Conasauga Falls – Easy to Moderate
Drive a short distance south from Cherohala Skyway (165) on Highway 68 and you will see the large Forest Service sign on the right. Turn right here and drive 1 mile on pavement and 1 mile on a rough dirt road. The sign for the falls is about 6” x 8” and says “Falls” continue driving to the trailhead. This a delightful walk of about 1 mile and this waterfall is one of the loveliest. Look for the tiny shiny leaves of Partridge Berry groundcover which has white flowers in Spring and red edible berries in summer. There should also be Trillium and Dogwood about the third week in April. There is a big rock for sunning by the falls. You’ll have to shinny down the last 20 feet on your behind.
Falls Branch – Moderate
Take the Cherohala Skyway (165) from Tellico Plains following the river, travel 20.3 miles to Rattlesnake parking area on your left, there may not be a marked sign. You will see the Trail 87 sign below the parking area. This hike is high and should be cool in summer, after 1.4 miles it ends at the waterfall. Trillium and Spring beauties are abundant in April and you will enjoy the smell of Hemlock and see Cherry trees. When you get to what looks like a Y stay on the trail right. The end is difficult and slippery. Be careful here. In fact, this trail is slippery in the rain so hike it on a dry day.
Jeffery’s Hell – Moderate
On 165 from the point where you turn right in Tellico Plains to go up the river, it is 20.3 miles to Rattlesnake parking area on your left which is not marked as such. It is Trail 196 and splits off to the right from 87 which goes to Falls Branch. The wild flowers are breathtaking in Spring. Fall color is very good. This is not the best trail in summer because Blackberry bushes grow up in the road and are difficult to plow through. Look for sites left from the Babcock logging days like blacksmith shop and logging equipment. At the beginning, you should find Buckeye and Silverbell trees. This trail is 2.2 miles and ends at the South Fork of Citico Creek Jeffery’s Hell got it’s name from the story about old Jeffrey who lost his dogs there and told his buddies “I’ll find them if I have to go to hell to get them.” Apparently, he went off the trail into a Laurel hell, because he was never heard from again.
Bald River Falls – Easy
This 5.6 mile trail is best started at the furthermost point from the falls. From the point on 165 in Tellico where you turn right to go up the river, drive 4.5 miles to the turn off to Bald River Falls. The Bald River Falls turn off is clearly marked on the right hand side of the Skyway. Turn here and drive past the falls on to Green Cove. It’s a ways up there. ½ mile past the Green Cove Store look for a road on the right with a brown Forest Service sign FS 126. It should be the first road on the right past the store. Drive 6 ½ miles to the parking area where you will see a hiking symbol sign and Trail 88. This is Holly Flats. There are 14 camping sites here. Large oaks, laurel and rhododendron are prevalent on this trail which stays with the river except for ¼ mile. The views are lovely. Take two cars and put one at both ends unless you want to backtrack 5.6 miles.
Flats Mountain – Moderate
Take 165, The Cherohala Skyway, and go 2.5 miles past Indian Boundary turnoff. Turn left at the first road on the left and drive 200-300 feet to Eagle Gap. Flats Mountain is Trail 102. Parking is off to the left. The trail goes off to the right in the parking area. You will be walking ridge tops so the scenery is beautiful with nice views of Indian Boundary Lake, rock bluffs and the Citico Wilderness. There are two wildlife openings where fields have been sown to attract deer and turkey. This trail is 6.2 miles so you may want to drop a car at the end which is on Citico Creek Road at Beehouse Gap parking area. There is no water on this ridge top walk so you need to be prepared.
Coker Creek Falls – Easy to Moderate
From Tellico Plains, drive South on Hwy 68 12.6 miles past Hardees to Coker Creek. Turn right on County Road 628 just past the Ironsburg Methodist Church. Go .8 miles to the Ironsburg Cemetery. Stay to the left on County Road 626. Bear right at the first intersection onto Duckett Ridge Road. Go 3.9 miles on Duckett Ridge. Bear to the left at the next Y and go 1.6 miles to the parking area and the trailhead. There is a picnic area but no facilities at the trailhead. This hike (Trail 183) follows the creek most of the way and is about 3 miles. It ends at the John Muir/Coker Creek parking area where you can hike the John Muir (Trail 152) if you are so inclined. Look for white T blazes on the trees. There are lovely views of the river gorge and the constant sound of water in the creek. Coker Creek Falls is a seven stair step falls of ledges and cascades which run all the way across the creek.