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Cumberland Trail: Snow Falls Trail is a 11.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Dayton, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from February until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 11.8 mi Elevation gain 1,469 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Kid friendly Backpacking Fishing Hiking Nature trips Cave Forest River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Bugs Muddy Over grown Rocky Snow
Description
Waypoints (1)
Contact
Getting There

Quiet falls awaits you with great overlook views to be enjoyed on this trail. Beautiful scenery. Great place for a family hike. Your hike begins along the Richland Creek that provided water and mining for the town of Dayton for many years. This area was once logged by Bowater Paper and then turned over to provide excellent trails for the pocket wilderness and Cumberland Trail. The first 1.5 miles is shared by Snow Falls & Laurel Falls; at this point turn left (NW) to Snow Falls. You will hike 3/4 mile then you will walk around a huge boulder and then cross 3 50' bridges to cross over Richland Creek. The next 2 miles you will ascend over 500' by a series of switchbacks that lead to the upper rim to Buzzard Point. Once you are on top follow an old log road to the south to Buzzard Point for lunch with a view! Backtrack to connect to the Snow Falls trail that crosses this log road you're on. You will descend to creek level of which you will have to wade or cross depending on water level to get to the Falls. Please beware that this part isn't marked well and many hikers have said they had a hard time finding the Falls. Once you are across the creek follow white blaze. Backtrack to upper rim for the Dunn Overlook for great views. Open from 8 am to 7 pm. The gate at the entrance to Pocket Wilderness Road is closed at 7 pm.

Laurel-Snow Bowater Pocket Wilderness Trail

Directions via I-75: Exit 60 Sweetwater. Follow Highway 68 West to Highway 27 and turn left (south) toward dayton. Turn right on Walnut Grove Road (first traffic light). Bear left when road splits, onto Back Valley Road. At 0.7 mile, turn right on the unmarked gravel road across from a small white church. A small "pocket wilderness" sign marks the road and follw this to the end of a large parking area. The trailhead is just ahead past the huge rocks.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (144)
Photos (608)
Recordings (108)
Completed (325)
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Michael Ellington
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 13, 2020
Hiking

Great hike!

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Lindsey Dodd
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020
HikingGreat!

Beautiful! Great for kids. Also dog friendly.

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Nancy S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 10, 2020
HikingBlowdownBugsMuddyOff trailOver grownScramble

The dirt road leading to the trail is full of ruts, pot holes and run-offs. We were glad to have a high riding vehicle. A friend and I took this trail early Monday morning in the beginning of August. We never saw a sole. The trail was very rocky and slippery. For us, it absolutely could not have been completed safely without hiking shoes, poles and plenty of water. The trail map on AllTrails does NOT lead to the falls. We hiked the entire route according to AllTrails (and then some) but never found the falls. The Cumberland Trail System webpage has a map to the falls and some useful information we wish we had known ahead of time. To reach the falls, when you reach the wide dirt road, go left. If you go right, you will reach the beautiful Buzzard Point overlook-well worth the short distance. Overall, the trail markers were very confusing and sometimes not visible at the multiple splits on the trail. (Which is quite obvious by observing the multiple recordings of people who took this trail.) We often found ourselves off trail. Since the Cumberland Trail system has a different map all together, we found ourselves going between the two routes and hiking 40,000 steps (over 15 miles). Many parts were overgrown and there were multiple trees on the trail that we had to climb over/under.

Comment from AllTrails

- 30 days ago

Thanks for the review, Nancy! We have updated the route accordingly. Still see something wrong? Please write us at support@alltrails.com!

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Jim Linneman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 11, 2020
Hiking

Lots of great information on this hike in previous reviews. There is a large amount of poison ivy all along this trail. When the trail narrows, it is difficult to avoid. I recommend wearing long pants on this hike. We walked to Buzzard Point, not snow falls. To get there, after you climb between the two rock outcroppings, head left then straight to the old forest road. The point offers a nice place to sit for lunch and great views!

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David Lewis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 7, 2020
Hiking

Nice trail, moderate Incline, but not too bad. Great overlooks at the top. Trail is not blazed well at the top so we were not able to make a loop. Could not find the trail crossing at Snow Falls. Trail map at trailhead didn't have that section either. Very crowded trail. Saw two copperhead snakes on the trail, so keep a close eye out. Once you get to the top of the ridge, through the large boulders follow the white blazes to the right and go counter clockwise to get to the falls. There is a side trail near the power lines with a great overlook of the valley below and next ridgeline, look for the waterfall near the top. Also, lots of unmarked trails intersect the main trail, so watch for the blazes.

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c b
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 7, 2020

it is open!

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Daniel Patterson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 23, 2020
HikingBugsFloodedRocky

The water was high! Good hike

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Zackery Reupert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 10, 2020
Hiking

An amazing trail with beautiful sights the entire way up to the top of the ridge! PSA 2.5 miles in there is a section of the trial with a few blow downs and washouts that can cause you to easily get lost! Pay attention to the markers and the orange tape in this area to keep in the right direction! The Laurel-Snow State Natural Area is one of the best places to hike you won’t be disappointed!

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Phil Perkins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 17, 2020
HikingMuddyOff trailRocky

This has to be one of the most pleasant trails - as per scenery along Richland Creek - to hike! Ascended the mountain at first wooden bridge on trail at right, encountering a series of terrific waterfalls, and an old mining opening near the top. Richland Creek water a beautiful blue/green color. Trails muddy, rocky. Headed left at 1.5 mile split, following Snow Falls trail marker. Trail splits soon after - stay right (left leads to small camping area with fire-pits). After crossing the creek on three 50' (connecting sections) bridge, and following the trail for a while, there is an area where hikers should stay left (pink/orange ribbons leading between a few boulders), rather than right which seems more obvious. This sidestep reconnects to the trail, which thereafter is clearly marked. Visited Buzzard Point for some great views to the east, and was 'dive bombed' by two buzzards - heads up! Backtracked along ridge on old road to end, turning left there into the woods towards Snow Falls. This area isn't marked very well. At one point, hikers should keep left where trail splits (right leads to another camping area). Eventually, the trail ends at the creek - which must be crossed to rejoin trail to Snow Falls. The water was high, swift and cold...I waded in halfway to my knees, though could see I'd need to commit to crossing a stretch with over-knee deep depths (along a slippery, flat rock surface under water), and bailed. Will return another time! With a few stops for pictures on the way back, it took approx. 2 hours to return to parking area.

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Kenneth Geer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 3, 2020

Did this hike with my wife on 2/2, it was her 70 th birthday and this was just the challenge she was looking for. Great view from up on top. Didn't cross the stream to get to the falls but enjoyed the hike very much. Will do again for sure.

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Benny Bradford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 24, 2019
Hiking

A few weeks ago there was no water at laurel Falls. It’s gushing now. November.

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Jeanna Beck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 16, 2019
Hiking

So much history along this trail! I loved all the remnants from the old bridges and tunnels. Lots of rocks and boulders. It reminded me of Big South Fork. I went to Buzzard Point and then over to Snow Falls. Beautiful views at the point. I couldn’t find a trail to get down to the falls, but they were pretty from the top. I’ll definitely go back to this one.

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Benny Bradford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 9, 2019
HikingRocky

Buzzards Point has got to be one of the coolest overlooks I’ve ever been to. Not only are there fantastic views but also really fun things to climb on. I was pleasantly surprised to see laurel falls across the canyon from one of the overlooks.

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The Cairn Chronicles
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 19, 2019
CampingRocky

This is a beautiful trail that I would rate on the upper end of moderate. Some may find even difficult depending on physical condition. Dunn Overlook may actually be missed due to the trail being a little overgrown. The small spur trail will be just behind the fire pit and may not be visible in summer months. You have to look for it. It is a very short walk from the camping area to the actual overlook.

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meg reuthe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 6, 2019
Hiking

easy day hike, but we backpacked to the first campsite (at the split). since it's been so dry, the water wasn't flowing, but there was enough to filter. hiked up to Snow Falls (dry), which had gorgeous view. leaves just beginning to change, not dramatic yet.

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Tina Folsom
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 28, 2019
HikingOff trailPrivate property

We stayed in an Airbnb private property area and hiked to snow falls. It was very overgrown when we got to the non private actual trail. Poorly marked. Be warned. The laurel snow main entrance is a much easier hike.

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Kiersten Williams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 21, 2019
HikingRocky

Great trail with great views. Spots later in the trial though you have to pay attention to white blazes because of downed trees. We believe we got to snow falls but not to the end of the designated trail because the blazes disappeared. Otherwise really amazing trail.

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Joshua Smeton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 21, 2019
HikingMuddyRocky

The overlook at Buzzard's Point offers one of the best west-to-east views of the Tennessee Valley. On a clear day, you can see the Tennessee River, the Hiwassee River, and the Unicoi Mountains which are roughly 60 miles eastwards.

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Megan Torman Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 13, 2019
Hiking

We made it to the top of the ridge and had to turn around due to daylight the last time we tried this. It was also raining and the rocks and the bridge were SO slick. There was no one on the trail even though it was a weekend. This time, March 2, it was a beautiful sunny weekend day and we could barely find a spot to park! Lots of people set up at the large group site after the trail split. We did intervals of hiking/running on the way up and the doggo loved exploring the river and woods. Solid climb up to the ridge. There's a fire ring and small primitive campsite at the edge of the ridge where the trail loops around. There's a great vista if you dont turn and go past the firering- you can also get here by following the powerline clearing right before. The water crossing was really flowing and slick. Water was much too cold for my preference but the fiancé and doggy went across and took pics for me. Great hike!

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