Stevenson Branch Trail

MODERATE 25 reviews

Stevenson Branch Trail is a 9.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Soddy Daisy, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

9.1 miles
2306 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly




nature trips






wild flowers


1 month ago

Cold when I went. Needs more blazes on the descent to the campsite.

2 months ago

Have been coming here for years. Lots of swimming holes and hiking. Big effort in trying to clean up the park in recent years.

4 months ago

Hiked it on September 17, 2017. Did not make it all the way to Stevenson Branch campsite due to time constraints. Started at Montlake Road trailhead and made it about 3.3 mikes in before having to turn around. The trail is fairly clear up until you reach the bluff past the staircase. We hiked through thick brush and there was a lot of pollen that gave me an allergy fit. This section of the trail needs some major TLC. I plan on going back in the late fall (once pollen is gone)and thru hiking to the Barker camp road trailhead. The brier branch overlook is fantastic and The views on this trail are amazing. Wear long pants if you plan on hiking thru the Stevenson branch section.

7 months ago

Moderate my but. Made it .65 miles and had to turn back. Very steep and treacherous.

9 months ago

good time, rough parking, lots of trash

10 months ago

This trail was so much fun! We started out from the trailhead on the Soddy Daisy side and day hiked to the campground and back. The terrain varies greatly but the views are consistently beautiful. I went with my girlfriend (22) and my mom (57) and with a moderate effort and lunch stop it took us about 5 hours to do. We stopped at a serene little pool and soaked our feet for awhile as well. Moderately difficult hike but quite enjoyable for a semi-frequent hiker. There were several people on the first half of the trail (which is definitely easier) but then after that we hardly saw another human for a couple hours. It was lovely.

10 months ago

I love the Stevenson Branch campground, which is about halfway into this trail. We started on the North Chicamauga Creek trail and hiked all the way in to the Stephenson Branch Campground in late October. It's a good overnight backpacking trip. Nice and shady for most of the trail. There are some segments on the ridge that get more sun. The campground is next to the Creek right where some small rapids are, so it's very peaceful to sleep next to. A lot of the Creek was dried up when we went, but there was still plenty of running water at the campground to filter and repack.

My main note for this hike is that IT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT LARGE DOG FRIENDLY. There are two ladders off of a ravine - one at the beginning of the trail and one just before the campground - that there is no way around. We had our Golden Retriever and Chocolate Lab with us that we can't just carry down a ladder. By the time we got to the first ladder, it was too late to turn around and make it back to the parking lot before dark, so things got a little sketchy and we had some trust building exercises. We all made it to the campground and back out alive, but we were pretty stressed out.

Other than those two obstacles, this is a very enjoyable hike - pretty steep in some areas but not overly exhausting. Also, the farther you get into this trail the fewer markers there are, so I would definitely recommend to print good trail directions.

Overall - We would do this again, just without the dogs.

Monday, September 08, 2014

We started at the barker camp trailhead we didnt really care for the gravel road and jeep trail you had to hike before starting the trail. Coming from that end we camped for a couple of days at the stevenson campsite. It rained two of the three days but we still had a good time. On day 2 my friend and I hiked from the campsite to the other trailhead (since this isn't a loop) this part was NO joke. I have only hiked virgin falls as a comparison but I found this segment to be every bit as hard. A lot of UPHILL on the way out. Once we got to the trail head we had lunch then made our way back to the stevenson campsite which we found a lot easier. On the last day we had to hike from the campsite back to the barker trailhead and go back up some switchbacks which were pretty challenging with packs. All in all it was a great trail but it would be a tiresome day hike for the inexperienced and the ladders could make it hard if you tried to bring a pet. Overall I found the trail to be pretty well marked and would hike it again.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The way I read this trail, it was an out and back that was 7.8. So if you parked two cars, one on each end, then it would be 3.9. Not so! It was definitely worth doing that though. We parked one at the Montlake end and drove up to the Barker Camp end. No real parking area. You have to walk about 1/2 mile to the trailhead. Which was not marked. We ended going 45mins down to the creek on what we thought was the trail and it just ended. Went back up and found it. It was a great trail moderate until you started descent to the creeks. The first major creek crossing was either out or water too high. We had to take shoes off and wade across. The campsite area is wonderful. All the waterfalls were beautiful and overlooks spectacular, especially with the leaves this time of year. Once you start going up from the campsite, the trail is straight up, poorly marked, and no more than 4inch rut. I don't see how a dog could make that part, especially the ladders. The cable across the waterfall had been knocked down by trees. This is 2/3 of the way and we were not going back! So we eeked across holding on to the downed trees. Very slippery with the running water and dangerous drop if anything went wrong. To top it off, don't rely on your phone to give you correct time! On part of the trail, you are in central time. So we missed judged the length of trail and almost did not make it out before dark. I would definitely do the Barker Camp section down to the campsite again but not the other part. So many beautiful waterfalls I actually got tired of them, lol.

Monday, November 21, 2011

This trail was challenging with steep inclines & declines, poor markings & creek crossings. However, add in a considerable rain a few days prior & ankle-deep leaves - it was downright daunting at times. One of the 3 ladders was a little rickety but got us all down. Some cool overlooks & overhangs along the way. We slid down some sections (sometimes intentionally for safety, other times unintentionally) The views were gorgeous. We camped at stevenson branch - sleeping by the waterfall was a treat. Nice large area for tents & campfire. Our distance from trailhead to campsite (with several "inadvertent off-trails) 5.82 - felt like 10.

I tagged along with 2 hikers to continue the new segment. It was MUCH better maintained, marked & relatively leafless. Switchbacks were rough, but manageable. Then there was a long walk gradual incline along a jeep trail & gravel road. (Neither are blister-friendly) I didn't see any "critters" but another spotted a buck.

My recommendations:
Do it in the spring. Print out map, topo, AND the written directions. (Saved us on more than 1 occasion)
If you want to primarily enjoy the campsite, head in from top & go back that way.
Creek crossings can be a smidge challenging after a rainfall, but it makes the waterfalls spectacular.

And, pack light. I learned how cumbersome an overweighted back can make a challenging hike, miserable. :-)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Great trail!

3 months ago

5 months ago

11 months ago

recorded Blue Hole

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Monday, October 17, 2016

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