Bald River Trail - Nfs 88

Monroe County, Tennessee

Elevation Gain3,551ft
Trailhead Elevation1,853ft
Elevation Min/Max1372/1886ft
Elevation Start/End1853/1853ft

Bald River Trail - Nfs 88

Bald River Trail - Nfs #88 is a hiking trail in Monroe County, Tennessee. It is 4.8 miles long and begins at 1,853 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 9.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,551 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. Bald River Falls Overlook and another viewpoint and the Bald River Falls waterfall can be seen along the trail. There are also camp sites and a picnic site along the trail.

Bald River Trail - Nfs #88 Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

"This hike starts at Bald River Falls on FS 210 and follows the river, passing through forest and over numerous rock embankments and cascades, and heading upstream and crossing junctions for other trails along the way, ending on FS 126 by Holly Flats Campground. You will pass through a mixed deciduous and pine forest, with rhododendron and mountain laurel blooming in spring. Like many trails in the Tellico District, this one follows an old logging grade at times, and at other points is narrow and more difficult to hike. The trail is easily accessed and receives considerable traffic, though less on the lower sections of the trail. Several small backpacking campsites are found along the river, and the river is said to be good for trout fishing." Read more
"This hike starts at one of Tennessee’s iconic cataracts—Bald River Falls. The 90-foot showstopper is visible from the trailhead. You will then hike up Bald River Trail, entering the Bald River Gorge Wilderness. Reach the top of Bald River Falls and a grand vista. Next, enjoy a ledge cascade, then visit Middle Bald River Falls, another ledge drop with a big plunge pool that divides the lower part of the cataract, dropping in chute fashion just below your viewing point. Additional rugged geological scenery can be enjoyed while on the hike." Read more

Bald River Trail - Nfs #88 Reviews

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This trail has an excellent guide on the Cherokee Hiking Club website. Go to and click on the trail blurb button.
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Beautiful Waterfall to start off with at the beggining of the trail. Lots of nice sandy spots to stop and rest on the edge of the river. Some trash within site of the trail, but not enough to bother anyone. There are two excellent overlooks. One overlook is at the beggining of the trail at the waterfall. The second overlook, about a mile into the trail, requires a little struggle to reach, is definately well worth working for. The farther back the trail recedes (starting at the waterfall) the smaller the river and trail become. The trail also becomes more suppressed the farther you hike. Still, the scenery remains gorgeous. If you enjoy a short hike to the top of a big waterfall or a longer hike with the view of the entire river, this would be the trail for you!
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Awesome Trail. Easter was good but man when you want to go hiking, you want to go hiking! So we headed up from Knoxville early morning time and got there around noon. Packed a lunch and was ready to go. Right as you pull up you see the falls, so you park at the bald river falls base. Populated area, probably a lot more on weekends that are not the holidays. We started up the hike and it was sort of populated down the trail a bit, and you get a wonderful view of the falls. As we went down the trail further you there are no more people, at least during the spring. The first back-country campsite we came across was right on Bald River and had a little cave with a fire pit built under it. As we continued on we ran into 2 or 3 more campsites. The last one we came to was more off the trail and beside the river which i think was nice. Lots of rocks and stuff in the river to relax and maybe just have a picnic. Very Erie up there at times when you know you are deep in the woods and no one is around, its a weird feeling back there but its beautiful.
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Nice trail but a little long. The falls themselves are quite nice, but you can drive your car right up to them so they are also quite crowded. The trail gets much less crowded and serene as you leave the falls area. The weather and leaves were beautiful for us.
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A gorgeous trail starting at Bald River Falls. It's not a terribly difficult trail and on the day we were there, there were quite a few people hiking on it with us. The highlight for me of course was simply Bald River Falls. What a gorgeous, gorgeous water fall.

Bald River Trail - Nfs #88 Photos

Trail Information

Monroe County
Nearby City
Cherokee National Forest, Tellico Ranger District, 250 Ranger Station Rd., Tellico Plains, TN 37385, (423) 253-8400,
Local Contacts
National Geographic Cherokee National Forest—Tellico and Ocoee Rivers; USGS Bald River Falls
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018