Bald River Falls has to be one of our favorite waterfalls in Tennessee, even though it is one of the most touristy, because it literally can be viewed from the roadside.
This gorgeous asymmetrical wonder of God's creation still enamours us and wrestling with the traffic and pedestrians at the bridge where the waterfall is so visible...still seems worth it to us.
Normally, we try to pick times when the crowds are lower and sometimes we get it right, but other times not.
Fast Facts about Bald River Falls:
Height: 90 to 100 feet (depending on source)
Type: Segmented Waterfall
Location: Cherokee National Forest, Tellico Plains, Tennessee (Tellico River Road (NFRS 210)
Local Weather: Tellico Plains, TN
Dog Friendly: YES (with leash)
Camping: Indian Boundary Campground and Other Options
Cell Service: Spotty at best (depending on carrier)
Nearest Emergency Room: Sweetwater Hospital (For true emergency here call 911 to get closest emergency services within Tellico Plains or Turkey Creek area)
Food Nearby: Restaurants and Groceries
We have learned that River Road in the immediate Bald River Falls area is narrow and usually congested with both vehicular and pedestrian traffic, so anytime we visit, our first objective is to PAY ATTENTION TO OUR SURROUNDINGS!
On most days, cars and other vehicles are trying to get by the crowds on the bridge and in the immediate vicinity of the falls, so we GO SLOW and are intensely aware of those around us so as to avoid an accident.
Second order of business in tandem with that safety aspect is getting parked and out of the the car and preferably up the trail or to our first vantage point as quickly and safely as possible.
Personally, we try to get the crowded part out of the way first and the views from and around the bridge are usually the best, so we try to get those quick, especially if there is any kind of lull in traffic.
The trail from the parking lot goes up and skirts around the falls and to a topside view where you can overlook the falls and the area surrounding. This is a pretty cool thing to do as we usually do and as with most touristy waterfalls, it begins to thin out the crowd a little, as most onlookers are looking for a quick pic and a selfie or two and they are on their way.
If you are up for a longer hike on your visit, you can start at the falls and continue on the Bald River Falls Trail, hiking all the way to Bald River Road, near the Holly Flats Campground.
A quick word of caution though...We have found and it is widely reported that this trail is NOT very well marked and the trail is about 9 miles out and back, so be prepared before you go.
We have been to Bald River Falls and Tellico Plains, Tennessee many times over the years. Often, we pack a lunch, but many times we haven't so we have had an opportunity to eat at several places in this little town.
For a unique and delicious spot to eat some local "fast food" by the river, you must check out the Tellico Beach Drive In. If you are wanting the best in a backyard style burger that beats a chain any day or a delicious hot dog, milkshake, and hot fries or tater tots...this is your spot!
If you're craving more of a "sit-down" meal, dining inside, we have enjoyed the Tellicafe. They usually hit the mark well with hot, delicious, traditional southern fare with plenty of meat and vegetable options and have some really good southern sweet tea.
If pizza is your thing, you'll want to try out The Bear's Den. They serve up some delicious pies and even host local live music on select nights.
For traditional Mexican fare, we have enjoyed the Senior Lopez Mexican Grill on a couple of occasions.
You can find other restaurants near Bald River Falls and Tellico Plains on the map below.
And if you're just looking for snacks for the trail or other more substantial groceries, you can find a Dollar General, one of several small food markets at the gas stations ion town, and even a Sav-A-Lot grocery store.
For camping near Bald River Falls, there are lots of options, but our favorite so far is Indian Boundary Campground.
It is definitely a widely used campground and stays book ahead most of the time, but we loved it there.
It is about a 20 minute drive from Bald River Falls. The campground is a well serviced campground with all the amenities. The area has a beautiful and peaceful lake surrounded by forested mountains with a dirt trail all the way around the lake.
There is a beach area and we've found the lake to be an extremely peaceful place to kayak and chill.
See other camping options on the map below...
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