Hen Wallow Falls is a 90 foot waterfall, located in the Cosby TN area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is a unique waterfall, that begins at the top less than two foot wide, and cascades down along the rocks to more than 20 foot wide at the bottom.
While not one of our top favorite waterfalls, this is a great hike, and Hen Wallow Falls makes for a great destination and stopping point.
Roundtrip Distance: 4.4 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
Handicap Accessible: No
Features: Waterfall, creekside hiking and access
Directions:Hen Wallow Falls is located on Gabes Mountain Trail. Trailhead directions: From Gatlinburg, take Highway 321-73 North 17.8 miles to the turn for Cosby Camp – Highway 32. Turn right toward Cosby Camp. Drive 1.2 miles and veer right onto Cosby Park Road. Continue 2.0 miles to the Gabes Mountain Trailhead parking lot on the left. The trailhead parking area is large but not marked.
Recommended Gear: Good hiking boots or shoes, Daypack, Dayhiker First Aid Kit, Sunscreen, some snacks, water, Water shoes and a bathing suit if you think you might want to swim.
Hen Wallow Falls
Hen Wallow Falls is unique in that the falls are only 2 foot wide a the top, but as the water falls down the 90 foot drop, the water spreads to almost 20 foot wide at the base. The base of the falls isn’t ideal for viewing, and is full of various rocks that are pretty jagged in some areas. Further down from the base is a pretty significant drop too, so getting a good distance picture of the falls is near impossible.
We found some comfortable rocks, and sat down for a break and some water, while our kids went off to explore. One word of caution, it will be tempting to climb up the rocks at the base of the falls. Don’t do this. The upper rocks are very slippery and a number of people have been injured and killed here over the years. Staying on the lower rocks is very safe and you can still touch and see the water.
Soon after arriving, we broke out the snacks, and enjoyed some food at the base of the falls surrounded by the sound of rushing water, birds and remote forest. Our kids continued exploring the dry rocks areas around the falls and looking for salamanders, which there are plenty of at the base of the falls. A few other families arrived while we were there, but it wasn’t too crowded and we enjoyed talking to them and our kids enjoyed play with their kids.
We could have stayed all day long, but we wanted to get back to the car before it got too dark. After a few minutes of coaxing, we got the kids headed back up the trail and walked the 2.2 miles back to the car. The hike back is downhill for the most part, and easier.
Hen Wallow Falls Video
Here’s a video of Hen Wallow Falls. Love the sounds!!