Cooper Road Trail, Abrams Falls Trail, Wet Bottom Trail, Finley Cane Trail

February 16, 2023

Another amazing loop in the Cade’s Cove area. The views from this isolated valley are tremendous. Year-by-year statistics show that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) is the most frequented of the National Parks. Within GSMNP, Cades Cove is the most popular destination, with over 2 million visitors a year. * The unique valley is fertile, flat, and surrounded by mountains on all sides. “Geologically, Cades Cove is a type of valley known as a “limestone window”, created by erosion that removed the older Precambrian sandstone, exposing the younger Paleozoic limestone beneath.” *

My path this day was to hike from the remaining portion of Cooper Road Trail, Hatcher Mountain Trail, Abrams Falls Trail, Wet Bottom Trail, back to the car. I hiked most of Cooper Road Trail a week prior. After hiking back to the car, I drove down to Finley Cane Trail to finish a remaining trail that I did not hike on Monday near Bote Mountain Trail

The day started with strong winds and chance of thunderstorms. I thought of hiking Beard Cane to Ace Gap and Rich Mountain, but with a chance of thunderstorms; I did not want to be on that ridge. I chose instead the 14.2-mile loop of Cooper and Abrams. Of course, that meant that the weather then decided to turn sunny, but that’s the way it always seems to work. 

Abrams Falls is a very frequently visited trail, but on this day, hardly anyone was hiking. The falls are thunderous, with a torrent of water coming down creating dangerous currents underneath. The Wet Bottom Trail is only 1-mile long, but does have a low, but wide water crossing. 

Finley Cane is a great little trail that starts near Turkeypen Ridge and Lead Cove and goes 2.8 miles to Bote Mountain Trail. I like the variance in temperate zones and large poplars along the way. It’s a nice trail, with a nominal elevation gain. 

Total mileage is 20 miles.

*Christen, Kris (Winter–Spring 2002). “Trapped in the Cove”. Sightline. University of Tennessee Energy, Environment and Resources Center (EERC). 3 (1). Archived from the original on 2006-07-14.

* Moore, Harry (1988). A Roadside Guide to the Geology of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. p. 29.

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