Explore the most popular walking trails in Bays Mountain Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

First time there mtn biking, super friendly hikers and bikers. Not a technical ride but super enjoyable. My next time I will push harder and enjoy some of the things I missed due to first time ride. You can fly thru some sections and there are some banked turns. Not alot of rocks or roots that I would brake for. Greatly maintained and marked. Do it. Start on Chestnut and plenty of options from there.

trail running
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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!

on Fire Tower Loop

hiking
1 month 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.

road biking
1 month 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.

a beautiful and very easy trail!!!!!

"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!

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

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

$5 to get into the park, the trail is mostly in the woods, the lake isn’t followed most of trail, follow the map that is given, the signs can be confusing at times. Family friendly animal exhibits at the start of trail.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike, just chose the wrong company, lol. This is a beautiful and well kept park!

hiking
6 months ago

One of my favorite trails in the park. Beautiful views that make you feel like you are in Colorado at times. If you are thinking of doing it DO IT!!

hiking
6 months ago

Not my favorite hike at Bays Mountain but if you have never been to the fire tower then it’s worth the trip. Mostly easy hike until the climb to the tower and that section is pretty strenuous. Great views from the top in winter time but mostly blocked by trees in summer. Unless you are brave enough to climb up into tower.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful trail that makes you feel like you are in Colorado instead of Tennessee at times. Moderate to Easy trail with nice bridge crossings and pine forest areas.

A beautiful,easy hike in late February. Weather was great, plenty of wildlife roaming around. Good scenery which we enjoyed. I’d recommend if your looking for a fun, easy hike.

Very nice

Peaceful hike, then the wolves began howling and made it even better!

Beautiful trail around reservoir lake, tons of wildlife, Bays Mountain is a gem!

Beautiful trail around the lake reservoir on top of Bays Mtn. Bound to see wildlife, especially in the summer complete with otters, beavers, and lily pads. Stop by the animal habit exhibits, herpetarium, planetarium, and nature center. Great for kids! Largest municipal park in Tennessee

hiking
8 months ago

Nice hike beginning through animal habitat exhibits, going around a lake, and up to the top from there. Pay attention because you do need to change trails and there is more than one way to the summit. Nice view from the fire tower. Be careful, some boards/steps may be damaged or missing.

Great hike, be prepared for it to take 3-5 hours to make it to the top and back down. There are a couple benches at the top to take in the view and to refresh yourself. However, when I went before winter the steps were not in the best shape on the fire tower. So take caution with that. Would advise a walking stick for the inclines.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike! Off Lakeside Trail in Bays Mtn. 3 benches at the top for snacks before climbing the tower. Built in 1937, it’s old but sturdy. Walking sticks help with the incline.

on Fire Tower Loop

hiking
10 months ago

Great all day hike. Beautiful view from the firetower!

hiking
Saturday, August 26, 2017

We love Bays Mountain. There aren't any hikes that will challenge hardcore hikers, but if you are like me and just enjoy beautiful walks in the peaceful woods, then you will love it too. The firetower trail is probably the hardest calf burner in the park, it's a pretty good climb, I think the uphill section is about 500 ft or so of elevation change in a little over a half mile not counting the 68 feet to the top of the tower. The 360° views of the ridge and valley section of the Appalachians are simply breathtaking from here. It is absolutely amazing. We have only been twice, and I can't wait to check it out in the fall.

hiking
Monday, August 07, 2017

very nice trail. great views and the fire tower is really fun to go up. it is a little sketchy going up and down the tower but worth it for the view. A must visit if you are in the area and love to hike or ride bikes.

Monday, July 03, 2017

The planetarium is state of the art and the wolf howl is always an awesome thing to witness.

on Bays Mountain Trail Loop

Sunday, June 25, 2017

beautiful kid friendly trail. would be perfect if around the lake was cleared up from fallen debris and lily pads. several benches for breaks. did spot a water moccasin trying to get up onto one of the bridges so beware!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I go to bays mountain frequently. it's so peaceful and beautiful.

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