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Amazing place!! We are looking forward to doing it again. We did the entire loop. I would consider it a moderate trail but we do a fair amount of hiking. It's like something from a lost land or another planet. Stunning rock formations and beautiful forest views. I would HIGHLY recommend doing the entire loop if you have the time and the ability. Another great thing about this place is you have the option of just going to the arches which is about 1.5 miles and it is breathtaking! One of my favorite places now. Don't forget that you will be in an active bear habitat so don't be stupid. If you don't know how to behave in bear country and what NOT to do then do everyone (and the bears) a favor and stay away!!

My favorite hike in the Smokies.

One of those trails that you just have to see in person. It’s a long hike so do take some protein and water but well worth it! Low traffic so we enjoyed the trail to ourselves mostly.

Hiked this yesterday in the cold and fog. It was indeed a challenging hike but worth it for the many elements and variety.

Loved it!

2/3 of the way is pretty basic. The last 1/3 was more fun. Stepping through and over more creeks, trees, rocks. The terrain became more intense. Once I reached the waterfall, the temperature had dropped and the rocks were iced over. It was beautiful, very private and reclusive.

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.

Went in November 2018. Right after a decent snow. About halfway up it was all snow and ice. Massive ice icicles were falling from the top of Alum Cave. Was a little daring trying to hurry up the frozen ground to get under the protection of the cave. Highly enjoyed the excitement of it all. The steps at Arch Rock were a solid sheet of ice. Fell only one time going down them. I enjoy the harder trails with a little twist of ice and snow.

Beautiful hike, wear hiking boots not tennis shoes! Bring water and a snack for when you get to the falls, it is well worth the hike. We live in Iowa and the trail was difficult for us but we made it!

hiking
8 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

We hiked this trail Jan 11th 2019, about 3/4 of the way up there was a bad icy patch, not un-crossable with out clips but definitely not for the feint of heart. There were 9 of us and 4 were inexperienced hikers. This trail was hard but entirely worth the effort. The views from the top were worth all the pain of falling on the ice. Bring lots of water, it gets warmer as you ascend due to the sun shining on the mountain. There are plenty of places to rest and take great pictures.

Worth all the effort! from the moment you see arch rock you know this is gonna be a cool hike. inspiration point should be enough to propel you to the end of this hike, but if that's not enough allum bluff is a wonderful turn around point and not much further past inspiration point. 10/10 will definitely do this hike again.

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. ;)

Did this trail twice. First time was a mistake. I entered the horse trail, not the hiking trail. The horse trail is more than twice as long as the hiking trail. I had to turn around at one point just to make sure I got out of there before dark, because I didn't bring a lot of gear. When I finally went back and did the hiking trail, it was the hike of a lifetime. Its amazing. There are a few little campsites along the way and a very old small cemetery. One gravestone is in good condition and they apparently died in 1860. 10/10 would recommend.

hiking
11 days ago

very pretty falls. short easy hike

hiking
12 days ago

I went after tons of rain, and I’m so glad I did! It was super muddy from the cemetery to the falls, so I would definitely recommend at least one trekking pole.

Once you get to the creek and see the falls and think you can’t go any further, put on some water shoes, cross the river, and keep going up.

Took my 26 pound dog and he loved it.

What a nice surprise!

My GPS clocked 8.25 miles and I went all the way to the top of the falls.

I really enjoy the great views and proximity to the water along parts of the trail.

hiking
13 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!

Fun day trip! Great scenery. Listened to other reviews and climbed the ledge at the pool and found the beginning of the falls. Well worth the climb.

We hiked the entire loop today (Jan. 6, 2019) and it was absolutely breathtaking! The arches are stunning in person, and hiking the whole loop feels like you’re traveling through different terrains. We stopped at Jakes Place, about half way through, and had a picnic lunch by the creek. Beware, when we were here it was VERY muddy on the trail, so just something to consider when choosing footwear. I had on Chacos and it was fine, but muddy lol. Also, our gps navigation said we walked a total of 6.3 miles, and it took us 4 hours from the trail head to finish! Highly recommend!!

We love this trail. Very muddy and slippery on the last mile to the falls tough climb back out. But overall an awesome hike we plan to return when dry
My GPS. Recorded 8 miles round trip and took 6 hrs spent about an hour at the falls.

hiking
13 days ago

Such a nice area I didn’t know existed! (I’m located in Nashville) Follow @thehikinghuskies on Instagram to see this trail and more TN trails!

hiking
13 days ago

Great walk with our dog. Still muddy from all the rain.

This trail is great for beginners. There is one area where you get off one flat trail, hike up the side of the hill and it gets you to another flat trail that takes you to the falls. Fabulous payoff and both times I was there, I was completely alone at the falls.

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.

Just amazing. Simple as that.

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.

hiking
14 days ago

My mom and I went to Winding Stairs today and loved it! It has been raining a lot the last week so it got pretty muddy in a few places, but we made it. We only had to cross water twice and it was not very deep. We will definitely be going back!

Pogue Creek is a great workout with beautiful scenery! The many rock houses, steep cliffs, rock formations, boulders and hemlocks make the environment quite unique. It even has a white sand beach under one of the sandstone cliffs, and the water drips and pools by the cliffs are amazing. The only negative might be that it is not good for dogs due to the occasional steep stairs and ladders. But it is a beautiful hike!

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