Meigs Falls - Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Meigs Falls

If you aren't able to hike or are running short on time, Meigs Falls is viewable from a pull off along Little River Rd between Sugarlands Visitor Center and the Townsend Wye. Nearby on the Little River is an area called The Sinks with a small but powerful cascade. You can also access the Meigs Creek Trail from The Sinks parking area which will take you on a moderate hike to the 18' high Upper Meigs Falls.

Directions: From the Sugarlands Visitor Center, drive west on Little River Rd for 11.8 miles and turn left into the parking area right before the bridge. This is also the parking area for the Meigs Creek Trail and is very busy during tourist season. To see Meigs Falls, drive another 1.1 miles and look for a long pull off area with a retaining wall on the left. Meigs Falls is maybe 100 yards or more up Meigs Creek before it empties into the Little River. There is no trail to this waterfall.

The parking and viewing area for the Sinks received a nice makeover a few years ago. You can view the cascade from the parking lot by getting out and looking over the wall, but you can also take a very short trail to another viewing area. There's a very large pool below the cascades that's used as a swimming hole. Swimming is not recommended by the NPS anywhere in the park, but I'm not sure if it's illegal. If you do swim here, avoid the cascade area as the water here is very turbulent. 7 people have drowned here since 1971. At least 2 were from people being wedged underwater between rocks or logs and not being able to come up for air because of the force of the water.

The Sinks - Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Meigs Falls

If you are heading to Upper Meigs Falls - aka Meigs Creek Cascades - look for the sign for the Meigs Creek Trail. The hike is about 3.5 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty. You're not likely to see very many people on the trail, mainly because of the limited parking. Most of the vehicles that pull in here are looking at the Sinks. The trail begins by heading up some stone steps, then drops down and passes through a boggy area. You'll then begin a steady uphill climb for about 3/4 of a mile, then make a sharp left and head downhill. At almost 1.5 miles from the trail head, you'll cross Meigs Creek. You'll cross the creek 3 more times (I think) before reaching the waterfall which is 1.7 miles from the trail head. The creek will be on your right side in any case. Even though the waterfall isn't very high, the setting is beautiful and there's a good chance you'll have it all to yourself.

Upper Meigs Falls - Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Upper Miegs Falls - Meigs Creek Cascades
Upper Meigs Falls

 

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