Bald River Falls: One of TNs Most Photogenic Waterfalls

by | Aug 23, 2021 | Attractions | 0 comments

Bald River Falls is a popular attraction 20 minutes from Tellico Plains. We’ve visited many times and I enjoy it every time. Getting to the top of the falls is a small hike and the path is not wheelchair or stroller friendly but everyone can enjoy the view at the bottom of the falls. Just around the bend is Baby Falls, a smaller waterfall with a picnic area.

Main Points

  • 90′ waterfall viewable from the bridge
  • Short hike
  • Longer hiking trails
  • Picnic tables in another nearby location
  • Around 60 minutes to view everything
  • Open all year
  • No Covid restrictions
  • No cell service
  • Free

Date visited – 7/16/2021

Parking at Bald River Falls

Bald River Falls

As you arrive, you’ll cross a bridge where lots of people are standing to look at the waterfall. There’s a small parking area on the other side of the bridge. It’s a small parking area, but we’ve always found a parking spot.

It’s best for cars, trucks, vans, and motorcycles. Large RVs or a truck pulling some kind of trailer can usually find a way to park, but it might be more difficult if there are a lot of vehicles. It’s not uncommon to see a truck pulling an RV or boat parked in the area.

View of Bald River Falls from the Bridge

The best view of the waterfall is from the bridge. There are usually lots of people on the bridge watching the waterfall and taking photos. We’ve never had trouble finding a good place to stand and watch. Cars do drive on this bridge, but they drive slowly and carefully. It’s wide enough that it’s not a problem.

Hike to the Top

The trail to the top isn’t a strenuous hike. It zigzags a few times and then bends around a rock. It takes about 10 minutes to get to the top. The hike is short but fun. There are lots of trees and plants to see. You can see the waterfall from one angle.

Upper Area

The upper area is a flat area where you can stop and relax or wade out into the water. It used to have picnic tables. They’ve been moved to Baby Falls, which is a smaller waterfall just a few hundred feet past the parking area for Bald Rivier Falls. It takes between 8-10 minutes to hike to the top (depending on how many times you stop for photos).

There is an almost 9-mile out-and-back hiking trail, but it’s not easy to see which of the two paths it is. The sign isn’t clear and they’re not marked.

Baby Falls

Baby Falls is an area that’s one minute down the road from Bald River Falls. This area has bathrooms, picnic tables, and lots of areas to wade in the water. This is the better area for lounging around.

Randy’s Thoughts

Bald Rivier Falls is my favorite waterfall to visit. The hike is short but it still feels like hiking. The waterfall is visible from multiple locations along the trail. There are several places you can get to from the trail.

I highly recommend visiting Bald River Falls. It’s not overly crowded and there are plenty of places to view the waterfall. Most visitors only view the waterfall from the bridge, so there are plenty of quiet areas. It’s worth the drive from anywhere around East Tennessee.

Lucinda’s Thoughts

I have lots of fond memories of visiting Bald River Falls, including a class trip to the falls and fish hatchery in 5th grade and multiple trips with my grandparents when they lived in Madisonville. Moving the picnic tables to the more accessible Baby Falls is a great idea but I wish it still had the rock benches my grandpa used on his way up the trail. It’s a great place to visit for its easy accessibility, cool mountain breezes, and beautiful views.

Who Should Visit

Bald River Falls is one of our favorite things to do in East Tennessee.

The hiking trail is short enough that most people can do the hike with no trouble and not be tired at the end. It is a touch strenuous if you have a problem with inclines. It isn’t stroller-friendly unless you have at least two people to lift it over the short staircases or rough patches of the trail. 

The trees are beautiful in every season. It’s worth going back to see them in full bloom and during the fall.

More information

Address: River Rd, Tellico Plains, TN 37385

You can see more about Bald River Falls on the TN Vacation website.

Also in the area:

  • Hiking trails
  • Fish Hatchery
  • Tellicafe
  • Tellico Beach Drive-In

Have you visited Bald River Falls? Let us know what you think about it in the comments. 


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