If you want to clear your mind and reduce the stress then hike the Laurel Falls Trail that has a lot to offer. The trail is 3.7 kilometer long, round-trip. While it would take around 2 hours to finish the hike, many hikers prefer spending some time at the falls.
The trail is located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It has a total elevation gain of 119m. The trail is described as kid-friendly and it features Mountain laurel, rhododendron, and a waterfall.
It’s one of the most popular trails in the park and that’s why it can often be very crowded. So, to avoid heavy crowds, you should reach early in the morning or during the early evening hours. The hiking trail is paved properly, so it’s a recommended hike for families. But, despite this, you should wear proper hiking shoes and be careful throughout the hike.
The hike begins from the Fighting Creek Gap on Little River Road. To reach the trailhead, you need to travel west from the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg. The main parking lot is located on the right side and there is additional parking across the street. Finding a good parking spot could be difficult on weekends and holidays.
The ultimate destination is the 78-foot waterfall, which has an upper and lower section. Throughout the hike, you will be mesmerized by the vast greenery, and you will find several great spots to take photos.
If you bring your children, you would have to keep an eye on them. Make sure not to climb the rocks, as many people have suffered injuries and some have succumbed to death due to climbing the rocks. Bike and pets are not allowed and it’s not suitable for strollers or wheelchairs.
The whole trail is very photogenic, but if you have to take a break and take photos, the best spot is the waterfall. If you wish you can continue from there and visit the old fire tower atop Cove Mountain.