Falls Branch Trail is a 2.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Tellico Plains, TN and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.
Rough hike out but we'll worth the trip for the view of the falls
Fav hike so far!!!
Completed this trail today in 25 degree weather with 6-8 inches of snow. Awesome scenery with snow covering every branch in the forest. When my wife and I made it to the waterfall I was able to climb all of the way up on the ice and stand next to the falls. After the steep climb back out both of our pants were frozen all of the way up to our knees. We were lucky enough that someone the day before had made the trek and left us a great path to follow, otherwise I think it may have been fairly easy to lose our way in the steep decline before the creek.
This was an awesome day hike. There was some challenges getting close the the falls but well worth it. the trail was very muddy and slick in places and climbing back out a little tricky.
It is an easy hike to the falls and the hike is worth it. Beautiful! There was still some ice and snow around the falls. Loved the giant roots of the trees close to the falls. The last downhill part takes you on the stream and there is a water crossing before going up close to the falls.
Easy trail until it heads downhill. Once downhill, it becomes a moderate to strenuous trail. Nice trail - path goes between two boulders - very neat :-)
awesome and moderate to difficult. waterfall. virgin forests.
Great Day Hike. Last .4 of trail to the falls is treacherous when wet. Had my 5 year old with me and she made it just fine.
From Madisonville, head east and south on Hwy 68. I believe there is a sign pointing to Tellico Plains. Hwy 68 heads into Tellico Plains where you will take a left on Hwy 165 - the Cherohala Skyway. Drive 21 miles up the Skyway to an unmarked pull off parking area on the left. You will have just crossed a high bridge.
Take Falls Branch Trail #87 and in just under a mile, look for and take a side trail to the right (currently blocked by two large downed trees). If you miss the side trail, you'll continue back up to the Skyway at the previously mentioned bridge. The 1/2 mile side trail heads down towards Falls Branch (this is where is becomes strenuous). The waterfall is 60-70 feet sheer drop, it was wonderful.
Trail is challenging. We went on September 1. It was overcast and very foggy and brisk. It made for a awesome hike. It is all down going and therefore the climb out was strenuous. Very peaceful and quiet. We felt like the only people on the planet. Exactly what we needed for a short get away to rejuvenate. We took a five year old. However, she isn't typical. She is an amazing hiker and loves challenging hikes!
Great hike for all ages. Nice falls and
Beautiful view. We saw a nice bear the first trip!!
I am not an experienced hiker (yet) and I managed this trail even though I am a bit out of shape (not for long). Not to mention I wasn't really prepared, either. In hind sight I wish I had the following: waterproof hiking boots that give some ankle support, a walking stick or trekking pole, more water, a bandana or rag to keep sweat from dripping in my eyes and a first aid kit. Fortunately I did not need the first aid kit but I wouldn't hike this trail again without one. Also, we didn't see any bears but the brush is thick, there isn't many hikers on this trail and you don't have a lot of visibility so if you came in contact with one it would likely be a close encounter. So...talk loudly, bang some sticks, sing etc. to let your presence be known and hopefully you won't have to worry about coming face to face with one (of course you will be chasing off all other wildlife in the process). There are some steep, slippery spots and if you want to rest or have a picnic on one of the flat rocks near the falls be prepared to do some climbing! As you make your ascent (to the falls) the rocks are very, very slippery so stay low and slow (on the way down I scooted on my behind quite a bit)! Haha that was our phrase of the day! You will most likely have the waterfall to yourself so enjoy the seclusion and intimacy of nature!!! It is a really beautiful experience!
My wife and I walked West Rattlesnake Trail on Christmas Day 2011 to Falls Branch Falls. 1.4 Miles from origin to the falls. The Trail number is FS trail 87. I have loaded additional photos of the trail and falls to the orginal group of photos. The last 100 yards or so of this hike are really walking through a steeply descending stream bed at this time of year, particularly after a hard rainfall.
My wife and I live in Tellico Plains and our business will be adopting this trail as it needs some modest chainsaw work at this time. The heavy rainfalls that made Falls Branch Falls more resplendent have also downed a few trees. That being stated, the trail is still readily passable and the falls views as you apporach the last steep incline are wonderful.... all the way till you feel the mist on your face. I have placed a link below provided by the Cherokee Hiking Club with maps and details of this hike that I think will be helpful to others.