Hiking the Abrams Falls Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains

July 25, 2018

The Abrams Falls Trail is one of the most scenic trails you can hike in the Great Smoky Mountains! Not only will you get to see a breathtaking waterfall, but there is also the opportunity to admire wildflowers and spot your favorite wildlife. Find out everything you need to know about the Abrams Falls Trail in the Smoky Mountains.

Round Trip Length 5 Miles
Elevation Gain 340 Feet
Trail Highlights Waterfall


To get to the Abrams Falls Trailhead, drive 4.8 miles along Cades Cove Loop Road. After crossing Abrams Creek, turn right onto a gravel road. After another .4 miles, you will be at a large parking area with signs that mark the trailhead.

Trail Description

Abrams Falls Trail in Smoky MountainsAbrams Falls Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains! It is named after Chief Abram, a historic leader of the Cherokee Nation whose village once thrived several miles downstream. To begin your hike, you’ll cross a footbridge at the trailhead, then take a left to go toward the waterfall. The trail follows Abrams Creek, a tributary of the Little Tennessee River, and runs through a pine-oak forest on the ridges and a hemlock and rhododendron forest along the creek. At about 2.5 miles, you will reach the short side trail that leads to the waterfall. Here, you will turn left and cross a footbridge to reach a large area where you can admire Abrams Falls.

Standing at only 20 feet high, Abrams Falls is definitely not one of the tallest in the Smoky Mountains. However, the large volume of water rushing over the falls makes up for its lack of height. It is the most voluminous waterfall in the park. The water collects in a long, deep pool at its base, which creates a picture-perfect scene.

The hike to Abrams Falls and back is considered moderate in difficulty. It can be challenging because of the ridges that are ascended and descended and its rocky terrain, but the gorgeous views make the hike well worth it. You will even have the chance to see a number of different wildlife along the trail, including white-tail deer, fox and black bears. Make sure you bring your camera with you when you come to capture all the incredible sights!

Trail Map

Use the Abrams Falls Trail map below to enjoy a gorgeous hike to the 20-foot waterfall!

Tips for Visiting

If it’s your first time hiking Abrams Falls Trail, keep these tips in mind:

  • Do NOT swim in the pool at the base of the falls. Though it may look inviting, the volume of the waterfall creates strong currents and dangerous undertows.
  • Bring water with you to stay hydrated.
  • Wear sturdy hiking shoes. Parts of the trail are rocky, and no sandals are flip-flops are allowed.
  • Keep in mind it takes 3-4 hours to hike to the waterfall and back, so leave early enough that you aren’t returning in the dark.
  • Black bears are active in this area, so stay alert and remain at least 50 yards away from the bears. They are most active in the early morning and late evening hours.

Abrams Falls is an amazing scenic hike in the Smoky Mountains! If you’re looking for a hike full of everything from a waterfall to wildflowers, then this is the trail for you. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready for a great outdoor adventure! For a list of popular waterfall hikes, read our blog, “6 Best Hiking Trails in the Smoky Mountains National Park with Waterfalls.”