Located along Fighting Creek Gap Road in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, not far from the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, Laurel Falls is a popular tourist attraction.
It’s an easy 2.6 mile out and back hike along a paved trail, though the pavement it quite eroded. Measuring both upper and lower sections of Laurel Falls – which are divided by a railed pathway – the waterfall stands 80-feet tall and provides several scenic viewpoints, if one is willing to climb to the base.
On my visit, I was the first car parked in the lot…by 3 minutes. Capturing photographs without people in the picture requires one to arrive early, so I showed up 1/2 hour before sunrise. Bears are common in this area, though less so once a steady stream of hikers are present. No water. No restrooms.
The trail was completed in 1932 at a cost of $590, providing fire crews access to the Cove Mountain area. Three years later, a fire tower was completed. By 1960, frequent trail use and erosion were problematic, and, as part of the 1963 Accelerated Works Projects grant to the Department of Interior, the trail was paved. Today, with over 800 miles of trails within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, only four trails are paved for a total of three miles.
If you’d like to accent a wall in your home or office with a print featuring my photography, you can visit my gallery at Fine Art America to select the print type which best suits your interests. Many selections available – I hope that you find something to purchase & enjoy!