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May 26

Laurel Falls – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Laurel Falls 3 watermark

Laurel Falls is the single most popular attraction in the Smoky Mountain National Park.  If you want to see Laurel without gigantic crowds you either have to go very early or around dusk.  Anytime after morning when we drove by, the parking lot it was full to overflowing and this was in the middle of March.  Probably the main reason that it is so popular is the fact that the trail is paved and it is not too far from the entrance of the park
Laurel Falls Trail watermark

The path is a 2.6 mile roundtrip hike.  It is somewhat steep in spots, but constantly going uphill all the way to the falls.  The trail passes through a nice grove of trees and it gives a great sense of how dense the forest is.  Although it is paved and we saw people with strollers along the way, the path is starting to erode in spots and has a steep side so you might want to keep your small children close.  There were a couple signs warning about people falling. 
Kenny and Karen at Laurel Falls2

This was probably our favorite waterfall that Karen and I went to while we were in the Smokies.  Laurel Falls is a multi-level waterfall that cascades 75 feet.  Karen and I timed it just right and were very lucky since we had the waterfall all to ourselves for about 15 minutes.  Of course, it might have helped that it was the off-season.  Even if it is crowed it is worth going to.
Kenny in front of Laurel Falls2 watermark

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