Laurel Falls

Johnson City, Tennessee 37602

Laurel Falls

Laurel Falls Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This hike travels to an aquatic feature along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.)—Laurel Falls. First, follow an old railroad grade into the heart of the Laurel Fork Gorge on the Blueline Trail. Pass a sheer rock bluff , the first of many geological features, before meeting the Appalachian Trail. Continue deeper up the Laurel Fork valley, climbing a rock spine before descending to Laurel Fork again."

More Laurel Falls Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best of the Appalachian Trail Day Hikes (Menasha Ridge Press)
Leonard M. Adkins & Victoria and Frank Logue
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"This leisurely hike will take you into the heart of rugged Laurel Fork Gorge. The vertical walls of the gorge rise more than 100 feet above the stream in some places. Pond and Black Mountains also tower over the gorge, rising well over 1,000 feet above Laurel Fork. The destination of this hike is the 40-foot-tall Laurel Fork Falls. There are many wildflowers and flowering shrubs that bloom, in season, in the gorge. The best known include the Catawba and Carolina rhododendrons and mountain laurel, which usually bloom by late May. Because the A.T. is the only trail to these popular falls, the area can be quite crowded on spring and summer weekends." Read more
Hiking Waterfalls in Tennessee (Falcon Guides)
Johnny Molloy
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"Laurel Fork Falls makes a splash as it drops 60 feet over a wide-angled rock ledge into an oversized pool. The popular destination starts in the community of Hampton and enters Pond Mountain Wilderness. Make your way up geologically rich Laurel Fork Gorge. Join the Appalachian Trail and clamber over a rocky spine before dropping to water level, pressing beyond another bluff before reaching Laurel Fork Falls. Here, rocks galore provide repose and relaxation spots for admiring the wall of whitewater." Read more
Five-Star Trails: Tri-Cities of Tennessee and Virginia (Menasha Ridge Press)
Johnny Molloy
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"This hike travels to one of the most well-known outdoor destinations in the greater Tri-Cities: Laurel Falls. First, follow an old railroad grade into the heart of the Laurel Fork Gorge on the Blueline Trail. Pass a sheer rock bluff , the fi rst of many geological features, before meeting the Appalachian Trail. Continue deeper up Laurel Fork, climbing a rock spine before descending to Laurel Fork again. Squeeze past another bluff before reaching Laurel Falls. This brawling cataract drops some 60 feet into a deep, churning pool and remains popular with swimmers despite a history of fatalities." Read more

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Trail Information

Johnson City
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
4.8
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
3.5 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
1,860 feet
Trailhead Elevation
2,180 feet
Top Elevation
Views, Wildflowers, Waterfalls
Features
Cherokee National Forest, Watauga Ranger District: 423-735-1500, www.fs.usda.gov/cherokee
Local Contacts
Trails Illustrated #783 South Holston and Watauga Lakes; Appalachian Trail Conservancy TN–NC Maps 1 and 2; USGS Elizabethton
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018