Benton Falls

Polk County, Tennessee 37307

Distance1.6mi
Elevation Gain775ft
Trailhead Elevation1,839ft
Top1,890ft
Elevation Min/Max1618/1890ft
Elevation Start/End1839/1838ft

Benton Falls

Benton Falls is a hiking and biking trail in Polk County, Tennessee. It is 1.6 miles long and begins at 1,839 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 775 feet. The trail ends near the McCamy Lake (elevation 1,900 feet) reservoir. This trail connects with the following: Slick Rock Naked Widow Loop and Mckamy Lake.

Benton Falls Professional Reviews and Guides

"This is a popular day hike to a deservedly popular waterfall. Leave from mountaintop Chilhowee Campground, high in the Cherokee National Forest, first passing McCamy Lake. From there, take a wide path that gently descends to Rock Creek and Benton Falls. This cataract spills 65 feet into a cool, lush glen that makes for a winning destination.

Several sidewalks in the Chilhowee day-use area converge near McCamy Lake and a large restroom. Pick up the Benton Falls Trail. Small connector trails circle the lake and also lead left to camping areas. Keep straight, crossing the dam of McCamy Lake. Look right across the mountaintop impoundment, encircled by deep forest and a trail."

"This three-mile loop inside the Chilhowee Recreation Area combines singletrack and a short piece of pavement for an easy ride through the Cherokee National Forest. The mature mixed hardwood forest of Rock Creek Scenic Gorge is home to a wide assortment of wildlife.

Squirrels, mostly the basic gray variety, are frequently seen scampering up the tall trunks of oaks, beeches, and maples. Also flying squirrels are sometimes seen. This a national forest fee area; bikers must register at the information station. Some of the best scenery anywhere is found within the Cherokee National Forest, especially in Rock Creek Gorge Scenic Area, where Benton Falls is located."

"This popular waterfall starts at a popular Chilhowee Campground, atop a mountain in the Cherokee National Forest. The wide trail first takes you by a lake, then intertwines with bike trails before descending to upper Rock Creek and reaching the 65-foot waterfall, fanning out over layered rock strata in a stone cathedral.

The hike begins at a popular camping and day-use area. After making your way past McCamy Lake, trace a wide trail under pine/oak/hickory woods. The hiking is easy. After the trail starts to drop, you come alongside Rock Creek. Suddenly you are descending the steep spur trail to the cool, inviting falls."

"The Benton Falls Trail starts at Lake McCamy, at the top of Chilhowee Mountain, and provides an easy walk to a large cascade. The spectacular 65-foot, tiered Benton Falls pack a great punch for such a short hike, and the hike makes an ideal option for families with varying hiking abilities.

This is one of the most stunning falls in southeast Tennessee, and with the added benefit of the amazingly scenic drive up and the sweet white-sand beach of Lake McCamy, this hike is a real winner. Lake McCamy, where the trail starts, has a small
but pretty light-sand beach and provides a relaxed and scenic swimming spot. The smells of earth and plants along the Benton Falls Trail are wonderful, like smoky fires of aromatic wood."

Benton Falls Reviews

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7/10/2018
This is a lovely hike you can do with young kids and beginning hikers. The falls are definitely worth it and if you can, visit the trail after a rainfall to see the falls run stronger. This is an easy hike but wear some good shoes as the rocks by the falls can be slippery.
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9/19/2016
Nice flat trail, Falls offer a chance to be refreshed and cascading. It can be chilly when the sunlight disappears. The descent trail down to the pool can be challenging for some.
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6/24/2012
This trail was relatively easy for couple of hikers who are in less than perfect shape. The only "challenge" was when we reached the falls and had to climb down. It was a little treacherous just because I'm a wimp and rather clutzy. At the end of the day, I love the falls, they're beautiful and it was a very nice hike for a newbie!
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6/27/2010
Nice easy hike with plenty of blackberries and Mt bikers-
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5/20/2009
This is a great ease trail, we have hiked it from the campground, coming in from the opposite direction from the Lake as well. We use it as a spring hiking season warm up. My daughter started on it when she was 4.
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3/27/2009
This was an easy hike and the beauty of the falls at the end of the hike was well worth it. This is the largest falls that I have ever personally seen and I would estimate the height to be at least 150 feet. Very beautiful and a hike that the whole family could easily make.
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3/18/2007
Great trail for families or if you have limited time and want to see a beautiful waterfall. The trail is really flat and wide which allows for mountain bikers to pass you with relative ease. The waterfall itself appears to be pretty popular so you more than likely will not be alone. To get to the falls there is a side trail on the left if you are coming from the campground trailhead. The side trail is a small set of stone steps, and if you don't watch, you could walk right by it. *I was there after a forest fire burned part of the trail, so some of the signs and blazings were gone. Normally follow the blue blazes on the sandy flat trail.
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Benton Falls Photos

Trail Information

Polk County
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Waterfalls
Features
Cherokee National Forest, Tellico Ranger District, 250 Ranger Station Rd., Tellico Plains, TN 37385, (423) 253-8400, www.fs.usda.gov/cherokee
Local Contacts
National Geographic Cherokee National Forest—Tellico and Ocoee Rivers; USGS Oswald Dome
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018