Maggie Valley NC Hotel - Lodging in the Smoky Mountains at the Abbey Inn Motel

HIKING and WALKING IN THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

hotel motel in Maggie Valley in the Smoky Mountains near the Blue Ridge Parkway

   With so many options, the Smokies offer a tremendous number of hiking opportunities. Mentioned below are a few of the most popular and/or exciting destinations:
   Alum Cave Trail. This is a 4.4 mile roundtrip hike, rated moderate. It includes Arch Rock, a natural arch, Inspiration
Point, and the Alum Cave Bluff. Inspiration Point offers a spectacular view of the West Prong of the Little Pigeon
River's upper basin. The bluff resulted from Confederate mining of saltpeter during the Civil War. This trail continues  to Mt. LeConte, and its beautiful viewpoints. Roundtrip distance from the parking are to LeConte is 10 miles.
   Chimney Tops. This is a 4 mile roundtrip hike, rated strenuous. It is a steep climb to two rock spires 4,755 feet in
elevation. From the top they provide a spectacular 360-degree view.
   Andrews Bald. A 3.6 mile roundtrip hike, rated moderate. This hike heads downslope to a bald. Excellent views open
to the south, toward Fontana Lake, and in spring the azalea explode with color. This trail head is not accessible by car
from 12/1 to 4/1.
  Charlies Bunion. An 8 mile roundtrip, rated moderate. Following the Appalachian Trail, this hike goes out to rocky
crags along the State-line ridge. It has excellent views.

HIKES TO WATERFALLS

Waterfalls adorn most every stream in the Smokies. Only one waterfall, Meigs Falls, is visible from the road. It is 12.9 miles west of the Sugarlands Visitor Center, near the Townsend Wye. All others require hiking, and range from easy to strenuous. Below is a listing of the Smokies best known falls:

Laurel Falls is the easiest waterfall hike on the Tennessee side of the park. It is 2.5 miles roundtrip, and follows a paved trail.  The trail cuts through the middle of a series of cascades. Laurel Falls is 60 feet high.  The trailhead is marked, and can be found between the Surgarlands Visitors' Center and Elkmont Campground on Little River Road.


Grotto Falls is off the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. It is 2.4 miles roundtrip though a hemlock dominated forest. Grotto Falls is distinctive as the only waterfall in the park one can walk behind.

Chasteen Creek Falls is a 4-mile roundtrip hike out of the Smokemont Campground. A small, but graceful fall, this area makes a good moderate hike.

Rainbow Falls, at 80 feet, is the highest single plunge water takes in the park. It is a 5.5-mile roundtrip hike. It is rated between moderate and strenuous. This trail makes a good challenge and reveals a beautiful fall.

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Great Smokies
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cataloochee valley

Indian Creek Falls is a 1.5 mile roundtrip hike out of the Deep Creek Area. Sliding down 35 feet of sloping rock strata, the water livens and cools the air. Along the route is Toms Branch Falls, another a beautiful fall.

Henwallow Falls is near Cosby Campground, south of Cosby, Tennessee. It is a 4.4 mile roundtrip along a moderate trail. This 45-foot fall receives less visitation than many other area falls.

Abrams Falls is a 5-mile roundtrip hike. The trail begins in the back of Cades Cove loop road and is a moderate hike. Abrams Falls has the largest water volume of any park fall, and is among the most photogenic.

Ramsay Cascades is a strenuous 8-mile roundtrip hike. The trailhead begins in the Greenbrier Area. A magnificent scene, Ramsay Cascades tumbles over 100 feet among a spectacular setting.

WALKS IN THE PARK, EASY TO MODERATE

Rich Mountain Loop is an 8 mile moderate difficulty walk.  park in the large parking area at the start of Cades Cove Loop Road.  The trail starts across the road fromthe parking area. just past the barricade. Follow the Rich Mountain Loop trailto Indian Grave Gap Trailand continue onto Crooked Arm Ridge Trail.

Smokemont Loop is 5.7 miles long and moderate in difficulty. Park in the designated hikers parking area in Smokemont Campground.  Walkto the Bradley Fork trailhead in D-Loop and follow Bradley Fork Trail to Smokemont Loop Trail.  The loop returns you to Smokemont Campground.

Cucumber Gap Loop is a 5.1 mile easy walk.  Park near the barricade at the start of Little River Trail above Elkmont Campground.  Follow Little River Trail to Cucumber Gap Trail and continue oto Jakes Creek Trail down to the old cabins and walk the road back to your vehicle

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Graveyard Fields Falls is one of many waterfalls to be found on the Blue Ridge Parkway and the area surrounding it. Looking Glass Falls is on Hwy. 276 just off the Parkway and is very easily accessible. Laurel Falls in on off Little River Road on the way to Cades Cove, and can be reached by a mile long paved hike. Every one of them is worth the trip.

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