The Great Smoky Mountains National Park brings in millions of visitors every year. When you see the expansive wooded views and stunning mountains in the distance, it’s easy to see why! One of the most popular natural phenomena people want to experience while visiting the Smokies are waterfalls. From massive falls to trickling cascades, these features are all beautiful and worth experiencing in person. So when you want to take your kids along for the ride, you need easy trails that show off all the cool things to see without wearing them out! Here are 6 family friendly Smoky Mountain waterfall hikes you don’t want to miss!
1. Place of a Thousand Drips
If you want to spot a roadside waterfall, the Place of a Thousand Drips is the perfect destination for your crew. To get to the beautiful cascades, you’ll want to drive along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail that’s right outside of downtown Gatlinburg. The waterfall is near the end of the scenic drive, and you are able to drive by without getting out of the car. You can always hop out for a better look or a photo if you want!
2. Cataract Falls
Another Smoky Mountain waterfall hike that’s easy for the whole family is Cataract Falls. This nature trail is 1.1 mile round trip. Your whole family will get to enjoy old forest growth, knobbly trees, fungi growing on logs, small wildlife in the streams, and so much more along the way. At the end of the trail you’ll come up on Cataract Falls, a 25-foot tall waterfall!
3. Huskey Branch Falls
When you want to spend longer than an hour exploring what the Great Smoky Mountains have to offer, you should hike to Huskey Branch Falls. You’ll hike along Little River Trail, which follows alongside the Little Pigeon River the entire time. Enjoy views into the woods, the sounds of water washing over rocks, and birds chirping until you reach Huskey Branch Falls. This collection of cascades is right on the trail and easy to find!
4. Laurel Falls
The most popular easy Smoky Mountain waterfall hike is Laurel Falls. It’s so well liked because the path is paved all the way to the top of the mountain. This eliminates the dangers of roots and rocks that other trails have, but it also means more people are going to be visiting this trail. If you do decide to hike to the top, you’ll be met with an impressive 80-foot, 2-tier Laurel Falls!
5. Fern Branch Falls
Fern Branch Falls should be another Smoky Mountain waterfall hike on your family’s to-do list. To get to this 60-foot waterfall, you’ll travel along Porters Creek Trail. This is a beautiful hike in a more secluded area of the park that boasts hundreds of wildflowers in the spring and summer. You’ll also get to explore several historic buildings along the trail, making it a blast for everyone! After 2 miles, you’ll come up on Fern Branch Falls!
6. Baskins Creek Falls
If your family is ready for a more challenging trail with one of the most picturesque falls, you should hike to Baskins Creek Falls. The trail is considered easy to moderate because of the climb back from the falls. On the way there, you’ll be going downhill, but coming back is uphill, which is why it’s considered a little more challenging. Baskins Creek has two tiers, and the water flows over massive rock formations. Trust us, if you’re up for it, you’ll want to see Baskins Creek Falls!
These Smoky Mountain waterfall hikes are the perfect way to enjoy nature with your family! You’ll love how simple they are and that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy them together. Want to know about even more waterfalls in the Smokies? Check out these hiking trails with waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains!