If you’re looking for a nice hike near Cades Cove but want to avoid this crowds, this might be your best bet.
After we finished Abrams Fall we headed over to the campground/picnic area near the Anthony Creek Trailhead. We didn’t plan to do the full 11.7 miles out-n-back “Rocky Top via Anthony Creek” route because we didn’t want to be getting back to late so we decided to just hike out for a bit and turn around when we were ready.
The trail runs parallel to Anthony Creek so it’s nice to hear the water most of the time. It crosses the creek a few times but there are bridges so no need for water shoes (at least as far as we got).
It is a very constant uphill hike the entire time. Without much variation in the grade it starts to feel steeper than it is.