|Must-Do Hikes in Great Smoky Mountains|
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America's most visited park, and for good reason. If you've ever been there, you'll know that it's one of the most scenic spots in the entire country and offers an unrivalled number of beautiful and well-established trails. If you're going for the first time, it's hard to decide which trails are worth your time. These are a few that are considered "must-do."
With a trailhead tucked five miles into the scenic Cades Cove Loop, the trail to Abram Falls is arguably one of the most scenic hikes in the park and Abram Falls themselves are likley the most spectacular falls in the Smoky Mountains.
It's a moderate hike that takes about 3 or 4 hours and it will lead you past creeks and forests as you wind ever closer to the picturesque falls. Though the falls are only 20 feet high, the sheer volume of water that the falls carry makes it feel like a larger waterfall than it really is.
For some of the best views anywhere in the park, hike out to Clingmans Dome. It resides at the highest point of the Great Smoky Mountains and adds to that height with its own. Providing stunning 360 degree views, Clingmans Dome is reached by hiking half a mile from the parking area. After you soak in the view, you can embark on any number of other trails that have their genesis there. The famed Appalachian Trail crosses Clingmans Dome as well.
This challenging 8 miles hike leads you through old growth forests to the tallest waterfall in the park. Ramsey Cascades are multi-tiered and over 100 feet tall. The trees in the area are also taller than average. Along the way, you'll encounter multiple smaller falls and pools of water and even cross a narrow footbridge.
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