Falls Branch Falls, near Cleveland, TN

Walk through the virgin forest with a beautiful waterfall at the end

Near: Cleveland, TN


Distance: 2.25 miles round trip

Elevation Gain: 540 ft

Hike Time: 1.5 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Trail Condition: OK, but a few difficult spots

Hike Type: Out and Back

A short distance down the hill from the parking lot, the trail splits into the Falls Branch Trail (to the left) and the Jeffery Hell Trail (to the right). Take the left fork to see the falls. The trail follows Sassafras Ridge through a nice hardwood forest. At approximately 0.75 miles, the trail turns sharply right into the woods. You MUST look carefully to see the white arrow painted on the tree.

If you continue straight (over a fallen tree) which is the WRONG way, you will find the Cherohala Skyway rather quickly to turn around back to the fallen tree and look for the white arrow. The next half mile or so is the most challenging of this hike (actually returning from the falls since it is uphill), but if you take your time a family can complete it. Once you reach Falls Branch, rock hop across the stream and climb up to the base of the falls. The best views of the falls are across the stream.

++ Hiking Clothing Guide


From I-75 (between Knoxville and Chattanooga), take TN Hwy 68 South (near Sweetwater) through Madisonville to Tellico Plains. From Tellico Plains take TN 165 East (Cherohala Skyway). Continue on TN 165 East bearing right at the junction with the Indian Boundary Lake turnoff.

The parking lot for the trailhead is approximately 8.5 miles past the Indian Boundary Lake turnoff on the left side of the Cherohala Skyway (near Rattlesnake Rock). The trailhead is located through a cutout in the parking area wall. If you enter North Carolina, you have traveled too far. (Lat:35.34682 Lon:-84.06112)