Located in the Bald River Gorge Wilderness, this falls is one of the most beautiful sites in the southeast US. You can view the 40-foot drop from the bridge road or from the cool river above the falls. There is parking, hiking trails, and picnic tables at the site, as well as rapids below the falls – great for experienced river kayakers (Bald River Falls is also shown at the top of the page). TO GET THERE, follow the Cherohala Skyway (Hwy 165) for a few miles until you see the signs to turn right. Follow the rushing Tellico River for about another 6-7 miles.
Legend has it that a local Cherokee Brave went with his bride-to-be to these falls to get the blessings of the Great Spirit for their nuptials and were washed away by an unexpected flash flood instead. Not sure of the significance here, but it’s a great story! You’ll probably be quite safe, however, as you enjoy the stepping-stone cascades that cover more than nine drops over several hundred feet. Fantastic in the rainy season, these falls may look a little less robust in the drier summer months but are still worth the short trip.
TO GET THERE, drive south of Coker Creek Village on Highway 68 past the Old Country Store. Look for the Ironsburg Methodist Church and take a right past the church. At the first Y, take the left fork. At the second Y fork, stay right. Drive 2 miles to the T-intersection and take a left. Go about a mile over a bumpy road until it ends in a parking & picnic area. There you’ll also find a moderate 2.7 mile segment of the John Muir Hiking Trail. Click on the pictures to enlarge.
These 20-foot falls are a hidden treasure. Located across the border into North Carolina, the falls feed into the Appalachia Lake, near the Hiawassee. It is also fairly difficult to find, so you’ll need to ask a local for directions when you arrive.
While not technically considered “Falls” by the discerning outdoors person, areas of the Tellico River are nevertheless a beauty to behold. The town of Tellico Plains is in the lower-lying areas below the mountains, so you will have much river activity here. As you follow the river upstream along Highway 165, however, the rapids get more and more anxious.
The Ocoee was the site of the 1996 Olympic Whitewater Events, and runs between the borders of Georgia and Tennessee. Besides great whitewater rapids running much of its length, there are also great areas for wading and just getting cool. For directions, ask someone local at the River. (Pictures below taken circa 2002 by Chris Collins, Scoutmaster, BSA Troop 26 from Norcross, GA.)
Tellico Ranger Station
There are over a dozen different waterfalls in the area within easy access of our cabin. For a list of more local waterfalls with pictures and descriptions, visit Tellico Plains Mountain Press. For directions to some of the waterfalls, you will need to ask our local manager or any of the nice folks at the Tellico Visitors Center or the Forest Ranger Station (below).
The Tellico Ranger Station is on the site of a former Roosevelt Depression-era camp for the workers who chopped and paved their way through the Appalachian mountains. You can phone them at (423) 253-8400 or go online to get directions. Their hours are 8-4:30 M-F; closed on weekends.