Explore the most popular forest trails near Erwin with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
12 days ago

Great little trail to an impressive waterfall! It was almost all frozen and truly beautiful.

The trail up to the AT shelter was approximately 4 miles. Our group was three relatively fit adults (20-23), but adult life has taken its toll it seems because it was one of the more grueling hikes we've done in recent memory. Another nearby hike we do regularly is Margarette Falls, but I'd question classifying that as an intermediate trail, whereas I'd rate this one more like intermediate+ to the low-end of difficult.

It was rocky in the beginning segments, and after the first bridge crossing its relatively leisurely, but after the 2nd or 3rd bridge it's straight uphill the rest of the way. At least 2 miles are straight up the side of the mountain. It's beautiful, for sure, even now in the early part of winter.

If you're an experienced hiker, or confident in your level of fitness I wholeheartedly recommend it. It's a fun and pretty trail with variable terrain and isn't *very* heavily traveled, but there were some nice older ladies who put us to shame when we went. We felt like we were dying on the final leg up to the shelter.

I guarantee I will be very sore tomorrow.

I'm a pretty avid hiker and hike often, so I'm no stranger to climbs or working hard to get to a destination. In my humble opinion, the "reward" at the end of this trail is not worth the effort it takes to get there. For some reason, I hike this trail every 3-4 years and remember why, each time, the reason I don't hike it often.
Like with any falls, the flow depends on the rainfall (duh). That is particularly true with these falls. I have been before and it has been a little more than a trickle. Don't get me a wrong, it's beautiful up there, but it's hard to justify the climb you have to make to get to them. If you happen to get the place to yourself it's pretty peaceful. Just be prepared to work for it.

Nice forest walk. The trail sometimes a bit overgrown and in fall the cascades has no much water.

nice hike. no views, but waterfalls are nice.

Low water levels but the hike was nice. Saw my first baby bear.

Beautiful Waterfalls and nice little hike

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful trail with considerable incline the last mile to the falls. It is an extremely rocky trail with 4 creek crossings. Gorgeous waterfall.

directions worked fine for us. great trail along the river with a bunch of small pools and waterfalls to play in. recommended.

hiking
5 months ago

Easy trail with 1 creek crossing that can be rock -hopped unless alot of rain has fallen .A short uphill climbing part after u cross creek but nothing bad and is beautiful to see with snow or ice on the falls .Does tend to have low flow in summer months without adequate rainfall .

hiking
5 months ago

Do not follow the directions on the app!

You can follow the forestry service directions from Greeneville as previously posted. Here's directions from I-26:

(Copied from http://appalachiantreks.blogspot.com/2008/12/sill-branch-falls.html?m=1)

Take I-26 to the Erwin/Jonesborough exit #37. At the end of the ramp, turn right and take State Route 81/107 west for 6.5 miles, stay on Rt. 107 by turning left and continue for 5 more miles. Turn left on Clark's Creek Road and drive 3.1 miles (the last 1.7 will be gravel) into the Cherokee National Forest to a small parking area on the left. A small brown marker indicates the trail head for Sill Branch Falls -- the first part of the hike has an easy incline, when the trail forks, stick to the left and you'll immediately cross a small stream. Continue on up this steep section of trail and you'll soon arrive at the falls.

It is a easy hike and great for all ages! I recommend going in late spring when the water levels are high! in the summer there is not much water flowing down the creek.

Good little trail. We took the kids (3yr, 5yr) and it was just challenging enough to keep their attention. The directions the app gives are way off though. I will post a screen shot of the correct directions.

hiking
6 months ago

There were no trespassing signs everywhere. No thanks!! Then saw a huge bear. Not going back.

Nice short hike with young kids.

Easy to find trail head, if you're looking at map sign at gravel parking area just turn around, look for white mark on tree and obvious entrance. Our group was 4 & 12 year old, a Vizsla and reasonably fit parents. First 1/5 is easy, crossing over train tracks and heading up hugging side of mountain. It gets progressively more difficult as to trail becomes narrow with loose rocks and steep drop. A couple sketchy rock clambered areas, but nothing too terrible. Like I said a 4 yo can handle it! 2/5 way you come to trail crossing with blue markers to right descending down to river and a camping area. You can get drinks, bathroom and dip tired feet and dogs in river here. Probably a good stop on way back. We went first and my group, after rejoining this trail and continuing, became a increasingly discontent. But the cruel trail master that I am, forced the continued march onward. Trail opens up and is frankly just a nice walk in the woods. It is well marked and maintained. And yet we saw no one. It was a Monday so that may explain it. Finally, the incessant grumbling became too great to ignore and we abandoned continuing at about 1/2 way. Looking forward to trying again to finish it. This was recommended by NC High Peaks group.

Good out and back trail not to hard .....can be muddy in rain and a few creek crossings but really enjoyed the falls ....go after a good rain and the falls are much better !!

hiking
6 months ago

Super easy short hike and stunning waterfall!

On the way a group of deer kept me company. Made it to the top just in time to set up camp and watch the sunset. Completely alone at night, watching the towns twinkling far below made me feel like I was the king of the world!

A very nice hike especially in spring. I hiked today again at the beginning of summer.Less flowers more flies, but the waterfall still nice and flows well. The forest also pretty after you leave the camp area behind. Bring 2$, because you need to deposit it for parking

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