Friday, July 17, 2015

Great Smoky Mountain Hike - Abrams Falls

Recently we were on vacation visiting my in-laws in Tennessee.  One day my husband and I went on a hike to Abrams Falls in Cades Cove.  Every time we hike at home he laments the lack of shade on the trails.  Now I understand why!  This trail was shaded nearly the entire length.  It was fairly challenging but the lower altitude (1,710 ft at it's highest versus the upwards of 10,000 ft we normally end up hiking) made up for the challenge.  The elevation gain was only about 350 ft but you did those feet in a couple fairly steep runs.

The falls themselves were wonderful and unfortunately the picture does not do them justice.  They are only about 20 ft in height but the volume of water is impressive.  At the base of the falls is a nice pool of water that my husband says gets very busy later in the day with swimmers.  As we were coming down the trail back to our car we saw quite a few folks going up with their swimming gear.

I'm really glad we did the hike early in the day like we did.  The combination of heat and humidity sapped me!  I did not plan well and ran out of water with about a mile still to go.  I was definitely glad another bottle of water was waiting when we got back to the car!  We saw lots of deer and even a couple bears.  Unfortunately my deer pictures did not turn out very well and the bear were way too far away for my iPhone to capture them.

It was a good workout and I definitely recommend this hike if you find yourself in the Smokies.  It took us about 3 hours and that included spending about 20 minutes at the falls.  I would also recommend some hiking poles if you have knee issues like I do.  It was very helpful to be able to take some pressure off those old knees on those elevation gain/loss areas.  I would also recommend you spend some time exploring the rest of this wonderful area.  The history here is amazing!  Check this out for further reading on Cades Cove:

Here are some choice pics from the hike:

Beautiful drive into the cove
And this friends is why they are called the Smokies!
We did the 2.5 mile hike to the left - so sad that dogs aren't allowed :-(
Beautiful foot bridge at the beginning of the hike - I better not get used to this sort of luxury!

Stream under the footbridge - very serene
This is what most of the trail looked like - you did have to be careful though
because there were rocks and trees roots everywhere

Lovely trees!!

And here is where I wished there were more luxurious foot bridges
like the one in the beginning - I'm a serious scaredy cat on these things!!

Unfortunately the falls have proven deadly to swimmers who tried to
swim too close and were sucked under by the current
Unfortunately I forgot my Garmin so I had to rely
on my iPhone Health App for this information

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