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Park officials warn of waterfall dangers after heavy rains

The swift-flowing water can appear alluring but can easily sweep you off your feet.

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — With all the rain East Tennessee has seen in recent days, officials with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are warning hikers about the dangers of getting too close to swollen waterfalls.

Most are flowing with a force that can easily sweep a person off their feet. Rocks along the waterfalls are slick, and hikers can easily lose their footing,

All the park's many waterfalls are full right now, including popular Laurel Falls, one of the easier falls to reach.

Park rangers say water crossings also are more dangerous right now.

Anyone planning a hike that has a water crossing should check with the backcountry office for a safety update.