Explore the most popular hiking 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.

hiking
12 days ago

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!

It is scary if you don’t know where you are going? Need to go to this trail in bright day light. Be careful with snakes and bears. It is an short moderate going to the falls and hard coming back the parking lot. But the falls is gorgeous and worth it. Can finish the trail in an hour. it is worth the visit in Tellico Plains.. Thank you to other reviewers as I read them before We went, it prepares us to the unexpected.

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.

It’s mostly downhill in the way in, so the climb back up is a little difficult but not too bad since it’s a pretty short hike.

Easy hike! Great for kids!

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!

Directions: DO NOT GO LEFT when you come to a sign that says 170 at a dead end, GO RIGHT. See photos. The road there is kind of rough, lower cars would likely bottom out. 4x4 is not necessary unless it has recently rained. If you go the wrong way (I repeat, DO NOT GO LEFT) without a 4x4 you might get stuck.... and there’s no service to call for help.



Trail: Once you park in the lot the trail goes off to the LEFT of the sign that says 170. See photos. The water fall is BEAUTIFUL. We cannot wait to come back in summer. We had no bee issue today as others mentioned, but it was right around or under 40 degrees. Really sad that people have littered beer cans and such along the trail- we will bring bags to pick up the trash next time and encourage others to do so as well.


Enjoy!

The trail is DOG FRIENDLY. Amazing place, beautiful mountain views, easy stroll. Should’ve brought kayaks! Will definitely be back to car camp & kayak. Total hidden treasure... actually considered not leaving a good review so as not to attract more people & dogs to this slice of heaven.

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!

hiking
3 months ago

Not too terrible for a short hike, ran into a bee issue like others have stated and almost everyone in my small group was stung at least once(including the dogs). Surprising amount of people on the trail for the unmaintained access road leading to the trailhead. I wouldn’t recommend trying to drive up to it with any vehicles that are too low.

hiking
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.

Great place to camp & trail is very close to campground. Run, hike, bike. Beautiful views as well. You can also canoe, kayak on lake. No big motors allowed or jet ski's.

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer.

First the trail is easy to find, relatively flat and well maintained. It took me about 70 minutes to walk the 3.1 miles. If you can walk, you can do this trail.

Photographic opportunities were typical for a Lake. Lovely scenes but nothing really stood out. Except for one terrific spot on the southwest shore. There’s a wonderful composition with the mountains across the lake and reflections in the foreground. Trees help frame the shot. Best shot within 90 minutes or less of sundown

There are also some nice sunset reflection compositions at the north end of the lake and near the boat launch

If you are from the East Tennessee area then this hike is worth the effort. If you are visiting from out of town your time would be best spent in the Smokies or the Blue Ridge Parkway

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

hiking
6 months ago

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

hiking
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.

fishing
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.

Good luck getting up the road unless you got a jacked up 4 wheel drive. Had to back my truck down the hill 100 yards.

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