Explore >5 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

>5 Map
trail running
13 hours ago

Sort of boring but very scenic and crowded. Take the good with the bad, I guess!

I've done this one several times and it never gets old. The trail does get steep but the views from the top are wonderful and theres a chance at spotting a bald eagle pair that nest in the valley below. There's always a variety of butterflies dancing atop the ridge in warm months. The stairs to and tower itself is nerve-wracking for many but it's held up well over time. Great day hike.

Great hike and views. Steady incline the whole way up.

After about a mile up the service road you reach the fire tower. The trail continues into the woods (blue blaze markers) at the bend in the service road right before turning to go up to the fire tower. However, the Trail is still VERY overgrown. I hacked about .2-.3 of a mile into it John Muir style but it just wasn’t worth it. If you are looking to get to flint rock for the overlook just take the flint mill trail instead.

Moderate hike. Easy, steady incline for the first 3.5 miles and gets fairly steep from there to the top. There is a top parking lot for people who don't want to hike the lower 3.5 miles.

Not a difficult trail by any means, just long. The hike eventually got to my lower half after about the 3.5 mile mark, so the last mile was a little tough, but great views from the fire tower. Steps going up fire tower are pretty small, so take it slow so you don't slip. All in all it's a good trail, but probably just going to do this once.

Quick hike yet beautiful. Have been twice, once with show on the ground and today after 13 days of rain.... hasn’t disappointed me yet.

longer trail, 4.8 up but it is a constant gentle climb. Have seen many rattlers up there the last 2 years so use caution if you have dogs

Well maintained trail. The views at the fire tower are breathtaking. This trail in my opinion is easy. I would rate it moderate only because of the mileage.

Love it. Perfect time is now!

5 months ago

Beautiful trail that makes you feel like you are in Colorado instead of Tennessee at times. Moderate to Easy trail with nice bridge crossings and pine forest areas.

i would definitely go again! beautiful

Very nice

Beautiful trail around the lake reservoir on top of Bays Mtn. Bound to see wildlife, especially in the summer complete with otters, beavers, and lily pads. Stop by the animal habit exhibits, herpetarium, planetarium, and nature center. Great for kids! Largest municipal park in Tennessee

Well maintained trail. Lengthy but the climb is gradual, so it isn't too difficult. Views are great if you are willing to climb to the observation deck. It is nice, large deck. Had my lunch there.

Loved this trail. Easy hiking but is 9 miles so still a good workout. When you get to the top the view is amazing!

Be prepared for an uphill battle. Well maintained trail with beautiful views.

Great hike, kids loved going up the tower.

Great, well marked trail with a fantastic view at the end that is worth the climb. It is a climb, however. So, be prepared to relentlessly walk uphill for 4 to 4.5 miles. It's a pretty gradual climb with only a couple steep spots. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because of the distance and that is a in and out trail, so once you hike it up, you have to hike it back the same way. Can be a little repetitive and boring, but again, the views to me are worth doing it at least once.

11 months ago

Nice forest walk. The trail sometimes a bit overgrown and in fall the cascades has no much water.

We love Bays Mountain. There aren't any hikes that will challenge hardcore hikers, but if you are like me and just enjoy beautiful walks in the peaceful woods, then you will love it too. The firetower trail is probably the hardest calf burner in the park, it's a pretty good climb, I think the uphill section is about 500 ft or so of elevation change in a little over a half mile not counting the 68 feet to the top of the tower. The 360° views of the ridge and valley section of the Appalachians are simply breathtaking from here. It is absolutely amazing. We have only been twice, and I can't wait to check it out in the fall.

mountain biking
11 months ago

One of my favorites. Nice steady climb, and a fun decent back out. Beautiful views once you reach the tower.

Great out and back today (just forgot to record the out). Decent ascent on the out, but it made the back pretty easy. Nice apple orchard and rock outcropping (that's where I turned back). Gear up and head out to this trail for a great day-hike!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Highly overgrown! It was a guess as to which way the trial went a head of you. I DO NOT recommend doing right now. I turned back after a short bit to be safe.

Monday, July 03, 2017

The planetarium is state of the art and the wolf howl is always an awesome thing to witness.

on Bays Mountain Trail Loop

Sunday, June 25, 2017

beautiful kid friendly trail. would be perfect if around the lake was cleared up from fallen debris and lily pads. several benches for breaks. did spot a water moccasin trying to get up onto one of the bridges so beware!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I go to bays mountain frequently. it's so peaceful and beautiful.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

love bays mountain. beautiful scenery. love to hike and walk all around .love the animal habitats.

Friday, June 16, 2017

pleasant surprise after getting past the crowded parking lot. found some peace and quiet on River Mountain Road trail.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

made the entire trip took 5 hours but had to take several breaks its alot of steps for a 7 yrs old up the mountain and back next time were drivin to the gate lol the view is worth the hike trail head restrooms have always been clean on our visits

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