the bears. Trip.com provides tourists with Laurel Falls Trailhead attraction address, business hours, brief introduction, open hours, nearby recommendation, restaurant, reviews etc. Now no longer fearful of humans-and in fact, associating them with food-she became more dangerous. A 1.3 mile hike one way to an 80 ft waterfall. Laurel Falls from Lost Falls Trailhead is a 2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Fort Payne, Alabama that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. "Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Maps". Access trail: Laurel Falls Trail Black bear sightings in the park are amazing, but you need to be safe. Some visitors may have even fed her. It is, however, one of only three remaining lookout towers in the park (not including the fire tower of Mount Cammerer), the other two being at Mount Sterling and Shuckstack. 4,077 ft (1,243 m); 1,372 m), leading past Laurel Falls, one of the most popular waterfalls in the national park, en route to the summit of Cove Mountain and the Cove Mountain fire tower. Directions to Trailhead: The hike to Laurel Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains begins from Fighting Creek Gap on Little River Road, located 3.8 miles west of the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg. • Do not approach within 50 yards or any distance that disturbs a bear. Locating the Laurel Falls Trailhead. Laurel Branch and the 80-foot high Laurel Falls are named for mountain laurel, an evergreen shrub which blooms along the trail and near the falls in May. General Information Directions: Via Hampton Blueline (#501): Directions: from Hampton follow TN-67 E/US- 321 S to Laurel Falls trailhead on right. Menu & Reservations Make Reservations . RELATED: Black Bears. When asked about how to get to Laurel Falls (a.k.a. From the trailhead at Fighting Creek Gap Road, the distance to the waterfall is 1.3 miles. It is definitely recommended that you extend your hike if you have time for a day trip up to the Cove Mountain Fire Tower. The historic lookout tower at the end of the trail is generally not considered safe to climb. Big Laurel Falls: the hike. The risk that she would attack another visitor was too great. 37738. These rocks are slippery due to mist and algae. • If you see another visitor breaking these rules, or encounter a bear on a trail, please call (865) 436-1230 or stop at a Visitor Center to report it. • Dispose of litter in bear proof garbage containers or take it home with you. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/tennessee/laurel-falls--2 Laurel Falls is one of the most popular destinations in the park and parking at the trailhead is limited. Nearby Points of Interest. Laurel Falls Trailhead: 2020 Top Things to Do in Sevier County. Laurel Fork Falls), I always recommend starting from the Dennis Cove side (described here) and hiking down to the falls.That's still not bad advice -- the Dennis Cove trail is level most of the way in and very pretty (however, the last 1/4 mile is very steep! The 55' waterfall (also known as Laurel Fork Falls) is powerful and stunning after some heavy rains. Laurel Falls is located 3.8 miles west of the Sugarlands Visitor Center in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Order Online Tickets Tickets See Availability Directions {{::location.tagLine.value.text}} Sponsored Topics. The parking area for the Laurel Falls Trailhead will be on your right. The waterfall was beautiful and definitely worth the effort. The Laurel Falls Trail extends 2.6 miles and is the longest of four paved trails in the national park. Driving to the Laurel Falls trailhead. Trailhead: From Sugarlands Visitor Center, turn toward Cades Cove on Little River Road and drive 3.5 miles to the trailhead where there are parking areas on both sides of the road. Not only is it illegal, but feeding a bear guarantees its demise! Laurel Falls Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains. The trailhead is located off Fighting Creek Gap Road inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, less than four miles (6 km) from the park headquarters at the, This page was last edited on 9 September 2020, at 01:16. Over the years, several people have fallen to their deaths and many others have suffered serious injuries from climbing on rocks near waterfalls or along the riverbanks. Pets and bicycles are prohibited on the trail. Here, the path comes to an old dirt road, which leads a few hundred yards to the Cove Mountain lookout tower. Laurel Falls, Old-growth forest, Cove Mountain lookout tower, Waterfall crossing, lookout tower unsafe to climb. The Dennis Cove AT Trailhead hike is about 3.7 miles, starts out pretty easy and flat but ends with a long stretch of stone stairs. The Laurel Falls Trailhead is moderate and about 5.5 miles. Portions of the trail have steep drop-offs. From the parking lot, you should be able to see the trailhead rather easily. Or, if you'd like more of a hike, continue up the Laurel Falls Trail to the Cove Mountain Fire Tower. It is back on the main path here that the trail ends, at a junction with the Cove Mountain Trail, which leads back down to the Sugarlands Visitor Center and the park headquarters. The elevation gain during the hike is a manageable 314 feet, which is an easy 273 feet per mile. Laurel Falls Spur Trail (from trailhead, 3.3 miles one-way to end of trail) Mile 0.0 (1.6) Split from the main trail at Mile 1.7, taking the right fork. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. But bears are wild animals and their behavior is unpredictable. The waterfall consists of an upper and a lower section, divided by a walkway which crosses the stream at the base of the upper falls. The trail has short, steep sections which can be slippery in wet weather. The trail ascends Cove Mountain (elev. If you are fortunate enough to see a bear while you are visiting the park, please remember that it's up to you to protect them. The Laurel Falls Trail is the most trampled, beaten, and worn down path in the entire national park– at least to the waterfall. Laurel Falls - 2.5 Miles Round-Trip Laurel Falls is located 3.8 miles west of Sugarlands Visitor Center in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. By leaving litter, visitors taught the bear that humans are a source of food. After all, black bears are wild animals and can be deadly. The falls have two parts, and a bridge crosses between them, offering a very close-up waterfall experience. Eventually, she began approaching people in search of food. It’s easy to negotiate with just enough ups and downs to make it interesting. Originally, the Laurel Falls Trail was built in the 1930s as an access trail for fire crews in the event a blaze broke out in the Cove Mountain area. Please read What Do I Do if I See a Bear. The trail is paved but the pavement is rough and uneven. The other trail to the falls, which starts from just north of Hampton, TN, is described here. Although much has been mentioned of how heavily trafficked the trail can be at times, the waterfall is popular for a reason: it is one of the most magnificent in the national park. Due to the steep grade and roughness of pavement, this trail is not suitable for strollers or wheelchairs. It is widely considered to be one of the best waterfall hikes in the Smoky Mountains. Closely supervise children at all times. Trail Information: From Laurel Falls Trailhead follow Hampton Blueline Trail (#501) blue blaze))* to intersection with Appalachian Trail (#1) white blaze)).Turn right (Trail south) onto AT and follow for approx 1.5 miles to the falls. Dogs are … As the hiker approaches the falls, s/he should begin to hear the roars of both tumbling waters and a host of visitors who have made the trip to the surprisingly powerful cascade. What can you do to protect bears? Sugarland Mountain Trail is across the street from the Laurel Falls Trail trailhead. To reach the trailhead from the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, drive 3.8 miles to the top of Fighting Creek Gap. The area is especially busy on weekends year-round and on weekdays during summer. Hiking to Laurel Falls! This hike can be found along the Little River Road between the Sugarlands Visitor Center and the Elkmont Campground. Learn more about pet restrictions in the park. This tower used to be a fire tower, and is only one of four remaining former fire towers in the park. Furthermore, there is a wooden post at every 0.1-mile (0.16 km), giving the many visitors who walk the 1.3 miles (2.1 km) to Laurel Falls an indicator of just how far they have to go. Furthermore, there is a wooden post at every 0.1-mile (0.16 km), giving the many visitors who walk the 1.3 miles (2.1 km) to Laurel Falls an indicator of just how far they have to go. At the 3.1-mile (5.0 km) point, the trail comes to a junction with the Little Greenbrier Trail and continues on along the crest of the Chinquapin Ridge to the top of Cove Mountain. The Big Laurel Falls Trail is the perfect “little” hike for people of almost any age. The trail continues to gain significant elevation. The nearest bathroom seems to be the Sugarlands Visitor Center, a 10 minute drive away. And you can also read the sign about the Self-Guiding Nature Trail. Access trail: Laurel Falls Trail Trailhead: From Sugarlands Visitor Center, turn toward Cades Cove on Little River Road and drive 3.5 miles to the trailhead where there are parking areas on both sides of the road. These information answers detailedly about what to visit in Sevier County. We had to park pretty far from the trailhead as the parking lot was full and both sides of the road were lined with vehicles. Past the falls is some of the beautiful, quiet hiking that the Smokies are known for. Bears pay the price for visitors' mistakes and carelessness. Over time, the bear lost her fear of humans. In fact, the trail enters into one of the most pristine forests in the national park just about a mile past the falls. Because of this the national park service has had to pave this segment trail with a dark concrete, so as to prevent further erosion of the trailside. Black bears are often active in this area! ). This 80’ cascade tumbles down Laurel Branch, a heavily forested drainage on the south slope of Cove Mountain. On an average summer afternoon, the trailhead to Laurel Falls is packed with cars. It takes about 2 hours to hike to the waterfall and back. Visitors allowed the bear to approach them too closely-perhaps to capture that perfect vacation photo of a bear, or maybe just to see how close they could get to her. The Laurel Falls Trail is an American hiking trail, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park of Sevier County, Tennessee. Laurel Falls Trailhead: Laurel Falls Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hiking Laurel Falls: Laurel Falls is one of the most frequently visited trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.The name Laurel Falls comes from the evergreen shrubs (rhododendron and mountain laurel) that grow near the trail and waterfall. And there’s quite a lot to see – and experience – in the half mile to the falls. Trail Notes: The roundtrip distance to the waterfall is 2.6 miles and the hike is considered moderate in difficulty. Carry drinking water with you. The area is especially busy on weekends year-round and on weekdays during summer. The hike begins at a trailhead located off the graveled Upper Nantahala Road (view maps and driving directions).The gravel road to the trailhead can be a bit of an adventure itself, but it’s particularly scenic in the golden hues of fall. 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