Area Attractions & Local Information
Essentials for seeing the Smokies
�We�looked upstream at the exquisite spectacle of the cascade. Framed in acres of rhododendron thickets, over-hung with delicately dropping hemlocks, it was a picture of life eternal.�
�Harvey Broome, Out Under the Sky of the Great Smokies
Here in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, over 200,000 visitors a year traipse well worn trails to behold Grotto, Laurel, Abrams, Indian Creek, Rainbow, and other popular waterfalls. The calming effects of the serene beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains and the medicinal property of cascading waterfalls is what draws so many tourist to vacation in these surroundings areas of the mountains.
Why are waterfalls such magnets to humanity? Certainly the motion of water tumbling over rock is mesmerizing, as the novelty of observing so much water closely and vividly as can be experienced in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Perhaps we see eternity in waterfalls, perpetual motion working independently of humankind, fueled by nothing more than gravity and rain.
The feel good properties of waterfalls can be explained by researchers with less romantic views by proposing waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park generate negative ions. Negative ions levels at waterfalls are estimated to be 50 times higher than at other rural sites. Brighter moods, increased energy, improved physical performance and better health are just some of the benefits that have been ascribed to exposure to high concentrations of negative ions. Maybe this explains why the mountain �locals� are just so friendly!
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains the main ingredients essential for waterfalls, water and cascading elevations. During wet years, peaks like Mt. Le Conte and Clingmans Dome receive over eight feet of rain, within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, elevations range from 850' along Abrams Creek to 6,643' atop Clingmans Dome. Mt. Le Conte towers to 6,593' from a base of 1,292' making it the tallest mountain in the East. For more information on waterfalls in the Smokies visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park website http://www.nps.gov/grsm/gsmsite/justforfun.html
Waterfalls you can drive to in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park:
� Meigs Falls: The pulloff to view Meigs Falls is along Little River Road, 13 miles west of Sugarland Visitor Center (7 miles east of Townsend). The falls is tucked away on the far side of Little River and can be easily missed while driving.
� The Sinks: This waterfall is short in stature but its volume includes the entire flow of Little River. The parking area to view the falls is along Little River Road 12 miles west of Sugarlands Visitor Center (8 miles east of Townsend). Look for sign post #5.
� Place of a Thousand Drips: During wet periods, this waterfall is dramatic. From the parkway in Gatlinburg, turn at traffic light #8 and follow Historic Nature Trail into the park. Take Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail (closed in winter). The waterfall is at stop #15.