Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Cloudland Canyon State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Cloudland Canyon park is quite commercialized. Everything is very clearly marked and trail is heavily trafficked. You are not going to achieve backcountry solitude on this trail but the views and waterfalls make it worth it. Immediately off the trailhead you have the option to jut off and check out the waterfalls. Definitely do this. The trail (metal/wood stairs) make a steep decent into the canyon valley and show off a couple of remarkable falls. The remainder loops around the west rim of the canyon and back through the camp/cabin areas. There are more than a handful of overlooks along the way and are all very open. Views of the canyon walls are awesome. We took our time with the viewpoints and vistas and spent about 3 hours on the trail including the waterfalls. Distance ended up being a little over 6 miles. The trail itself is fairly easy with interesting rock formations throughout. I will definitely consider hiking here again. My biggest concern would be the crowd. The place was packed in the dead of winter so cant imagine what it looks like other times of year.

The trail itself looks gorgeous but it's not really dog friendly. All of the stairs are metal grate that our dog wouldn't go down and so we couldn't actually do any of the hike.

Amazing trail! Beautiful and well marked. FYI, there is no signs for the Sutton’s Gulch until you get down into the gorge.

hiking
18 days ago

This trail is kept up very nicely. Hard in some parts, easy in others.

hiking
muddy
22 days ago

Trail was beautiful, but very windy today. It’s pretty muddy with all the recent rain, I definitely recommend waterproof boots over tennis shoes. The waterfalls were absolutely breathtaking - definitely torrential, not a trickle. The stairs and stone steps are wet so take you time.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a great trail. Rocky and uneven, but not a ton of elevation change so not overly difficult. There are several scenic overlooks that are just amazing. I did this hike in December so some of the views are probably a little better with the leaves being down. I had my dog with me and he did fine but there are a few stairs on this trail and a LOT of them on the waterfall trails that are metal grate steps. Great for Humans, but not very comfortable for dog paws. He made it but was obviously uncomfortable with the steps.

hiking
1 month ago

I parked at the bottom near Trenton and got a ride back up to the top. The Lyft driver had to come from Chattanooga so I gave him $20 tip in addition to the Lyft fee of $10. I did not want to spend several hours of daylight and energy climbing back up. Dropping down about 180 steps is the trail to Cherokee Falls (40 more steps down). At about 530 steps down is the trail to Hemlock Falls. At about 540 steps down is a bridge crossing the creek. At about 590 steps down is the official start to the Sutton’s Gulch Trail. It is 2 miles downhill (except for a few small hills) along the creek. There is Case Trail leading to Case (bat) Cavern which is about a quarter mile long in total and remains in sight of Sutton’s Gulch Trail. It connects back to Sutton’s Gulch Trail. A permit is required to enter the cave. There is also the Wildflower trail which connects back and is only about one eighth of a mile long. There are change rooms at the lower parking lot.

hiking
1 month ago

An easy walk in the woods. Very few people. Several crossings with bridges of Long Branch.

hiking
1 month ago

So many stairs! Apparently there are a couple caves nearby as well. Pretty walk through the would, picturesque creek, beautiful waterfall.

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous views of what remaining leaves are on the trees into the canyon. Be prepared for tons of stairs and you’ll be set. It rained recently so the falls are flowing nicely.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

The Hemlock Falls trail also leads you to Cherokee Falls. At the park, and on the park map, these aren't named as individual trails, but rather the "Waterfalls Trail". As with all the other trails in Cloudland, this trail is very well marked and easy to follow. The rocks at the base of the waterfall can be slippery and just about everything off-trail is loose. BE AWARE of your footing. The park describes this trail as "strenuous" but in reality it's on the harder side of moderate - if only because of the amount of stairway steps which is about 600 steps one way to just Hemlock Falls, then back up and down the other side to see Cherokee Falls. The drop in elevation is about 350-400 ft over a 1 mile stretch. Right in the middle between hard and easy. Depending on the amount of waterfall in the park and upstream, the waterfall can change drastically. On our visit, we had rain the night before and the falls were spectacular. It's a must see.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

BEAUTIFUL! Once you get past the seemingly endless stairs and cross the bridge over Daniel creek the trail is amazing. All the trails we hiked at Clouland were very well marked and easy to follow. SGT follows along the creek and provides excellent views of waterfalls both on the creek and feeding it. If you hike the West Rim Loop Trail all the way to the east end, towards the main overlook and interpretive center, you'll see a pretty impressive waterfall on the west side of the canyon. That waterfall is the first one you'll encounter on Sitton's Gulch trail. the trail is rocky, and the steps leading down to it can be daunting - especially on the way back up, so conserve your energy. It's well worth it. be sure to see Hemlock Falls at the trail intersection.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Excellent views! We camped at the park Thanksgiving week, and although the park was full to capacity, there wasn't too much traffic on the trails. The trail is moderate, and may offer a tougher time for beginners, but it's definitely doable. The trail markers are well-kept and easily viewed/ identified. It's very easy to stay on the trail.

Nice little trail for a quick hike. Not very challenging but if you like camping and testing out your pack weight, this is a good trail. There are lots of camp sites with a good distance between them. Not much to see but it’s quite and you have lots or forest to enjoy. Probably camp there in the spring. Also a good running trail.

Fantastic trail. Although a short one, not for small children or those that aren't good with a significant number of stairs. Views and waterfall is stunning.

beautiful hike, great workout. not a good hike for dogs due to all the stairs.

Awesome little hike. About the first mile and a half is spent descending into the canyon through about 600 park-installed steps. The trip down is pretty accessible to anyone that can get up and down stairs with plenty of stopping points along the way. It’s a push on the way back out but we’ll worth the trip. As others have stated, you could stop at the cane trail markers.

Great trail. Very well marked. Lots of spectacular views.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike!!! Moderate to easy for 2 miles in starting from the bottom but from that point you gotta climb a ton of steps... not for the faint of heart...

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful in the fall and well marked. It is a perfect for picnic and hammock spot as well.

on West Rim Loop Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Same as the west trail, this one for some reason has you doing the loop twice though

hiking
2 months ago

It has gorgeous views and trails but there were soooo many people. We were always walking in front of or behind several people. Would go again though.

Waterfalls were awesome, stairs were.... not awesome. Very well marked trail, very busy (touristy spot and holiday weekend). Lots of dogs on trail, many struggling with the stairs which are grate-like. There was a section with some large falling rocks. This was scary and we turned back at that point.

Hiked this on a beautiful early November day. Outstanding views, slight elevation changes, just picturesque scenery. LOVED it!!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail! I went solo and saw many people along the way. Very well marked. I also did the waterfall trail with it and it was gorgeous. Moderate is fairly accurate.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail

hiking
2 months ago

I started in Trenton and went up. With 600+ stairs at the end, it was a good decision. Beautiful trail, waterfalls and, views. Will absolutely do it again.

hiking
3 months ago

Oh my goodness, CC never ever gets old. Views, waterfalls, and the canyon are absolutely stunning. Today we came for views to see the changing leaves, as there is little water. The parking lot was full of out of state tags and the trials were humming with campers and visitors. I grew up here and this place is hard to beat!

hiking
3 months ago

No waterfall, in drought.

hiking
3 months ago

This was a gorgeous hike! Even through the continuous rain, we thoroughly enjoyed it! We will most definitely be coming back in the spring when it isn't raining, and the waterfalls and springs are flowing and flowers blooming. It was well marked, well maintained, and a great mix of rocky and woody. We would recommend going left at the loop. You end up having less incline as if you went right at the loop, and you "save the best for last" as far as views go.

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