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.
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."
--Johnny Molloy, Five-Star Trails: Chattanooga (Menasha Ridge Press).
"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."
--Steve Jones, Mountain Bike! The Southern Appalachian & Smoky Mountains (Menasha Ridge Press).
"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."
--Johnny Molloy , Hiking Waterfalls in Tennessee (Falcon Guides).
"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."
--Kelley Roark and Stuart Carroll, Hiking Tennessee (Falcon Guides).
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