Summer brings on waterfall picnics and icy splashes in crystal clear rivers. Here is a list of favorite summer hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Ramsey Cascade Trail (8.1 miles total)
Get ready for a difficult challenge but so worth the effort. 8 miles and a steep ascent especially the last mile to the cascade. Much of the trail is cut into rock with steps that appear almost like a cathedral you are ascending. Be sure to drench yourself at the top in the small pool and relax a bit in the beauty.
Mouse Creek Falls Trail (4 miles total)
This is an easy waterfall to reach. It is just 2 miles up the trail passing Midnight Hole (best swimming hole in the mountains) at one and a half miles and continuing on another half mile to the horse hitching post on your left. The waterfall joins the river on the far side so it is easy to miss. Duck under the rhododendron to the river and see Mouse Creek Falls tumbling down almost like a base clef to the river. Great spot off trail under the river bank to hear the water rushing down as you enjoy a simple picnic. I’ve brewed tea there with my camp stove.
Hen Wallow Falls Trail (4.4 miles total)
This moderate trail beginning at Cosby Campground is a guest favorite with striking rock formations, bridges over waterways, and the last tenth of a mile descends to the base of the falls. The mossy rocks where the water streams down are easy to approach. Wading and finding a comfortable rock to lean on set up the feeling of relaxation celebrating a visit into perfect loveliness.
We recommend carrying river shoes as the rocks can be sharp for wading. Carry water. Remove anything you bring to the woods and leave no trace.
Many of our cabins are on or near waterways where you can enjoy swimming or wading.
Hopefully in our wild zones you will meet a deer or a bear or another wild creature. Cherish the wild.
Summer hikes are more populated than winter hikes. Sharing the outdoors with folks from all over the world who love nature is worth it. It is always easy to explore and find hidden places.
Enjoy summer and be sure to ask for a simple fare picnic lunch if you are staying at Creekwalk Inn in Cosby. Almond butter and local honey sandwich with a snack or two and apple keep body and soul together so you can linger a bit longer at your destination.
Come to Tennessee this summer to escape to beautiful.