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

First time hiking this trail today. It was such a fantastic in and out trail with many hidden waterfalls along the way. The first part of the trail can be intimidating, but once you pass the switchbacks, the rest of the hike is flat with a downhill walk back. Many backcountry campsites by the river along the trail.

This trail can get tough but it’s absolutely the most beautiful waterfall I’ve been to. So worth the pain!!

I love this hike! Don’t let the steep parts on the front end deter you. Keep going and there is plenty of flat travel along the river.

Hiked this yesterday with a friend. Very easy going in to falls, coming back was another story. The hike back to trailhead was immensely steep for a bit of the way. We had trekking poles and they were a tremendous help! Very worth the hike!

Beautiful Falls. Getting there was just a super walk. It is very steep in places and at 70 yrs old it was a bit much for me. I stopped on the way back 8 or 9 times for a breath and to rest my legs. The trail head on the Skyway was very easy to find and the tea was easy to follow.

on Panther Branch Trail

1 month ago

The first mile was good, relatively clear, except for the gazillion felled trees and stream crossings. The second mile was the same with trees and water, but it picked up a lot of sawbriars and rhododendron....then the trail disappeared. It was well marked until it wasn’t. You definitely need long pants to get through this jungle.

If you park at Bald River Falls, to the far end of the parking lot, there is a hiking trail you can go on that takes you above the waterfall and up to the Middle Bald River Falls- about 1.4 miles (out and back)- highly recommend if you’re looking for a shorter hike. Review will be posted on our blog soon, with pics- www.Wander-Full-Life.com

Definitely a moderate hike. The falls were very full and my teenagers had a great time exploring!

Beautiful falls and the drive in is scenic as well

The trail runs alongside Bald River above Bald River Falls and the Tellico Gorge. Only gets prettier the farther you go as you get to several hidden waterfalls. The water was high when I hiked it thanks to recent rains so there was a lot of water to see.

Good trail you’ll have to deal with hiking up the mountain but it’s not to bad all in all good hike. We hiked this in mid February and saw lots of bear scat on the trail

scenic driving
3 months ago

Beautiful drive and gorgeous waterfalls!

3 months ago

So yea this is definitely an interesting trail. 75% of it is easy as pie... 25% is VERY DIFFICULT. When you think you’re to the part the reviews say is difficult, you’re not even there yet.

I wore my baby on this hike and had great difficulty getting down and then back up I actually had to pause to catch my breath. I did not bring water because it was a moderately rated hike and short, but I should have! It is almost impossible to not slip getting to the waterfall so definitely use the roots to help ease yourself down.

There is snow and ice near the falls themselves and they’re truly beautiful and much larger than they appear in photos. Enjoy!

Took us 40 minutes exactly to get to the falls and 40 minutes exactly to get back to the car.

A stunning beauty! The write-up on this app don't do justice to the beauty of this place.
The falls are right off of river rd... no hiking necessary if you aren't physically able, or want to take someone to see some nature, if they are older.
Lastly, the drive to the falls is right beside the river... it's serene and filled with natural beauty from the time you leave the town of Tellico. enjoy!

spectacularly beautiful!
You can drive right up to the falls, which make this location ideal for anybody with physical limitations.

spectacularly beautiful.
you can drive right to the falls making it excellent for anyone with physical limitations.

Waterfalls and cascades abound. One of the top trails in Tennessee. Majestic!

Started at trailhead beside gee creek. Walked 1 mike then came back. Nothing to see but trees at that point

6 months ago

First mile n Half is rough but keep on and it’s worth it. Beautiful country.

6 months ago

Easy start, but hiking partner unable to go down steep descending part to where waterway is. Turned back and did 3.5 miles total on easy part.
Will return to finish trail some day. Best to go before vegetation starts to grow as it would easily be overgrown. Lot of trees down.

6 months ago

This is an excellent trail. I have hiked it many times in all sorts of weather in all four seasons. I have fished that river for many years and even met an old hiker seeking ‘ramps and creases’ who claimed to be a part of the Conservation Corps (CCC) group that built the trail back in the 30s. I know this trail like the back of my hand. However, I truly do not understand the directions. One end of the trail is off Bald River Rd at Holly Flats camp ground The other end is at Bald River Falls on the River Rd at the confluence of Bald River and the Tellico River. From The Cherohala Skyway (165) you only make one turn to the right. From where 165 and the River Rd y’s off to the right, you stay straight until you see the massive, unmistakable Falls to the right. With all the turns, I thought you were giving directions to the trail head at Holly Flats but Doublecamp road is further down 165, past Indian Boundary, over Beehouse gap in the Citico River watershed, miles away in the opposite direction. But perhaps I am missing something.

7 months ago

While the first 3/4 miles are unremarkable, the last 1/4 mile is well worth the time and effort.

For me it was a test, this was the first walk of the season with weight. All that was needed for the loop was a couple of liters of water or less with a filter, you are right next to the river most of the walk. If you have a hammock or light chair bring it, some very nice places to relax next to the river. There are a few narrow section with drops but nothing extreme. I suggest leashing unruly children in the narrower sections.
Great day, clean camp/break areas, beautiful fast flowing clean water river.

This was a difficult trail. Would not recommend for children. It was worth the hike, but it was steep in places and had to make special note as to where to place footing. Amazing nature, foliage, fauna...ect...This Hike took us about 2 1/2 hours.The Falls were very pretty!

8 months ago

It's a fairly short hike, but it does get steep heading down and up again. There are places where the footing is tricky--roots, rocks, slicks. But the falls are lovely. Had a quiet day with no one else around, so solitude factor was good as well.

rock climbing
8 months ago

Awesome trial with great views and rock climbing.

8 months ago

Great hike, but some REALLY steep drop offs near the beginning, so mind the little ones or the clumsy ones. It'd be nice if there was a way to expand those sections, because erosion and hikers slipping are going to eventually close the trail, I'd wager.

9 months ago

The trail was very grown over and the trailhead not marked. We had to walk down the creek to find the trail. The waterfall and cave was off the trail and you could not see through the brush. We had to backtrack and look for it. This trail is best done in the winter or early spring because of the dense vegetation. It was a easy hike and after finding the trailhead well marked with white blazes.

9 months ago


We've been to Bald River Falls many times over the years, but this was the first time we ever hiked the trail. We really enjoyed it overall, however for me, the beginning was the hardest part. There were several switchbacks right off the get go that were pretty scary for me. But just go slow and be careful as you're literally on the side of the mountain for about the first 3/4 mile up the trail. It is challenging in some areas, but that made it fun for us.

Then it started to level off a bit, and it was enjoyable. We passed a really nice camping area, and it was absolutely beautiful. There were many places to stop and swim, which we did a few times. Had a picnic on a nice flat rock right in front of the river.

We passed a few a few campers along the way, and only one other hiker. Since this was our first real hiking experience, we only went a little over 3 miles in, then we turned around and headed back. Definitely want to return to hike the entire trail from start to finish. Bald River still is one of the prettiest and most amazing waterfalls that I've seen.

trail running
9 months ago

Nice trail but poorly marked in some areas, not heavy used or well maintained. Several small creek crossing but could rock hop them all. Some large scat along the trail as well. Not the best for trail running, but still a decent trail.

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