And for Cosby waterfalls, Hen Wallow Falls is one of the great waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains!
This Smoky Mountains hike to waterfalls in Cosby will include hiking across log bridges, hiking through a forest, and more!
Basics about the trail to Hen Wallow Falls
You’ll take the Gabes Mountain Trail to get to Hen Wallow Falls.
The distance of this hiking trail to Hen Wallow Falls is around 4.4 miles round trip.
It’s officially recommended to give yourself 3-4 hours to complete the hike to Hen Wallow Falls. How much time you spend on the trail can depend on your fitness level, how many stops you make, and how long you spend at the waterfalls!
Your destination for google maps can be the Cosby picnic area or Cosby campground. If you’re coming from Gatlinburg, the drive to the Hen Wallow Falls Trail parking lot is around 30 minutes.
No dogs on the trail to Hen Wallow Falls
In general, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not a pet-friendly park when it comes to hiking trails. Pets are not allowed on the vast majority of hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains, and that includes the Gabes Mountain Trail that takes you to Hen Wallow Falls.
Cosby picnic area
The start of the trail to Hen Wallow Falls is located right next to the Cosby picnic area. Bring your own food and you can have a nice picnic after your waterfall hike!
There are bears around Cosby
You will see a “bear-proof” heavy duty trash container at the trailhead parking lot, and all over the national park.
If you utilize the picnic area by eating food, take extra care to pick up your food scraps and trash!
“A fed bear is a dead bear.” If bears start to recognize human food as bear food, they can become a serious threat to humans – to you! If that happens, a bear may have to be put to rest for good. This is why it’s said to be important that everyone does their part to pick up after themselves.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is bear country!
Toilets at Hen Wallow Falls trailhead
There are bathroom facilities with flush toilets at the trailhead parking lot (aka at the Cosby picnic area).
Campground near Hen Wallow Falls
There’s the Cosby Campground, and that would be the campground that’s near Hen Wallow Falls. The campground is located a couple minutes drive (if that) from the start of the Gabes Mountain Trail.
This campground has modern bathrooms (flush toilets and sink) but no showers. (There aren’t showers at any of the campgrounds in the national park.)
Driving to the Hen Wallow Falls trailhead
So again, your destination for google maps can be the Cosby picnic area or Cosby campground. This will take you to the Cosby area of the national park.
Once you make the turn-off to enter the national park, it is on this road that you will pass the Gabes Mountain Trail and Hen Wallow Falls trailhead on your right. Shortly after that, you will see signs for the parking lot, and that’s where you’ll park. (If you keep driving further, you’ll end up at the Cosby campground.)
Side note! See the more of the Smoky Mountains:
- Best shoes for hiking in the Smoky Mountains
- Best hikes with VIEWS in the Smoky Mountains
- Best scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains
- Driving the scenic route from Gatlinburg to Clingman's Dome
- Driving the slow scenic route from Gatlinburg to Cades Cove
- The big list of things to do in the Smoky Mountains
PHOTOS for a little bit of what to expect when hiking in Cosby on the trail to Hen Wallow Falls!
I hiked to Hen Wallow Falls in late September 2020. Pictures are from that time.
Gabes Mountain Trail to Hen Wallow Falls, 2.1 miles away.
Gabes Mountain Trail to backcountry campsite #34, 4.8 miles away.
Gabes Mountain Trail to Maddron Bald Trail, 6.6 miles away.
Gabes Mountain Trail to Hen Wallow Falls, 1.7 miles to go.
Gabes Mountain Trail to Hen Wallow Falls, 1.2 miles to go!
Almost to Hen Wallow Falls!
And you’ve made it to the waterfalls!
You can enjoy the view from the side you arrived at, and you can also (carefully!) make a water crossing to get to the other side for views of the waterfalls from a different angle.
If you’re climbing or stepping on any rocks, take care, as rocks can be slippery and/or unstable! It’s best to test out a rock or log to see if it moves before you put your full weight on it.
And that’s a bit of what it’s like on the hike to Hen Wallow Falls!
Be sure to see the list of more great waterfall hikes in the Smoky Mountains!
Popular scenic areas of the Smoky Mountains with waterfalls:
HAPPY HIKING TO SEE COSBY WATERFALLS!
Best shoes for hiking in the Smoky MountainsYou will want good shoes for hiking in the Smoky Mountains.
In general, the best shoes for hiking in the Smoky Mountains will be hiking boots (more ideal) or trail running shoes (more versatile for everyday activities compared to hiking boots but still will give you advantages compared to regular shoes).
I liked wearing my hiking boots for the thicker soles (good on rocky trails) and the waterproof (water resistant) nature of them.
They were especially helpful on rainy day hikes to keep my shoes (and socks!) dry! They are also better to be walking on mud compared to regular shoes.
On rougher terrain (like the trails that are a bit rougher with more rocks), hiking boots are more ideal so you won't feel it on the bottoms of your feet as much.
If you want shoes that can work out better as everyday "out and about" kind of shoes, then you might like trail running shoes better! Trail running shoes are a little more durable than regular shoes, so they can also work out as good hiking shoes. Trail running shoes are a bit lighter weight and less bulky compared to hiking boots.
Shoe fit is very important for your feet! Be sure to break in your new shoes by walking around the neighborhood and/or at the grocery store before you go on your "big hike" in the Smoky Mountains!