In the northeast corner of Great Smoky Mountains National Park you will find an idyllic half-day hike to Hen Wallow Falls, a 90-foot waterfall spilling over from Hen Wallow Creek. Arrive at the trailhead mid-morning and pack a picnic lunch to enjoy when you reach the Falls. It is often overlooked by other park visitors so you will likely find few companions. This hike took us the full four hours as we stopped periodically along the way to rest and take photos.
Distance: 4.4 miles roundtrip
Time: 3-4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate; hiking poles recommended
Starting Point: Gabes Mountain Trailhead at Cosby Campground
Get an early start and drive to Cosby Campground in the Northeast side of the Smokies (about 40 minutes from Gatlinburg). There are several areas to park. Start the hike from the trailhead for Gabes Mountain Trail.
Enjoy criss-crossing several creeks as you continue the hike. There are several steep inclines and the path is heavily rooted at times.
Look for the Hen Wallow Falls trail split and be ready for the steep, rugged switchbacks to the falls. You've earned a rest and the picnic lunch you brought! You can also check out the small cave just to the right side of the falls.
If you are interested in continuing your hike past Hen Wallow Falls, you can continue to follow Gabes Mountain Trail. Alternatively, you'll see several trailheads leaving from Cosby Campground when you return from the falls. Check out the easier 1.1-mile self-guided Cosby Nature Trail (shown here) for wildflower viewing.
To save this hike and our other recommended hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visit our curated list on AllTrails, where you can learn about other trails in the park and create your own lists to reference through their mobile app. In AllTrails this hike is listed as "Gabes Mountain Trail to Hen Wallow Falls".