After eating lunch, I decided I needed one smaller hike to warm up my legs before tackling the big hike of the day, and since I was already in the area buying a waterproof map from Sugarlands Visitor’s Center, I headed out to Cataract Falls.
Cataract Falls Trail is located directly behind the visitor’s center, along with a couple other small visitor-friendly trails. I passed a lot of families with strollers, and even stopped to help a few of them take family photos, some of which I’m sure will later appear in Christmas Cards or family newsletters.
Cataract Falls was nice, nothing fancy, but lovely all the same. What got my attention though, and this probably says something about me, was that Cataract Falls doubles as the trailhead for Cove Mountain Trail, an 8.4 mile one-way trail, ending at Laurel Falls. I was so tempted to spend Day #5 hiking Cove Mountain Trail, but what eventually stopped me wasn’t the idea of hiking it alone, but the logistics of once I got to Laurel Falls, how to get back to my car at the Visitor’s Center – head back the way I came and try to do over 16.8 miles in one day, or hike/hitch a ride on the road? It was just a little too much for last minute planning, especially since as a solo-female hiker I like to be as prepared as possible before heading out on the trail, but Cove Mountain Trail is now on my Want-To-Do list for a future trip 🙂