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“Fun hike and pretty falls.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grotto Falls Trail

Grotto Falls Trail
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
865 436 1200
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Type: Hiking Trails, Sports
Attraction details
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Fun hike and pretty falls.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013 via mobile

Our family decided to take a hike and see the falls. It was listed as an easy hike, but I would call it moderate. We saw a couple of people who never made it. Remember that this is a hike uphill. The falls were beautiful. A few people wore swimsuits and swam at the bottom of the water, which was super cold! The kids loved walking behind the falls. The hike back was easy. The trail wasn't busy at all when we went...late afternoon.

Visited June 2013
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English first
Grand Rapids, MI
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
36 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Busy and a bit strenuous, but worth it.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

This was the busiest trail we took--and being introverts, we really don't like having other people around. But the falls were worth seeing, especially because you can walk behind them and feel the cool spray after a somewhat strenuous 45 minute hike. We were there midweek before the truly busy season. I'd hate to think what it's like during peak season. The parking areas were all full as it was, and we ended up parking a ways down the road from the trail head. Another negative is that you have to drive the Roaring Fork Nature Motor Trail to get to this, which feels like it takes forever, especially if you have slow people ahead of you.

Visited June 2013
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Anna, Ohio
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“Moderate hike, beautiful falls and lots of exercise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

My son and his wife, in shape and My wife and myself, 60 + and not in as good as shape as our 30 yrs. old hiked grotto falls. We had to park 1/2 mile and hike uphill to the starting point of the trail. The trail had lots of fellow hikers some of which were wearing sandals, flip flops and some had babies and small children. I would not recommend the sandals and small kids, since it is somewhat strenuous . The trail had numerous tree roots, rocks and some small waterways which you had to traverse. The falls you can get walk under and some kids walked in stream part way back. We were tired, but hike was very worthwhile. We wore shorts and were well sweated.

Visited June 2013
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Birmingham, Alabama
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great hike!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

My wife and I went with a group of 14, and thoroughly enjoyed the nature and waterfall. There were many families hiking, as well as solo hikers. This is a family-friendly trail, that is fairly easy to climb, but you do have to watch your footing as there are many roots and rocks that will cause you to trip.

We did not see any bears, but did see snails, huge centipedes/millipedes, and a lot of salamanders. All in all, the hike was great, and I would highly encourage anybody considering the trip to take it!!

Visited June 2013
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Huntersville, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Beautiful Hike for the Whole Family”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

Grotto Falls is a 2.8-mile roundtrip trail for people of most (but not all) fitness levels. This hike is rated “easy,” but you need to remember that an easy hike is still a hike. There are lots of rocks, tree roots, and wet patches that make this walk more challenging than a stroll down a paved road. This is not a trail made for strollers (I saw a few tucked away for pickup on the way back out) or people who are people grossly out of shape (I saw some folks panting and suffering at the very start of the hike).

Our group of 10 ranged in age from 3 to 68. The youngest and oldest had a hard time of it but were able to make it. For everyone else, Grotto Falls truly was an easy hike, and a beautiful one at that. We saw interesting insects, colorful mushrooms, and lots of verdant scenery along the way to the waterfall.

This is a heavily trafficked trail, so there’s little chance of encountering wildlife, at least during peak hours. (Your best chance to see wildlife is at Cades Cove in Townsend.) And the waterfall itself can be extremely crowded. What’s really fun, though, is that you can walk behind the falls. And if you’re OK with bone-chilling temperatures, you can take a dip in the water.

Be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes or sneakers, bring water, and plan to spend at least 2 hours on the hike (especially if you like to stop for pictures or want to spend time at the falls). And take the drive to the trailhead slowly—the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is beautiful, too!

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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