BY GRACIE FIELDS
*Editor’s Note: Gracie Fields is an avid hiker and will begin a series today on the many trail opportunities available to outdoor enthusiasts here in Carter County. She will provide photos of her hikes with each post.
Located on Dennis Cove Road, Laurel Falls via the Appalachian Trail is an easy to moderate hike that almost anyone can enjoy.
The trail begins at Dennis Cove Recreational Area and leads to Laurel Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in East Tennessee. Hiking the trail includes features like; diverse wildlife, many small waterfalls and impeccable views.
In total, the hike is 2.5 miles long and has an elevation gain of 469 feet. The trail to Laurel Falls consists of three main parts containing steps. Going through these stages is moderate and can be difficult for someone unfamiliar with it.
Anyway, the trail can be quite easy the rest of the time.
The trail includes a bridge that spans a river, making the hike exciting for everyone. Upon reaching the steps that lead to the falls, the trail becomes moderate to difficult.
Traversing the rock steps can be nerve-wracking, especially when they are slippery. The steps are steep and sometimes sharp, making this part of the trail more difficult than others.
The steps lead up to the Laurel Falls waterfall which is well worth it. The waterfall sits 80 feet high with rushing water. Climbing the steps that lead to the falls can be challenging, mainly due to how quickly they rise.
Although the trail is challenging in some sections, overall it is scenic and friendly to almost anyone. The trail welcomes dogs, but they must be on a leash at all times.
Many hikers recommend bringing water and possibly food for your pets along the hike.
In total, the trail takes about two hours, round trip, to complete completely. Anyone who chooses to hike this trail can enjoy the sound of flowing water and the surrounding rhododendron shrubs.
Ranging from easy to moderate, this is a trail that anyone can easily enjoy.
All photos by Gracie Fields.