Laurel Falls, a 2.6 round trip hike to a 75 foot waterfall, seems like a beautiful hike, but at Smoky Mountain National Park in July and with two 4 year olds, it can be a bit stressful at times. I'm very glad we went, and we had an awesome time hiking down to the bottom of the falls where we avoided the crowds, but the journey there was hot, sweaty, and nerve-wracking.
At several points along the side of the cliff, the drop off went down at least fifty feet or so. When you have kids wanting to run ahead, well, lets just say, you're not paying too much attention to the scenery anymore. Steve and I would have had a relaxing time by ourselves, but watching out for the kids took extra effort.
Still, we were glad when we arrived at the top, scurried away from the horrendous crowds at the top of the falls, and found a quiet place for a picnic lunch. Then we worked our way down the side of the falls until we reached the bottom. Of the hundreds of people at the top, only ten or so followed us down.
The kids favorite thing about this hike? Throwing stones at the bottom of the falls, of course.