The trail to Abrams Falls is one of the most popular Smoky Mountains hikes. Get to the parking area at the western edge of Cades Cove early, and enjoy this easy-going hike before the crowds arrive! Abrams Creek and the waterfall are named after Chief Abram, leader of the Cherokees who lived at Chilhowee Village, near the mouth of Abrams Creek.
The trail follows Abrams Creek over a fairly easy course for about two and a half miles, starting at the footbridge pictured above. Midway, the trail climbs Arbutus Ridge, and from this point 200 feet above the creek, you can see how the stream makes an extreme loop through a gorge known as Big Horseshoe. The loop continues for nearly a mile, finally curving back on itself nearly to where it began, separated only by the lower end of Arbutus Ridge.
During the spring wildflower season, you will find Trailing Arbutus along this section of the trail, as well as Bleeding Hearts and Gay Wings.
At the waterfall there is a sign warning of the dangers risked by those who jump off the falls or swim near its strong currents. Apparently this didn’t stop Dutch Roth and his friends from diving off the cliffs back in the 1940s.
As always please stop in and say hello at the William Britten Gallery along the Historic Arts and Crafts Loop on Glades Rd. in Gatlinburg. My complete selection of Smoky Mountains photos, as well as mugs, notecards and magnets are all on display most days throughout the year.