Rattlesnake Ridge Trail

MODERATE 46 reviews

Rattlesnake Ridge Trail is a 8.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Unicoi, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

8.3 miles
2,657 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



mountain biking

nature trips

trail running





wild flowers



old growth

over grown



This is a nice trail in a pretty setting in Unicoi TN. You park at Rock Creek Park and there is a $2.00 charge.

5 months ago

Deep woods trail that makes you feel like you are deep in the wilderness. Which that isn’t far from the truth. I prefer to cut off this trail and go visit Lower Dicks Creek Falls.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Fairly steep climb most of the way. Compared to other trails on this site I've hiked classified as "Hard", I think this hike is more than "Modetate". I enjoyed the challenge and solitude this trailed offered.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The directions at the top of this page say turn left on Hwy 107, but you actually turn right and then Rock Creek Road is on the left. This is a good hike, but very rocky and uphill most of the time. It seemed longer than 1.5 miles, probably because of the steepness, but my Fitbit measured it at 3.1 round trip. I would like to do this hike in the fall when it would be cooler and not as humid. Good, moderate hike.

Monday, July 04, 2016

It was fairly strenuous, solid up hill climb. Great for a nice workout for my 40's age body. However, if you are older and/or have any medical issues just be careful because it's a long uphill hike. Nothing exceedingly treacherous or dangerous though. We did the hike in the heat of the day in July. Decent amount of canopy helped a lot, But still hot and tiresome at points. For some reason there are 2 Rattlesnake ridge trails listed? We went expecting to see a waterfall. We were disappointed to discover there was NO waterfall after all our efforts. We located an overlook at the end of the trail with a nice view, however, no waterfall? The waterfall hike is apparently on a different trail. Rock Creek Fall Trial has the waterfall.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

I got more than 3.6 miles out of my gps as well as another hiker I met at the top. I registered 4.6 and they were around the same.

This trail is demanding and keeps an elevation gain all the way to the top. For a second you loop into Dark Hallow trail and then continue on up. It isn't until the end that you see that you come to a parking lot but the demanding hike is worth it. I would suggest a nice cool day for this trail. I did it on July 2nd in the morning and it got a little too hot for me and my pup Banjo.

Sunday, May 29, 2016


Saturday, May 07, 2016

This is a beautiful waterfall that I keep returning to. Easy to moderate hike

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pay $2 at the front but drive back to the building at the front of the campgrounds and park there. Trailhead is on the left just past the building. There are three trails, Rock Creek Falls, Rattlesnake Ridge, and a bike trail. Hike is mostly uphill but makes for a quick return trip. We were a little confused after the lower falls. We came to an opening and there were a few trees down and the trail wasn't as visible with the leaves down. Keep hiking up. The trail ends at the bottom of the upper falls. Really enjoyed this one!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Loved this hike. Was wet and water was high from more than a week of rain, but still doable. Probably not best for little kids or pets after a rain.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

The trail was exceeding. What a wonderful day! The temperature under the canopy was comfortable. Very mature forest. Few creek crossings yet easy to pass. Uphill 3/4 of the hike in but passes quickly on the out hike. First trip and would do it again. I will wait for higher amount of rainfall to trek this again for a bigger waterfall.

Monday, July 27, 2015

I hiked both Rock Creek Falls and Rattlesnake Ridge Trails on Saturday. Rattlesnake Ridge is an uphill climb to an awesome lookout. It also lived up to its name as I had to coax a timber rattler off the trail to keep on hiking up the mountain. You will walk into the designated wilderness area on this trail. This would be a better hike in fall or spring when its less overgrown. In fact, it was barely noticeable as a trail from the parking lot at Pleasant Gardens or Unaka Mountain Overlook, whichever you prefer to call it. The good news is its all down hill on the way back to the car.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Did this hike yesterday. Definitely worth the hike to the falls. It is uphill most of the way, but just stop and take a breather and you'll be fine. No need to hurry. The views all the way up are breathtaking and you hear the constant sound of the stream the entire way. Super relaxing hike. Creek was easy to cross in most places, just be careful of the slick rocks. The hike back seemed to only take a couple minutes. Very low traffic, only came upon 2-3 other groups the entire time. This trail is a hidden treasure of this area.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

I love this area. There are at least two trails which lead out of the Rock Creek Campground. Rock Creek Falls and Dick Creek Falls. Each of these trails is easy with a couple of spots which might be rated moderate.

Monday, October 27, 2014

We did this in the afternoon, after doing Laurel Falls in the morning. This was more technical, and the uphills were more strenuous. But again, the waterfall views at the end are definitely worth the effort.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

This a beautiful hike. Don't stop at the lower falls, keep on trekking till you arrive at the upper. It's worth it. Beware of snakes during the summer months. Yesterday while on our way from the upper to the lower falls, we were rudely interrupted by two timber rattlesnakes in the middle of the trail. Getting them to move was quite the challenge. Keep your pets leashed and a sharp eye out. That trip will be the last one I take in the summer months.

Friday, May 16, 2014

This is a fairly long hike to the top. On the way up you can hear the rock creek falls but you can't see them from the trail. At the top you will find a gravel lot accessible by vehicle but not sure how. From the lot you can see other mountain tops but only from one side. I went during the winter and the clouds were low so visibility was limited. Would like to go back in the summer. The hike is fairly fairly strenuous.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Follow blue. But be prepared to climb long hills.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Date of hike 4/12/14. You need to have $2 cash or check to put into a numbered envelope when you arrive and then you tear off the number and put it on your window after you deposit the envelope into a drop box. This trail was about 2.5 miles exactly from where I parked the car but it was a 1200 foot climb uphill to get to the falls that were quite picturesque. Finding the trail head was the hardest part because the park must not yet be open to campers so there was nobody to ask. You have to cross the creek 5 times on your way up but I made it all the way there without getting my feet wet. The trail is very well maintained and the only way you can get lost is to go across a bridge which actually leads to the bike trails. Every time there was a bridge I followed the trail to the right of it. I finally saw people on my way back down the trail but I passed nobody on the way up and didn't even see any critters. It was quite the cardiovascular workout since it was all uphill but the walk back was super fast.

Monday, March 03, 2014

I did this trail the first week in March. 45 degrees was the best temperature to do it, as you’ll be sweating in a few minutes if it’s any higher. The map at the bottom of the trail didn’t give enough information on the topography of the trail. And there were no markers on the way up. With the steep grade, this makes the hike feel interminable at times. But then again I question whether I would have attempted the height had I known the rockiness and steepness of the trail. It was worth it at the top, though! The falls were beautiful and there were no crowds to spoil the moment.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

I had a similar experience to Kimber, below. It had some beautiful views along the ridge, but just wondering if anyone has ever reached a stopping point here? We hike miles up and never found an overlook or where it may have crossed into the AT or another trail. Anyone finished?

Monday, September 16, 2013

My boyfriend and I just hiked this today, and it was absolutely beautiful! It was just strenuous enough to make me sweat and stop a little (about a mile and a half is all uphill), and we took our 2 dachshunds and our Blue Heeler mix. Everyone loved it! We only came across 4 other people in 3 hours of hiking, so low traffic, too. There are little waterfalls all along the hike, and the woods are just lovely. We were also fortunate enough to only see the skin of a snake, not an actual snake anywhere...that we saw, of course :) I definitely recommend this hike! And it's not even a half hour from my house...it's perfect in so many ways!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What I loved most about this hike was being able to walk past all of the campers in their RVs, and just a half mile into the trail, I felt like I was deep in the Amazon. The brush is thick, and the trail is a steady uphill with lots of rocks and root-filled areas. This is a trail that makes your calves burn! It was the perfect distance though, and the waterfall came at a perfect time. Definitely recommend it- just make sure to go before it gets dark!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hiked this trail with my family, kids age 2-15. My two year old walked the beginning of the trail but then about 20 minutes in we had to put him in a backpack carrier when we had to start crossing the creek (in about four different spots). Got pretty overgrown about half way up and the trail narrows quickly towards the top. A little hairy for my five year old, and I held her hand TIGHTLY as we were close to the edge for about a quarter mile. Overall it was a nice hike but didn't see much...never made it to the end because the sky darkened and we were afraid of getting caught up there in the rain.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Did this hike in the winter time this past January. It is a steady grade uphill with some areas leveled off.
When I went the water was very high and the crossings were difficult to avoid getting water in your boots!
Some of these pictures are quite different from my experience as the water appears low at the crossings. Some of the crossings are quite difficult in high water to figure out best place to cross.
There are two falls on this one. One lower then you hike a little more and reach the big falls at the end.
Overall very beautiful hike. If you want to avoid the snakes that I have seen mentioned go in the winter.

Friday, June 07, 2013

As a kid I grew up in the area and hiked to the falls often. At least once a year I now camp at Rock Creek Park and always hike to the falls. Love it every time . We had a close call with a Rattlesnake this past May and I remember seeing them often as a child.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I did this hike for the first time in many years, and was reminded how nice it is. I started the hike late Tuesday morning in mid-May; only met one couple the entire hike. The falls at the end of the trail is a nice pay-off, but there are several picturesque cascades and small falls along the way. The trail is good, but rocky, so good hiking shoes are a must. Also be prepared to ford the stream four different times. (I never did get my shoes - or feet - wet.) On this hike the miniature iris were in bloom, but it looks like I was a week or so late for the trillium. A marvelous hike!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I've lived in this area for many many years and hiked many many trails. This is by far my favorite trail to hike. It's a little rough and a little steep, but it's worth the view at the top. I hike this trail every year on my birthday.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Myself, my kids, some neighbors and our 2 Dauchsunds hiked this trail and enjoyed it. The Last 1/3 of the trail was chalanging but doable for the kids (ages 7-11). You cross the creek 3 times to get to the top which the kids liked ( it's pretty shallow). There are several little waterfalls along the way to see. We didn't see any snakes but we did see bear dung so be alert.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The trail is very nice and not too steep. I enjoyed the views, but coming across two rattlesnakes in one day was scary. They were both stretched across the trail and we had to detour around them.

20 days ago

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