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Well marked trail and decently maintained. Although several trees were down along the way, very few required climbing over/under. Beautiful overlook on the Cane Creek Falls.

[TL:DR This trail, by itself, is a solid workout, if subdued. You won't be doing any rock fields or sharp ascents, just moderate, but continuous, elevation changes over 13 mi. The lack of technical or demanding spots make it a solid winter weather trail, as well.]

If you choose to do the trail by itself, you can park directly at trailhead. It won't really make any difference if you go clockwise or counter-clockwise. The clockwise side does have a bit more open space on trail, but nothing much other than that.

The main benefit for this trail is that it's a continuous, moderate grind over a moderate distance. There's no single part of it that will push you to any kind of a limit. I wouldn't recommend it as a recovery trail, and not as an easy day, either, but it occupies a happy middle.

However, if you want to add some challenge, there are plenty of connecting trails close to its trailhead, so you can easily tack on some extra miles and difficulty. I look forward to linking this and the Lower Loop for a one-day this summer.

As for appearance, I recommend going after a good amount of rain. You'll have a number of minor fords, but it's easily worth it for all the rivers and streams that pop up or flood after a good rainfall. This area really shows off that jade color spectrum the waters at this park can have. Both the campsites take full advantage of this to create some truly beautiful pockets along this trail.

hiking
3 days ago

Really nice hike. 4 waterfalls and a rugged trail. Interesting water features...some with no outlet. Be sure to take the Sheep Cave side trail. Not a beginner hike.

One of our absolute favorites! I’ve hiked it with my kids since they were in hiking backpacks! It can be a little intimidating with kids if your kids aren’t well exposed to diverse trails but we have a “serious” talk before each hike explaining that hikes are fun but not a playground. We must respect the environment and watch each step because it can be dangerous if we don’t give our full attention to what we are doing.

hiking
4 days ago

I hiked this trail. I went early so I'd be less likely to interfere with the MTB'ers. I saw 2 actual bikers, and 2 joggers. Hikers, please read the following and take it into consideration. The reason these trails are MTB trails is that there really isn't anything to see and the setting isn't fit for actual hiking. I did this trail because it is a trail I hadn't done, and I'm trying to hike out my area. The trails are pretty narrow, and not really challenging for a hike at all. They are just, for the most part, miles. It's not really worth it unless you're just a completionist nut like me who wants to say they did it. For the most part, besides two pine barrens and an old used tire graveyard, there isn't anything to see.

For people who are going to bike this trail: This trail made me wish I had a bike, not that I could have done the trail. It actually seemed to be interesting and had some spots that looked like they would actually challenge a person on a bike. There's a jump or two in there, but mostly it looks like this trail just hates your quads and hammies if you're on a bike. You guys know, most of these trails for bikes aren't all that special, and when things get dropped by your ilk, no one really ever notices as they fly by. I'd recommend getting with the friends of the park, if there's a group, and cleaning up that mess of a tire graveyard. It just makes you guys look bad.

As far as biking goes, I'd give it a 4 since it looks like it'd be kind of fun. Docking stars for general trashiness of the trail, specifically the tire cemetery. There were 2 downed trees on the trail when I went, so keep your head up, not that you could afford otherwise on this one.

hiking
5 days ago

A little chilly this morning, however, it turned out to be a very easy hike. The views of the water fall I have to say was disappointing. The trail was well marked and numerous deadfall the entire trail.

hiking
5 days ago

Thursday 01/10/2019

Bald River Trail (also called Trail 88) begins to the left of the parking area which is left of a large waterfall visible by the road. The trail takes you to the top of the falls and continues on from there. It is easy to follow (but minimal signs and no blazes) and there are a few camping areas along the way. When you get to the sign with a map you’ll see two trails, the right takes you to a camping area and the left (heading up) is the trail.

There are a few minor water crossings and one more significant one that we reached about 1mi in. This one we did get a little wet at even while attempting to maneuver around it (SEE PHOTOS w/text labels). We only saw one other person while hiking this trail, everyone else was taking photos of the large waterfall from the road.

THIS TRAIL IS AMAZING and very easy (at least the half of it that we did). There are various water falls, a partial cave, rhododendron tunnels, neat rock formations, campsites, open areas, and steep areas. I would highly recommend this trail and would like to go back in the future. (I am an average or below average hiker who is also pregnant and was carrying a 14mo old.)

I believe most of these reviews are for the very short trail to the top, which is not the entirety of this trail. We hiked half-way in about 2.25mi in and back totaling roughly 4.5mi so my review is based off of that.

one of my favorite places

Great park and it was a great day to be on the trail. The waterfalls are spectacular, especially after all the rains. Not a very difficult trial but I would not recommend it for younger children, it would be too easy for a small child to get swept into the river.

So so pretty. Definitely a little challenging but doable. Just have to pay attention to what you’re doing. I would be very reluctant to do this trail after some rain. A lot of rocks but well marked. Virgin Falls at the very end is worth it I promise!

Really enjoyed this trail. It’s paved for the first .2 miles to a lookout that offers a scope for color blinded people then it turns to dirt. The trail was really easy. When you get the the bluff, there is a little trail that takes you to more of a drop off so don’t be afraid to explore around the trees and foliage. It was super windy the day I went and I was nearly knocked over from how strong it was so be cautious on the rock. I went in the evening when the sun was setting and it was really beautiful.

The look outs near the top of the waterfall were closed because of structural damage but you can still get to the top. Best views are from the observation decks. Really short and easy hike. Don’t let the “strenuous trail” signs fool you. ;)

hiking
8 days ago

ran out of time but hiked it for a couple hours. gorgeous. hope to go back and finish.

hiking
8 days ago

very pretty falls. short easy hike

great hike but better take note of the firwt sign you see it is strenous but well worth it. i do believe we will camp overnight sometime

hiking
10 days ago

Beautiful scenery. Trails weren’t hard. My family and I had a great day there and it’s our new favorite.

hiking
10 days ago

Cummins Falls is an amazing hike, with water crossings and an incredible waterfall at the end. Since it has been turned into a state park, it is VERY crowded on weekends! I would recommend a very early start if you’re going on a weekend, or try and do it through the week. In the winter, it’s much more difficult to get to the falls, but it can be done. A Cookeville/ Gainesboro treasure for sure!

Love this trail for a good challenge! Be ready for steep inclines and declines!

Awesome trail. Very beautiful. Able to get close to the water.

hiking
10 days ago

Its been raining a lot so some of the trail was quite muddy. Bring water proof shoes and you’ll be fine. Awesome trail.

Awesome hike! Did the hike to the base of the falls. It’s been raining the last few days so it was super muddy and slick but worth it. The way the rocks are makes it hard to get good footing - so I’d rate this more strenuous than moderate. Also hiked back up and did Cane Creek Falls over the suspension bridge. My husband , I and pup enjoyed the day exploring nature ! Check out Cane Creek Overlook if you’re looking for a good spot to stop and eat lunch.

hiking
10 days ago

Spectacular scenery today! All the recent rains have made the waterfalls amazing. Trails are muddy and slippery but that is to be expected. I agree with the moderate rating. Lots of rocks and roots but the trail is well marked. Lower Greeter Falls with the spiral staircase and Blue Hole are not to be missed!

We stopped in our way out of town. With all the recent rain, the trails were muddy but the water was running fast and it was SPECTACULAR! It was a moderate hike, need to watch younger children and your step. Highly recommended.

(TL;DR As a workout, by itself, this trail is good for an easy day/recovery day. If you want some spice at the end, do it counterclockwise and charge the ascent.)

Doing it counterclockwise, the trail is a very smooth day-path until you get close to the ascent. Be aware, the first chunk of the trail is paved. There are a couple of fall-to-your-death spots on the way out, but otherwise very easy. The descent is very gentle and afterwards stays level until the ascent. If there has been a lot of rain, your feet will get wet, but nothing past the ankles.

The ascent starts where the trail connects to the Sawmill trail. There will be a number of scrambles, but all of them are brief. The ascent can be quite steep. Charging the ascent was very satisfying, and a person could have a lot of fun running the ascent a few times in a row, I think.

If you're looking to do this as part of the Stone Door Perimeter Loop, this will be the easiest part.

First time I have walked the trail and had no idea it was as close to me as it was. It has rained for a week so the trail was often full of water and or running water down the trail in a number of places.

The trail is hard mainly because of the many elevation changes and long uphill sections. There is also a sign missing that tell you about the optional uphill section of rerouted trail and because the trail there is so new it’s very easy to loose your way.

But beautiful lake views, stone walls, and old building piers along the way is a great reminder of pre lake property owners who scratched out homesteads on the hills overlooking the Cumberland River.

Know the trail splits and it takes longer than you think it will and you will enjoy the gem of a trail.

Absolutely lives up to the hype. Great for kids and my dog. Two for one special of stunning falls at the bottom and the top and a suspension bridge for fun thrown in. Very cool hike.

walking
14 days ago

Stone Door is great and the views from the cliffs at the top are spectacular. Super easy walk from the parking lot to the Door...it's paved.

Amazing, beautiful, strenuous... this area is one of God's most beautiful creations!!! The place is awesome. Not for beginners. Like others, we started at the the stone door and took the trail clockwise starting down the Big Creek Gulf trail, to the Big Creek Rim trail, where we had to take a detour onto the shorter Laurel Falls trail to get back to Stone Door do to lack of day time left. The hike out of the gorge to alum gap/Big Creek Rim trail was tough, but doable. Temp outside was about 40°f and by the time we got off the BCG trail and to the top of the gorge, I was down to my short sleeves, no beenie cap, and sweating pretty good. There are so many trails to take here that we are going to be back for sure and do some overnight camping at the primitive campsites and do some multi day hikes. The climb out of Big Creek Gulf trail is definitely no joke. Very doable, but will work your legs and calves big time. Lots of rock scrambling, which was fun, and the Creek was roaring which made it even better. An amazing time in God's country and we will definitely be going back.

Nice trail with great lake views. The trail appears to be the primary drainage route so it is very wet and muddy following a rain. There is a good balance of climbs and descents and some interesting rock formations and a nice waterfall.

With recent rain, the waterfalls were incredible!! I’ve been here many times before, but have never seen them like this. Hoping they’ll eventually repair the broken overlooks, but still amazing views and a great short hike.

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