Tag: Hiking

Abrams Falls

by JP on Mar.15, 2009, under Tennessee Hiking Trails

Hiking Trail in Cades Cove

Abrams Fall

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

Length : 2.5 miles (one way)

Abrams Falls is a hiking trail in the midst of Cades Cove. This trail is what I would called a “long” 5 mile hike round trip. I say this because, as I think some hikers could probably recognize (and this is admittedly very subjective), some trails just seem to keep going on and on. Also, the trail makes several climbs up, down, and then back up the ridge that approaches the falls. Despite this fact, or perhaps because of it, this is a trail that must be hiked in Cades Cove. The trail has beautiful views of Abrams Creek, views from the top of the Arbutus ridge, and then finally, the hiker is rewarded with Abrams Falls and the surrounding valley. I struggle to think of a hike that offers as much in the Cades Cove area, and that says a lot considering the number of great hikes in and around Cades Cove.

The trail itself begins just past a gravel parking area, and is continued by crossing a bridge over Abrams Creek.

Abrams Falls (7)

Abrams Falls (5)

Abrams Falls (8) Abrams Falls (9)

Take a left past the bridge, and the trail then begins running parallel to the Creek, and climbing Arbutus ridge on a slow gradual ascent.

This climb is very interesting, there are numerous opportunities to see white tail deer. In fact, just as I came across the bridge, I unintentionally spooked a very large buck that I was only about 4 feet from. It gave us both quite a scare. As I looked more carefully, there was another large buck only 10 feet from him, and several doe on the ridge surrounding the trail.

Abrams Falls (12)

The hiking stick propped on the tree is what I was reaching for when I accidentally startled this buck. He looked none to pleased to have a stranger that close, and I backed away quickly.

Abrams Falls (22) Abrams Falls (24)

Abrams Falls (27) Abrams Falls (28)

Continue up and down the ridge, and be careful on  rocky portions of the trail as the elevation begins to climb pretty rapidly as you near the top of Arbutus.

Abrams Falls (33)

As the trail continues, it will again begin to descend again, and eventually cross a small side creek that runs off of Abrams Creek.

This is the first of a number of small log bridges that will be crossed on this trail.

Abrams Falls (45) Abrams Falls (52) Abrams Falls (56)

The elevation on Abrams trail becomes steeper shortly after this bridge, and will eventually reach the top of a steep narrow ridge. To each side of the ridge, one can see the winding Creek below. Congratulations you’ve now hiked a little over 1 mile on this trail (I told you this seems like a long trail).

Abrams Falls (64) Abrams Falls (68) Abrams Falls (73)

Abrams Falls (75)

The trail then switches back down the ridge on the other side.

Abrams Falls (80) Abrams Falls (88)

At the bottom of this descent the trail winds around a small, but very green mountain runoff, before beginning to ascend back up the ridge again.

Abrams Falls (99) Abrams Falls (101) Abrams Falls (109)

At the base of this descent, another small creek crossing over a split log bridge is made.

Abrams Falls (114)

The trail ascends on final, long hill, before dropping back down to creek level and approach the falls. The final approach crosses a much wider creek. Careful after this crossing, in the winter, the rocks on the other side get really icey, and I saw one hiker slide right off into the creek.

Abrams Falls (146)

And finally…..ABRAMS FALLS

Abrams Falls (162)

Abrams Falls (167)

Abrams Falls (174)

Abrams Falls (178)

The trail follows the same path on its return.

Abrams Falls (4)

Nearby Trails:

Hannah Mountain Trail - 5.1 miles

Elijah Oliver Place Trail - 0.5 miles

Directions from Gatlinburg:

1. Take 441 towards Sugarland Visitors Center

2. Turn Right at Visitor’s Center on Little River Road.

3. Follow Little River Road onto Laurel Road, and the entrance to Cades Cove.

4. At entrance, Go 5 miles on Cades Cove Loop Road

5. Turn Right on gravel road between a large grassy field.

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Losing Weight in the Outdoors

by JP on Jan.05, 2009, under Cycling Trails, Disc Golf, Hiking Trails

Recently, I have been reading a few bloggers’ posts concerning weight loss and the outdoors. To read about one man’s weight loss through hiking program, head over to Husky

These posts got me thinking about all the new year’s resolutions to lose weight, and my own personal weight loss goals.

So the question I want to consider is, how much weight can be lost through a moderate to conservative outdoor exercise program?

To answer this question, I first decided to take a look at the number of calories burned engaging in these activities in a given hour.

Obviously caloric burn is largely dependent on the person, their level of fitness, their weight, and the level of activity being engaged in.

For example: A person that weights 180 lbs. is not going to burn as many calories hiking up Mt. Everest as the person who weighs 250 lbs.

Likewise, the person spending an hour hiking up part of Everest is going to burn a higher number of calories than the person hiking across the grocery store parking lot. Nevertheless, hiking, whether on an extreme incline, or across some small rolling hills is going to give a workout.

While I am at it, though, lets not forget the goal of using the outdoors to lose weight should be twofold.

Obviously part of one’s consideration should be weight loss and overall better fitness, but we should not forget the reason we would choose to approach these goals by exercising outdoors. As such, our secondary consideration should be how much fun we are having, or how much enjoyment we are getting from being outdoors. When planning an exercise program, it should be work, but I have always found that it is much easier to stick to a program if it is enjoyable, so don’t go out and hike beyond your health level, Doing this will just make you quit exercising, and hate nature (the complete opposite of both goals).

As such, what I will attempt to define is the average caloric burn for the common outdoor activities on an hourly basis, working on the assumption that the activity is only moderately strenuous. Obviously if you are doing a particularly hard ride or hike more calories will be burned. And easier for easier…

So, here goes:

Calories Burned in an Hour Activity
Approx. 500 Hiking
Approx. 550 Mountain Biking (Up and Down Hill)
Approx. 450 Disc Golf (Walking the course)

Fitness Program

One pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories.

The average person should engage in 1.5 hours of aerobic exercise a week, and attempt to burn calories through aerobic exercise such as the ones above activities.

Over the course of a year, hiking one 3 hour hike a week (and I would suggest more if you are healthy, and are cleared by a physician to engage in exercise) would result in an additional 12 lbs. lost in a year. This is assuming of course that you are not replacing another activity with hiking, or engaging in any other additional unhealthy activities to “compensate” for the exercise (like extra eating).

Now, I am not suggesting that anyone adopt an exercise program based solely on a single 3 hour hike once a week. This would not be the best fitness regimen for a person of average health.

I am not a nutritionist, and am not suggesting that anyone exercise without consulting a physician.

What I do know is that adding that three hour hike , or that mountain bike ride on the weekend provides a great supplement to your weekly exercise program. After, who doesn’t love being outside on a cool autumn Saturday, and if the added benefit is 12 more pounds off, I am all for it.


I challenge any of you that are interested in losing weight, and love the outdoors to start the New Year off right, and dedicate yourselves not only to a weekly exercise  program, but also to some time exercising that mixes your love for the outdoors with your weight loss goals.

And, if you need another good kick in the pants, or an inspirational story, head over to Husky This man’s blog will help show you how effective outdoor activity can be for losing weight.

By the way…HAPPY NEW YEAR !!

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