Abrams Falls Hike continues where The Smokies Day Two left off.
On the second time through the Cades Cove Loop, I turned off at the Abrams Falls trails. The Park Ranger warned me that it was a mostly downhill on the hike to the falls and uphill on the hike back. HIs definition of mostly downhill on the trip to the falls is somewhat different than mine. I would say it was about even up/down in both directions though it might seem worse hiking back to the parking lot because of tired and sore legs which was true in my case. The Abram Falls Hike is a 5 mile moderate round trip which takes 3-4 hours.
I almost turned back early into the hike due to my intense fear of heights. It was not from the trails but when I came across the first log bridge that I needed to cross. As you can see in the photo on the left, it is a wide log with a railing only the railing on this particular bridge was leaning heavily away from the log. The bridge isn’t particularly high over the mountain stream with rocks but it would hurt if you fall off and fears are not always rational. Personally I think my fear of heights is incredibly rational. A nice gentlemen who I met on the trail carried my tripod while I carried his walking stick. I made it across and continued on my way trying not to think that I would have to recross that damn thing. The trail starts at 1,750 elevation, peaks at 1,900 (twice) and the falls are between 1,500-1,600.
I had to cross 3 or 4 more log bridges but with the railings straight, I did not have any trouble. I will say that the hike was well worth it. The falls are gorgeous. I was quite surprised how much water was flowing since the Ranger I had talked to that morning told me that they had not gotten rain since May. Myrtle Beach certainly could not say that. I took both long exposure an HDR photography from multiple locations.
I briefly rested before heading back. I must admit I frequently needed to stop and rest on the multiple uphill parts of the hike. Surprising, I did not have any trouble crossing the log bridge but I was determined to finish the hike. By the time I made it back to the parking lot, my feet were killing me. I had not worn my hiking boots in a few years due to the soles detaching on one of the boots which I repaired and the fact that I left my thick hiking socks at home.
Coming soon….The second half of the day which includes the first time to the John C Cable Grist Mill.