Baskins Creek Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"Head to a less-visited waterfall near Gatlinburg. Follow the Baskins Creek Trail over a ridge with views, then drop to aptly named Falls Branch. Make a side trip to a pioneer cemetery, then pass a homesite before reaching Baskins Falls as it tumbles over a wide bluff. Note: The forest along this hike was affected by the Chimney Tops 2 fire of 2016.
This waterfall walk is best in spring, when Falls Branch is at its boldest. It can also be good in winter, when Baskins Falls freezes. In winter, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail will be gated, but you can simply walk around the gate to access the trail."
--Johnny Molloy, Top Trails: Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 2nd Edition (Wilderness Press).
"This loop, very near Gatlinburg, travels hilly terrain past Baskins Creek Falls and some pioneer history before ending on the same road on which it started. Join Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail for a bit, then take Trillium Gap Trail to complete your circuit."
--Johnny Molloy, Day & Overnight Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Menasha Ridge Press).
"With two more popular waterfalls nearby, this Smoky Mountain cataract is undeservedly overlooked. The hike travels hill and hollow to reach appropriately named Falls Branch. Here, descend past pioneer history to reach this 40-foot spiller as it dives over a stone ledge in a secluded setting.Baskins Creek flows north in the shadow of Mount LeConte. Rainbow Falls and Grotto Falls—both nearby—overshadow Baskins Falls, by far the least visited of the three. One of the reasons it’s less popular may be the difficulty in finding the Baskins Creek Trail."
--Johnny Molloy , Hiking Waterfalls in Tennessee (Falcon Guides).
"Considering the popularity of the Roaring Fork area and the short hike to Baskins Creek Falls, it’s surprising that relatively few people make this hike. The waterfall is picturesque and well worth the difficult scramble required to reach the base. It’s about 30 feet high and, interestingly, is located on Falls Branch and not Baskins Creek. Falls Branch joins Baskins Creek a short distance downstream."
--Kevin Adams, Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Falcon Guides).
I chose this hike b/c: (1) After not doing much serious hiking, we wanted a shorter hike to warm-up with; (2) There's a waterfall; and (3) It's not nearly as known as nearby Grotto & Rainbow Falls, & we're always looking for lesser-known but impressive falls to photograph. Unfortunately for us, recent wind/storms & nearly 2 wks of dry weather left this secluded falls on the aesthetically "wanting" side for our visit. The upper falls was reduced to a ghostly spray due to low flow, and the area below the base was caked in natural debris that just needs a good downpour to wash it out (keep in mind Sept/Oct are the driest mos). Otherwise, the falls themselves are a quiet little oasis in a towering forest. Finding the trailhead and making your way to the falls can be confusing. We took the "lower" or 2nd of 2 entrances: a pulloff on the left just before a bridge that precedes 3 log cabins (Jim Bales place). It's roughly 3-4 miles from the gated entrance to the official Roaring Fork Motorway. A sign for Bales cemetary/Baskins Creek will be there as well. While the trail IS short at 1.5 miles each way, be ready for lots of steep ascents/descents. This means that when you're wearily trekking back, you DON'T get the benefit of a break going downhill on the return. At 1 point, the trail breaks sharply left crossing a small creek, but a 2nd dense path continues following it. Do not take it! We found only bugs and some large paw prints in the mud. Take the left & continue till you reach a trail marker giving miles to either trail end. The dirt path to the right behind this sign is for the falls. Bring lots of water & watch out for bears/warthogs! We saw a young bear on the motorway, warthog burrows on the trail sides, & took a good sprint up a hill b/c of something that was crashing through trees in our direction!
This was a bery excellent trail. I hiked it during an 18 mile day hike and it was by far the prettiest section. It felt as though you were in an open wood, even though there was plenty of cover overhead. The trail to Bote Mountain is relatively steep, but easily manageble. A Great Hike!
Last September my husband and I were doing volunteer work for the National Park Service in Cades Cove. On one of our days off we hiked the loop Finley Cane Trail, Bote Mountain, to Lead Cove Trail.The trail head is very easily accessed on Laurel Creek Road. I recommend this loop for a family trip. The only difficult portion of the loop is on Bote Mountain Trail and that is only moderate in difficulty.
Finley Cane Trail is beautiful and I consider it "a walk in the park." Lots of hollows and plenty of shade if you wanted a trail to hike on a warm, sunny day. When the trail intersects with Bote Mountain Trail you have a pretty lookout point. The section of Bote Mountain Trail has some of the prettiest trees I have seen on a trail, and quite an assortment. We stopped for lunch on a fallen tree at the intersection of Bote and Lead Cove and found fresh bear scatch markings on 2 trees. Then on to Lead Cove Trail! Lead Cove is like a rain forest, thick and lush. Again, a very good hiking trail for a sunny day. Another good thing about Lead Cove is it is all downhill.
So, bottom line is if you want to take the family for a great day out, this is the perfect loop!
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