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Of all the waterfall hikes within the Smokies, Cataract Falls may be one of the best options for the entire family.
Though just 15 minutes from the trailhead, it includes an array of beautiful and interesting trees, and the 25' waterfall is particularly serene for being so close to the parking lot.
There are restrooms, vending machines, and drinking water available at the trailhead, plus the Sugarlands Visitor Center is less than a half a mile away.
If you're looking for a short walk to stretch out the legs after a long day of driving, this is the perfect option. One downfall of this hike is that if you're seeking solitude, it may not be the best hike for you.
You're never too far from the road, and the large parking lot offers easy access for all abilities of hikers.
The trail is relatively flat, with the exception of a few stairs near the end.
The tread is mostly crushed gravel with boardwalks over the wetter areas. As with most hikes within the Smokies, dogs *are not* allowed on this hike.
Children, however, will absolutely love this quick walk thanks to a unique tree that they can almost step inside of! Source: https://www.smokiesadventure.com/smokymountains/explorations/cataract-falls.htm