Cherokee National Forest (Tellico Plains, TN)
Saturday, May 7, 2022
Bald River Falls and its trail is located in Cherokee National Forest in the Tellico Plains area. The waterfall is right off the road so that area usually has a crowd but most of the people stick close to the falls itself. While the falls attracts the crowd the trail is very well traveled too so it tends to be well maintained as national forest trails go.
I like to take Frank on this hike because it is not overgrown and has the river running with it the whole way. The first section is steep with some switchbacks but after the initial climb flattens out and becomes very steady. There are several places along the trail ideal for backcountry camping and/or stopping for a snack. Makes for a great day hike with a lunch stop, that is if your dog will let you stop for lunch.
I knew this would be a quick hike since I had Frank coming with me, so we took our time getting to the trail. Started out around 10:30 AM and it was cool with a steady rain. The day went back and forth from rain to mist and then back again though I never felt soaked to the bone. I do enjoy hiking in rain from time to time and today was one of those days. Frank started out his normal hyper self as it takes him about a half a mile before he will calm down but then settles into a pace, usually a fast pace.
With the rain Bald River was roaring though I have seen it angrier but not my too much more. The river could be heard during the whole hike. Did not see much wildlife at all, but birds could be heard often that would set Frank off on a frantic search going side to side on the trail trying to find them.
When we are out in nature Frank loves to get in the water however today I kept him out on most of the hike as the water was just moving too fast. I did find a little cove where the water was calm, and I let him doggie paddle for a little while.
The trail ends at a Forest Service Road, so after a quick water stop, we headed back up the trail. Frank was gracious enough to give me a fifteen-minute snack break and he even had a few treats and then back at it again. Got back to the Jeep around 4:00 PM and for the first time ever I think Frank slept on the way home.
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Hiking Bald River with Frank (YouTube)