Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
675.00 ft (205.74 m)
Trail type
5.00 mi (8.05 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Located mid-way through the Cades Cove Loop, Abrams Falls Trail is by far one of the most popular trails and waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The trail begins by passing over Abrams Creek by bridge, and the beginning of the path is smooth and surrounded by rhododendrons. With the trail running beside the creek most of the time, this is an excellent place to keep an eye out for some of the park's most adorable residents, river otters. The area is also a popular spot for anglers and those looking to cool off in the stream.

Once the trail rises and turns you'll be greeted by fantastic views of the creek and wildflowers in the spring and summer. In April and May this area is covered in gay-wings and bleeding hearts on both sides of the trail. You're likely to see blooming mountain laurel, ferns and other fauna adding life to the journey as you make your way to the Abrams Falls. Abrams Falls is located 2.5 miles from the trailhead and is a very tranquil 20-foot waterfall. Tucked away in the corner with a pool underneath it, Abrams is a very popular spot to cool off in the summer for locals and tourists. Drownings have occurred at the falls due to the strong undertow. Cool off and enjoy the spot, but respect the creek and be safe in the currents.

Once you've finished with your visit to the waterfall, take a photo and then do your best to spot river otters, a bear, snakes and other Smoky Mountain friends on your way back to the parking area. Also, note that from May 10 to September 27 Cades Cove Road is closed to vehicles until 10 a.m. on Saturday and Wednesdays, so plan accordingly.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Creek. Wildflowers. Swimming hole. Waterfall.


Dangerous undertow at falls. Big crowds.

Trailhead Elevation

1,700.00 ft (518.16 m)



Typically multi-day



Nearby Adventures

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina


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