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

to do Map
12 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

Nice day hike. Trail is fairly marked. Rocks at the top and overlook well worth the trip. It took 3 hours including 15 minute lunch at the overlook.

Nice loop trail from deep creek access point of GSMNP. Maybe 5 miles but easy enough that keeping track isn’t really necessary. Going to juney whank falls first and going clockwise the first half will run along a creek, then climb a bit, then descend to run along another creek. 3 waterfalls in all and all pretty for this time of year. Most of the trail is wide and flat with benches so it’s good for anyone.


scenic driving
26 days ago

We drove the Cherohala Skyway to River Road. What a beautiful drive! It was a rainy day so the water was flowing pretty heavily. River road lead straight to Bald River falls. There's parking on the other side of the bridge. People were in the road taking pictures of the falls from the bridge. There's a small trail to the left of the parking area that you can take to the top of the falls. It's a short, easy hike. Dog friendly as well. Pictures uploaded.

27 days ago

Enjoyable, easy hike. Well maintained.

1 month ago

Nice hike, not very difficult, interested in going back sometime.

Easy to follow moderate trail to beautiful overlook, old house chimneys, spring house, Windless Cave.

Really great walk, fantastic in the early morning! enter off the city road not the loop for an easy in and out

Really nice and well maintained trails. A lot of different options to explore depending on how lengthy of a hike you want to do. We did the 5 mile loop. It was easy for the most part. There was a 0.5 mile climb up a ridge about half way through that was decently strenuous. Outside of that, it was fairly easy hiking. You walk along side 2 different creeks and get to see multiple waterfalls. We went in mid-December when it was in the low-50s. Made for a very fun day.

Went on a rainy day, the wet conditions made the beginning more challenging; however, it was not crowded! Would definitely go again. Didn’t go the entire distance due to the river crossing.

My wife and I hiked this over the summer, and it was a pretty brutal during the heat of July. WE went clockwise and camped on the deep creek campsite #7 i believe. Gurgling waters made for a relaxed evening. There also were surprisingly little bugs as well. We made a fire and camped out and enjoyed the beautiful night. The next day we completed the loop.

2 caveats: one don't forget the butane for the stove
two bring water purification tablets, and a life straw. luckily i had the life straw to resupply our water.

The views when we were able to see through he foliage were gorgeous. I will definitely come back and hike this or the Mountains to Sea trial again.

A great little hike that's definitely worth the effort. Especially the views back toward Beehive across the little bay can be absolutely stunning if the weather is right.

Loved it! Beautiful trail and I was very fortunate to have gorgeous weather.
There were many people out, including families. It seems to be a popular spot, not exactly secluded if that’s what you’re looking for.

Love this trail. Great challenge, but not too difficult.

this is a relatively easy moderate Trail with beautiful views. It's nice to do the hike up over the Ridge and get away from the loud sounds of the river and end of The Quiet of the forest. the signs are pretty good at showing the way.

3 months ago

Lots of beautiful falls to see in a short distance.

beautiful, this is why we moved to Tennessee!

I second the going counter clockwise. We started the trail on the stone steps at the far end of sand beach scrambling up the rocks. The views from the head are stunning! A great hike.

3 months ago

This is a great hike. The trail starts just left of the parking area at the falls. We didn’t go the whole trail distance but will definitely go back and do more.

It’s right off the road and only a little ways to the top of the falls. Beautiful.

awesome hiking with wonderful views

3 months ago

Trail head is tough to fine. It is on the side of the highway directly opposite the paved parking pull-off. It is faintly marked by some surveyor's tape, but otherwise hard to see. trail itself was well marked. I hiked up at night and down the next morning. watching the sunrise from the overlook was amazing. Some great bouldering at the top as well.

Good water source flowing into the cave, which is closed due to white-nose syndrome.

in June, we were the only people on the trail once we passed the deep creek waterfall area. we took sunkota ridge to Indian creek. sunkota ridge was several miles of incline.
it was really nice to follow the creek on the back half of our hike.

3 months ago

Only walked up to quarry and part way around it as it was greeting dark and I still had to walk back to my hotel (not from the area). The area around the quarry was pretty overall. The walk to the quarry from downtown was nice except the last .3 mile or so as there isn’t a sidewalk.

3 months ago

Great Trail! Lots of different features including a spring house and old settlement ruins, caves, and a beautiful overlook.

This was a fun trail with some great views. If you take the full loop there is also some diversity of trail - a few stretches with somewhat challenging rock scrambling and some downright wide, easy paths to relax a bit. I would recommend going counter-clockwise so that you are scrambling up the rocks instead of picking your way down. Then you get the easygoing portion at the end.

3 months ago

I am not sure this should be an easy if you do the entire trail. Yeah the wide flat part is super easy, but there are climbing parts that are more like the low side of moderate. I enjoyed this trail and did veer off the path some. Total distance for me was about 7 miles. The side parts of this path are nice and more lightly trafficked in the AM. I arrived early and saw much more foot traffic when finishing up around 11 am. I did the path solo so did bring a clicker to make noise as well periodically. It was only needed on the less trafficked parts. Evidently I wasn’t making enough noise though as I still walked up on a deer before it got startled. At least it wasn’t a bear :) The waterfalls were great as well. Definitely a great hike overall. If you use all trails just be sure it updates as mine struggled on this path (showing me accurately) and I had it downloaded.

So fun. A lot of traversing over granite rocks and spectacular views!

on Lowry Falls Trail

4 months ago

Short but intense hike with a steep grade. We'll positioned rocks and trees help along the way. The cascades are pretty, but may not be worth the effort. We enjoyed it but probably won't return.

On this day there was a fallen tree with branches obscuring the beginning of the trail, but easy enough to get around it. thanks

Load More