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Smoky Mountains Spring Trio - Laurel Falls to Cove Mountain

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Laurel Falls Trailhead   Hike: Smoky Mountains Spring Trio - Laurel Falls to Cove Mountain  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Thu, May 21 2020  8:30 am >> Thu, May 21 2020 12:00 pm
Registration Opens: Thu, Jan 16 2020 7:04 pm
Registration Cut Off: Wed, May 20 2020 6:00 pm
Event Duration:3 Hours 30 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D4: Moderate to Difficult
Distance:8 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:12
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 12 / 13 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Smoky Mountains Spring Trio - Laurel Falls

Part 3 of 3 of the Smoky Mountains Spring Trio

This is the third of three consecutive Smoky Mountains day hikes.  The trip leaders will be staying in downtown Gatlinburg, TN for the duration of the three hikes.  You are welcome to stay where you like and join us for one, two or all three hikes.

We will meet and start at Laurel Falls Trailhead. Please note, this is a very popular trail and parking is limited.  Please plan to arrive fifteen minutes early so we can start on time.

Day three's hike is another "not-to-miss" trail in the Smokies.  After a day at Cades Cove, we thought you might enjoy a bit of climbing.  The first half of the hike will be spent ascending, the second half - desending.  This should feel great after the flatness of the valley from the day before.  Here we will enjoy a spectacular waterfall then continue on to the firetower.

This is an out-and-back hiking trail.  There are a few lookout points, some wildflowers, colorful mushrooms and lichens along the trail. This trail is so popular the National Park Service needed to pave the first 1.3 miles leading to the falls to prevent erosion.  Most visitors only hike to the falls then return back to their cars.

The rest of the trail surface is in its natural unpaved state above the waterfall. We will continue hiking the Laurel Falls trail as we enter an old growth forest of giant tulip and hemlock trees for about a mile then hike up to near the crest of Chinquapin Ridge. At this point, the trail meets an old road, we turn left and continue for about 0.1 mile.  At this point we reach the top, our turn around point, an old fire tower at the top of the Cove Mountain.

Required Items to Bring:

Layers of clothing suitable for the season.

Good hiking boots/shoes.

Water and snacks.

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Hiking poles


Rain gear just in case

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

From Sugarlands Visitor Center, drive 3.7 miles west along Fighting Creek Gap Road to Laurel Falls Trail parking lot. Average driving time is about 8 minutes.


Smoky Mountains Spring Trio - Laurel Falls

The trip leaders will be staying in downtown Gatlinburg, TN for the duration of the three hikes.  You are welcome to stay where you like and join for one, two or all three hikes.

There are lots of lodging options in Gatlinburg and the surrounding area. Please make your reservations as soon as possible for the best pricing and accommodations.

This is not an AOC paid event.  All costs (transportation, lodging, meals and drinks) are paid by members on their own.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

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