Like many of the National Parks, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a tremendous amount of great hiking trails to explore. On a late winter afternoon, I started up the Laurel Falls Trail. This is an easy day hike of only 2.5 miles round trip.

The trail goes up into the mountains on a steady ascent while passing through several different micro-climates. The trail is easy to navigate over a thin layer of asphalt. At one point, a small stream passes over the trail giving you the opportunity to get your feet wet.

Soon you reach an elevation allowing for majestic views of the surrounding mountains and you can see the Laurel Branch stream down below flowing towards the valley.

The trail ends right in the middle of the two stage 70 foot waterfall where you cross over a wooden bridge with views of the falls both up and down. This proved to be a popular place for hikers to stop and have an impromptu lunch or snack as they enjoyed the waterfall. After taking a few pictures, I turned back and headed towards the trailhead where I chatted with a couple about some of our favorite hikes out west.

This is a quick and enjoyable hike, I recommend it during your next visit to the Great Smoky Mountains. Thanks for reading. rk

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