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

Johnson City, TN Map
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trail running
1 day ago

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

This is a nice, not too challenging hike. It’s uphill most of the way in, so that part is a little tough. It’s easy on the way out. Waterfall is really pretty with a small wading area at the base. Dog friendly for a well behaved dog.

Loved this hike! The falls are amazing! We did have to walk through water to get there and the trail has some medium sized rocks in a few spots. I would say moderate is a good rating for this trail. So worth it though!

Very beautiful and fun place to swim, but also very crowded with lots of families. Short and easy hike, I would not rate it as moderate.

My friends and I were camping in Hot Springs NC, and decided to take a 45 min drive over to hike this trail. The hike to the falls is beautiful. From the trail head to the waterfall is about a 400 ft incline in elevation. Because of this, going to the falls is mostly uphill. There are parts of the trail that is just made up of piles of medium size rocks. Great place for snakes to hide. We saw two along this stretch of the trail. Overall, I would totally recommend this hike!

hiking
7 days ago

We just hiked this trail on Tuesday. We went through the animal exhibits and took the Lakeside trail until we reached the Fire Tower Trail. The fire tower loop is pretty strenuous. I carried my 1 year old on my back and my mom and 8 year old hiked with me. It took us a hour to get up there, but we finally made it. The view is covered by trees, so if you can climb the tower, DO IT. It is beautiful. Most of the steps are in good shape. There might have been 2 that had some wood missing. I would recommend this trail, but be prepared for the uphill hike and take plenty to drink!

Did this trail last year. Trail is eroding from not being maintained. Waterfall is spectacular.

hiking
10 days ago

It’s $5 to get into the park. Once you get to the parking lot (theres only one area) all the trails start right by the dam either left or right. The fire tower trail itself is only .7 miles but you have to walk past all the animal enclosures and then go left onto the Lakeroad trail for about 1.5-2 miles then there is a sign for the fire tower trail. You can bike on the Lakeroad trail, its wide, but once you start the accent it’s a pretty steep incline. Great views from tge top though!
Tons of trails to explore here, theres a hike to the ‘antennas’ which is A LOT longer but definitely much to see.

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.

This was an incredible hike!!! For me, the cool part was how beautiful the scenery was along the way. Not only are the falls beautiful, but there are several spots along the way that were just amazing. Granted, I'm not in the best shape and it was challenging in spots, but I definitely felt like it was well worth it.

We were there all of 15 minutes. Within that time period we witnessed 2 complete dumbasses jump from the falls. One of which was covered in Swastika and white supremacy tattoos (he grazed the cliff on the way down).It was crowded with a pretty colorful array of people. We pretty much ran out of there. Skip this

road biking
23 days ago

We did this trail last July, it is a beautiful loop with several route options. The last half mile is a real calf burner, but the view from the tower is one of the most beautiful anywhere. You can see the line of the Blue Ridge as it marches from Virginia all the way to the Smokies looking south. On the day we hiked, we were blessed with unusually clear air for July and you coukd ckearly pick out distant Mt Leconte with its distinctive outline, looking north you see the long nobby ridges of Stone Mountain over on the Kentucky/Virginia border. This is one of those "huge payoff at the end" hikes. The hike around the lake is pretty with some good views, but nothing spectacular.

Hike was more challenging than I thought. Slippery rocks and roots during multiple unbridged stream bed crossings were found on trails other than the loop. We went clockwise from the picnic area on the loop and it seemed to be uphill most of the time. After White Rocks we took Tower trail down to Noggin and then Hartselle to get back to the car quicker. Noggin was narrow and steep with Hartselle being an active creek bed most of the way.

When we stepped out on to White Rocks we found more than one type of poisonous snake sunning itself and absorbing heat from the near by rocks. That was expected as possible so we were looking and cautious. No problems and good pics from a distance.

Did notice older men driving and parking around the around the picnic and camping areas. Got the feeling this could be a pickle park but we were not bothered nor did we see any casual encounters.

Absolutely beautiful!! It’s a little bit rocky in some parts so you have to be careful but totally worth it! We brought our dog and she loved it as well!

No view on this hike during summer.

This trail offers some pretty good views at the summit, but it is by far the worst marked trail I’ve been on. I do not mind unmarked trails, or having to venture to find my way, but there is a highway of trails that are either marked blue or white with no indication of where they go or why. This trail would be better if it were unmarked as it would be less confusing as the markings that have no rhyme or reason. That being said, it leaves a lot to be explored especially if you take a wrong turn. It would be easy to keep walking In small loops unintentionally

The waterfall is very nice. Not very populated when I went, so it felt pretty private at the waterfall. The trail itself is very rocky. Overall a great experience.

Hiking poles and Keen hiking boots came in handy for this one! The Falls were great. If you have bad knees - reconsider.

kind of confusing at parts, but that's part of the fun. it's beautiful there!!!!!

"Pain is just weakness leaving the body"....tell yourself that as you hike this one and you'll be okay. haha it is a hard hike, but the view and accomplishment of getting to the top is well worth it. Pack plenty of water, you will need it!

Good hike with several good overlooks. The loop is the best trail here. Most the others are hard on your legs

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Getting to the tower was a journey uphill but the view from the tower was amazing

Absolutely beautiful!! A little rocky in a few spots but it’s SO worth it!!!!!

backpacking
1 month ago

Awesome trail!

one of my all time favs if for no other reason than nostalgia.

This trail is by far my favorite of all the trails I have done. Very beautiful and worth the hike (and even to the very top where you can look down below).

Very dangerous! Please be careful. Multiple drowning deaths have occurred, including two in 2018 alone. Even swimming at the base is dangerous. See article:
http://wataugaonline.com/avery-sheriff-drowning-occurs-at-elk-river-falls-over-the-weekend/

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! All shaded woods until you reach the tower. Make sure you bring the map of the trails!

Beautiful hike. My three kids and I have done this trial several times and we find something new and just as awesome every time. I recommend going after a hard rain, take your time and enjoy the beauty and peacefulness.

The trail is a little hard to follow because there is usually a big gap between markings. Also, the trail is very small and you will hit overhanging branches and foliage. There is mostly steep inclines and declines with little medium walking ground. The views are amazing though, definitely worth all the hike! When you get to the road it is a little tricky getting back on the path but just look and you should find it no problem! Hiked a total of over 5 miles and they were all worth it! DO NOT go on these trails when it is raining because some parts would be impossible to pass.

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