Hike to Falls Branch Falls

Rate this Adventure Tennessee Falls Branch Falls

Added by Nathan Szwarc

A moderate, moss and fern covered trail off of the beautiful Cherohala Skyway that leads to a 70 foot waterfall. The best part is that this trail is basically unknown.

To get to the trailhead, drive 22.5 miles on the Cherohala Skyway from Tellico Plains, Tennessee. If you are coming from the North Carolina side, drive 20.5 miles to the trailhead. The trailhead parking area is marked by a large green sign saying West Rattlesnake and is surrounded by a low stone wall. The trail starts on the left side of the parking lot and immediately descends to a trail split. To get to the falls stay left and stay on the level Falls Branch Falls Trail #87. Do not go to the right and descend down the #196 trail to get to the falls. Someone inscribed the word waterfall on the sign with an arrow pointing to the left; that arrow is correct. Follow this trail 0.9 miles as it stays level and descends slowly to another trail split. To continue onto the falls, stay right and follow the trail that ascends slightly. When I was there however, there was no choice not to follow the trail to the right because several trees had fallen on the trail to the left. After you have split to the right and ascended a few feet, you will then descend 240 feet in .3 miles until you come to a creek crossing. At the time I was there, it was after heavy rains, and the creek crossing that is usually only up to your ankles was knee high. So be aware that after heavy rains this creek crossing can be difficult. Typically, it is more of a hassle than dangerous. At this point, you should be able to clearly see the waterfall. Now continue to ascend another .1 miles to the base of the waterfall, which can be a wonderful place to cool of in the Summer.

A few key notes about this trail:
After rain, it can be extremely rough, most of the downhills are extremely slippery and the final .1 mile ascent was so muddy we used the roots to climb up. Also the falls give off a lot of spray, so if you're doing any photography, make sure to bring something to wipe the lens off with. If you have any extra time you could take a drive on the rest of the beautiful Cherohala Skyway or take another another hike up Huckleberry Knob for some great views. As always try to leave the trail better than you found it.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Day pack
  • Water
  • Food
  • Waterproof shoes ( Stream Crossing)
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

2.6 Miles

Elev. Gain:

540 Feet

Features:

Easy Parking
Forest
Waterfall

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Nathan Szwarc

Avid hiker, backpacker, and aspiring photographer living in east Tennessee.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike House Mountain, TN

Tennessee / House Mountain Welcome Center

House Mountain is a short, at times strenuous hike that is doable in all weather conditions.

Davis Coulter
5 Saves

Hike at The Outback at Shelby Farms Park Conservancy

Tennessee / Shelby Farms Dog Park - The Outback

Parking can be found at Raleigh Lagrange Rd and Trinity Rd. There are several trails to follow as well as trails that can be found into the wooded areas.

Adam Hite
2 Saves

Explore Backbone Rock and Falls

Tennessee / Backbone Rock

First, from the parking lot, there is a trail which climbs up to walk on top of the rock. The top of the rock is narrow, but has hand rails to hold on to.

Elyse Clark
5 Saves