Abrams Falls

Abrams Falls Trail – The Perfect Blend of Challenge and Natural Beauty

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Located in the captivating Cades Cove area, the Abrams Falls Trail unveils a stunning landscape, guiding hikers alongside a picturesque creek that culminates in the awe-inspiring 20-foot Abrams Falls. Rated as a moderate trail, this enchanting trek covers a roundtrip distance of five miles and offers an exhilarating experience for outdoor enthusiasts.

The Beginning of an Adventure

Discovering the trailhead of Abrams Falls Trail is a gateway to nature’s splendor. Enter this remarkable trail near the charming wooden bridge, tucked away at the rear of a verdant grassy field. Once across the bridge, continue along the primary trail to the left. The trail branching off to the right leads to the historic Elijah Oliver Place, a meticulously preserved homestead nestled within the serene confines of Cades Cove. As you traverse the main trail, immerse yourself in the beauty of Abrams Creek, meandering through a rich tapestry of pine-oak forests, majestic hemlocks, and vibrant foliage, including luxuriant rhododendrons. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park boasts over 1,600 flowering plants and is home to 100 native tree species, captivating nature lovers with its breathtaking diversity.

Enthralling Scenic Overlooks

Prepare to be captivated as the Abrams Falls trail treats you to a series of mesmerizing scenic overlooks. Delight in the panoramic vistas while ascending and descending the ridges along the trail. With a total elevation gain of 340 feet and a peak elevation point of 1,710 feet, this well-maintained trail offers an immersive hiking experience. While the ascents and descents accumulate to an overall elevation change of approximately 1,800 feet, the trail remains easily navigable, ensuring hikers can focus on the awe-inspiring surroundings.

Abrams Creek Falls Trail

Wildlife Encounters and Safety Precautions

As you traverse the Abrams Falls trail, keep a watchful eye on the diverse wildlife that inhabits this national park. White-tailed deer, elk, foxes, and even black bears may cross your path. However, it is vital to remember that black bears are wild animals and should never be approached. Admire these magnificent creatures from a safe distance, and refrain from feeding them or any other wildlife in the park. Black bears are particularly active during the early morning and late evening hours, adding a touch of excitement to your hike.

Abrams Creek Near Trailhead

Safety First: Caution Around the Falls

While the pool at the base of Abrams Falls may appear inviting, it is crucial to resist the temptation to swim or climb on the slippery rocks. The tremendous volume of water cascading down the cliff generates powerful currents and dangerous undertows. Tragically, in 2006, a strong swimmer lost his life after being pulled under by the undertow. It is essential to exercise caution and prioritize your safety. Backpacker Magazine has recognized the Abrams Falls Trail as one of the ten most treacherous hikes in America, attributing its ranking to incidents of drowning, lightning strikes, extreme weather, and altitude changes. Since 1971, the trail has witnessed 29 water-related fatalities, highlighting the need for vigilance and adherence to safety guidelines.

Gear Up for a Pleasant Hike

To fully enjoy your hiking experience on the Abrams Falls Trail, ensure you come prepared. Wear sturdy hiking boots equipped with ankle supports to navigate the uneven and occasionally rocky terrain. While the trail is not overly challenging, it merits its moderate rating, promising an adventure that caters to both seasoned hikers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Navigating to Abrams Falls Trail

Reaching the Abrams Falls Trail is a straightforward endeavor. Begin your journey by entering the one-way Cades Cove loop, and continue for approximately five miles. Upon crossing Abrams Creek, make a right turn onto a gravel road that meanders through a grassy field, ultimately leading to a convenient parking lot adjacent to the trailhead.

Abrams Falls Trailhead


In the heart of the captivating Cades Cove area lies the mesmerizing Abrams Falls Trail. From its humble beginnings at the wooden bridge to the grandeur of the 20-foot waterfall, this moderate hike offers a remarkable journey through nature’s wonders. Traverse the well-maintained trail, relishing the breathtaking scenery, diverse wildlife, and exhilarating vistas. Remember to prioritize safety, respecting the power of Abrams Falls and the surrounding environment. Come equipped with sturdy boots, embrace the allure of this enchanting trail, and create lasting memories amidst the captivating beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Relevant Links:

  1. For more information on the Cades Cove Trail, visit the Cades Cove Visitor Information
  2. For more information on Hiking Safety Tips
  3. For more information on Wildlife Safety Guidelines
  4. For more information on the Abrams Falls Trail, visit  SmokyMountains.com
  5. Find detailed trail maps and reviews on AllTrails.com
  6. Check out traveler reviews and ratings on TripAdvisor: Abrams Falls Trail

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