Great hike. Pros, Cons, Stats below: Pros: Trail head is right across from the NOC so plenty of parking, water, snacks, meals, cold water to soak your feet after the hike, cold beer, etc. Beautiful hike, lots of wild flowers. Great scenic views for the majority of the hike. If you arent walking through a tunnel of flowers your walking on a vista ridge. Stunning. Its all up hill but never incredibly steep. If you are a smoker or recovering from an injury you make get some physical push back from your body but its a totally doable hike. On the way down its almost 100% down hill or flat. Lots of wildlife. I saw an enormous deer not far from me. Mostly solitary walking. Plenty of camp spots if thats what youre looking for. Cons: Its goes on for a long time. There were times when I thought I MUST be getting close, only to realize I had another hour or so of walking. Stats: started at 10:00am and returned by 5:30. I thought I was hustling...but its a long hike. I went with 3 pints of water....not enough! Also my banana was a great source of energy so I recommend nutritious snacks to get you through the end. Great weather.

Great trail! Awesome 360 views. Took about 1.5 miles to tower and we took the old service road back down to save time.

a little muddy in spots but a fantastic view - follow signs to Rocky Bald

hiking
1 month ago

Nice easy stroll. Good views of the river with many swimming holes to choose from. Would be a great destination for a dip in the summertime. Only three stars because it’s just a little boring. We always park on the north end, Wayah Rd as the best views are from there.

awesome Day for a hike.

Amazing view at the top! Moderate trail. Fairly steep and it can be narrow, but definitely a fun hike. Be careful if it has rained recently. Very well trafficked on clear days. I went up on a snowy Thursday (2/20) and saw only one other traveler.

Fun road to walk down. I went there in hopes of some photo opportunities during a snowy day and I was not disappointed. There are a few camping areas right next to the river, which happens to be hatchery supported, so I imagine the fishing is solid. I agree with the others that the northern part is more scenic.

Good, moderate trail. Stairs are a bit sketchy but 100% worth the 360° panorama views.

Tough uphill but totally worth it, if you take a dog the stairs are a little sketchy getting your pup to the top of the tower.

Nice hike, and yes, longer than “advertised “. We had lunch atop the tower and that was beautiful!!

Started from Wayah Rd and only did maybe 3 miles. Pretty steep and remote. Only passed a few people. A few trickling waterfalls, 2 old water towers, and an abandoned camper that was pretty sketchy. It was an old FS rd for about a mile (up to the 2nd water tower) then turned into more of a trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful with many waterfalls and large rapids at the bottom. We started at Queen’s Lake and went downhill. Didn’t see 1 person the whole way down and back up. Gravel FS rd well maintained minus 1 recent landslide.

Gorgeous view

My recording is from Tellico Gap to NOC. What an awesome section of the AT! Abundant views throughout the trail and the fire tower on Wesser Bald is pretty cool as well!

Great hike! Agree with others that it’s more than 1.1 each way (closer to 1.4 each way). Moderate intensity, views are unbelievable!

One of my favorite hikes! Spectacular view!

Great trail and beautiful views. The hike up is a good workout, but nothing so extreme and long it should deter anyone in reasonable shape. The fire tower could use a little work, as the steps and railings seem a bit rickety, but the view at the top makes up for it. Total recorded trail mileage is more around 2.69 miles from the parking area to the fire tower per my Garmin.

i love reading the 1 star reviews for a good laugh. i don't understand why they rate a place because of hornets. insects are part of nature. maybe stick to indoor mall hike. sry, i had to get that off my chest. anyway well over 100 review and there all 4 & 5 stars. there nothing i can say to make you want to do it but i'm sure glad i did. keep on enjoying the home god gave us.

views are awesome from the top! well worth it. I wouldn't say it was tough, but it does have a couple moments. a lot of areas to catch your breath.

Pictures do not do the view form the fire tower any justice. It is beautiful!

My eight year old didn't want to brave the AT portion of this hike, so we chose to hike to the Wesser Bald Fire Tower via Tellico Gap. It was challenging to find the trailhead. GPS will take you all the way there, if you're brave enough to stay on the extremely narrow and curvy mountain dirt road that takes you there. After our second try we stuck to it and found the trail head. Thankfully there are people who mentioned the correct trail was the one with the gate. We began our hike at a pretty good pace, but quickly realized the ascent is gains elevation very quickly. I had to take several breaks due to breathlessness. We finally made it to the top and relished the majestic mountain views. The steps up to the tower are metal and quite steep, so I had to remind my child to hold on tight. There was a group of young people taking photos so we had to wait a little bit to be able to see the 360 degree views, but it was worth the wait. Perhaps we'll do this one again only via the AT when my child gets a little older.

Awesome trail. Watch out for All the roots. Other than that, Fairly easy to get to tower. The views are worth it !

Give yourself extra time to go up! Beautiful views, gorgeous weather.

we hiked the service road; 1.8 mile round trip from the parking area on Otter Creek Road to the top of the fire tower and back to the car. the trail was rocky and we'll maintained. one tree down across the path. Unfortunately we hiked on an overcast day and only had a view of clouds from the top of the tower. Hope to do again on a clear day!

This trail is high payout for low effort. My wife isn’t a hiker so she was a little winded, but made it up with no need to rest. We took the service road option and it ended up being .88 miles one way. Not bad at all. The view from the tower is absolutely phenomenal. God’s peace could really be felt in the still evening fall air, while the setting sun laid its rays on the rolling mountains. The drive up wasn’t too bad either. We were in my wife’s front wheel drive Corolla and made it up the gravel road just fine.

This is the best day hike you could ever take. It's doable in half a day with plenty of breaks. Took my sons just (8&11) and they were able to handle it.

Highly recommended. There are 2 routes up. The AT path and a service road option. At outset, fellow hikers gave the WARNO there was peeved off yellow jackets on AT trail to tower. Took service path option. Kids spotted a black bear crossing path quickly and skittishly roughly 50 yards up the path. sadly as we were past the bear spot, we heard a group below getting bombarded by the yellow jackets. Group of roughly 6 adults all got 5 thwaps a piece. If you spot the yellow mofos, turn and take service route. Nothing further to report other than quite possibly the most glorious view i have ever seen on the AT thus far. Recommend it. Kids and all. Doable. Worth the extra effort up and down

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail to take the dog for a walk. Not much in the way of views. It’s an old road so wide and gradual incline. You can park in the paved lot or across the one lane bridge and up at the gate.

What an awesome trail with a real prize at the top! 360 degree views! Lovely day and hike. Highly recommend!

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