SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. — Whether you're looking to beat the heat with some so-called "hillbilly air conditioning" or just want a hike with a gorgeous view, look no further than the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
There are dozens of waterfalls and cascades throughout the park. Some hikes are easier than others, but the destinations are well worth the effort.
Popular waterfall hikes
Abrams Falls: 5 miles round trip, accessible from Cades Cove, moderate difficulty
Grotto Falls: 2.6 miles round trip, popular for wildflower viewing in the spring, moderate difficulty
Laurel Falls: 2.6 miles round trip, the trail was built to give fire crews access to Cove Mountain in case of a forest fire, moderate difficulty
Rainbow Falls: 5.4 miles round trip, continue for 6.7 miles more to the summit of Mount LeConte, moderate difficulty
Ramsey Cascades: 8 miles roundtrip, accessible from Greenbrier area, the tallest waterfall in the park, strenuous difficulty
Lesser-known waterfall hikes
Hen Wallow Falls: about 4.4 miles round trip, accessible from Gabes Mountain Trail near Cosby, moderate difficulty
Indian Flat Falls: about 7.8 miles round trip, accessible from Middle Prong Trail near Townsend, moderate difficulty
Spruce Flat Falls: about 1.5 miles round trip, accessible on Middle Prong Trail in Tremont area, easy difficulty
Waterfalls you can drive to
Meigs Falls: near Townsend on the Little River Road
Place of a Thousand Drips: stop No. 15 on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
The Sinks: near Townsend along the Little River Road
For more information on waterfalls and other hikes, visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park website.