Great Smoky Mountains Natl. Park — With over 800 miles of trails filled with scenic views, wildlife and history, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a hike or drive for any kind of outdoor adventurer.
Its dozens of waterfalls and cascades are often popular spots for park visitors. While Laurel Falls and Cataract Falls draw crowds, there are plenty more to explore like the Meigs Creek Cascade.
Starting at The Sinks, the trail to the cascade is around 3.5 miles roundtrip and ranked as moderately difficult with some elevation gain early on and a few creek crossings along the way. As there are creek crossings on the trail, use caution after rainy weather.
Meigs Creek Trail continues past the falls for a roughly 6.5-mile roundtrip hike. Be sure to stop at Meigs Falls before you reach the trailhead on Little River Gorge Road.
What to expect on the trail:
Some tips before you visit:
- Let someone know where you plan to hike, when you plan to be back, what clothes you are wearing and what your car looks like.
- Wear sunscreen and bug spray.
- Dress in layers.
- Pack plenty of water and snacks.
- Take a light source with you (preferably not your phone). The park said the number one reason people have to get rescued in the park is not bringing a light.
- Keep an eye on the weather.
- Pets are not allowed on the trail.
- Be courteous to other park visitors.
- Leave the plants and wildlife alone.
- Have a backup plan if the trail is closed or too busy.
- Check on road closures at twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps.