Fire Tower Loop

MODERATE 45 reviews
#2 of 5 trails in

Fire Tower Loop is a 4.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Kingsport, Tennessee that features beautiful wild flowers 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.

4.7 miles
797 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running




wild flowers


7 days 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!

10 days 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.

road biking
23 days 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.

1 month ago

"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!

1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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

4 months ago

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

5 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.

7 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.

7 months ago

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.

7 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.

9 months ago

Great all day hike. Beautiful view from the firetower!

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.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

if your doing this trail it's rocky in some spots but you can also get to to fire tower by using the access roads along back of property. it's easier to come down that way.

Friday, June 16, 2017

really nice park, good trail/path conditions, moderate difficulty, great views from the top of the fire tower, if you don't mind heights. be careful climbing stairs, they have some sketchy ones.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

$5 to get in. Multiple trails that branch off eachother. Map is needed if unfamiliar with it. Some kids towards the beginning

Monday, February 27, 2017

Trail was well kept in most places. couple of steady uphill climbs. Nice canopy of trees for shade. Views from the top were great. Didn't climb the tower because of a couple missing steps.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

can be hard at times but it's worth a few hikes

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Nice trail. Great views.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

excellent view from the tower

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Pretty nice hike, lots of up hill climbing but worth it once you reach the top..

Saturday, October 08, 2016

haven't been hiking since 1999. Good trail to start. Rain was rolling in so there was a lot of wind while climbing the tower. Awesome view though.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Short easy hike with good views

Friday, July 29, 2016

This was a great hike and the view from the fire tower is amazing! The trip up was a little harder than I expected but it was well worth it. The fire tower is not for people who are afraid of heights and it is a little rickety when climbing!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Great hike with wonderful views from top of the tower

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Very strenuous hike, but the view at the top is well worth it. One of my favorite hikes of the area.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Absolutely beautiful views but a really strenuous hike. Very steep uphill at some places. However, it's well worth it. You have to pay $3 to park but after you hike it's nice to go around the park and see the wildlife exhibits. Be sure to eat a good meal before this! I was starving when I finally made it back to the car.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Great hike to the best view of Kingsport. Believe it or not, it's not all Eastman that you can see! I've been up sketchier fire towers than this but this one is still not for the faint of heart.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Good hike! Some steep uphills and beautiful scenery. The tower is a little sketchy but the view is well worth it. There are so many trails that lead all over Bays Mountain, can't wait to explore them all. Saw two deer on the way and they just walked right on by just out of arms reach. It was very cool!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

View from the fire tower is nice, but quite the hike there. The tower is also in bad condition and is quite scary to go up and down. Traffic at the top can be busy as well, so not a lot of opportunity to take in the view from the top.

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