Benton Falls Trail Chilhowee Recreation Area, TN
DURATION 1-2 hours
There And
Back Again
Benton Falls Trail

May 18, 2020 - Many parks and hiking trails are open but some are still closed or limiting capacity. Call ahead to verify status if possible. While hiking, continue to follow social distancing practices. Stay safe people.

Hike to the beautiful Benton Falls in the Cherokee National Forest on this easy out-and-back hike that's good for kids and dogs. A popular destination especially in summer, Benton Falls offers a lot of reward with a little effort. And if you go after a good rain the falls will be quite powerful. You just may have to deal with a good amount of mud on the way.

Three parking lots accommodate a good amount of people, but you may find on sunny weekends this isn't enough, so get there early or on a weekday. Most of the facilities are closed during winter, but year-around day use restrooms are available. A trail to the left just after the trailhead leads down to them or you can walk down the road to the campground area from the parking lots.

There are two large intersections that don't specifically have a sign for Benton Falls and in both cases just stay straight/right, following the blue blazes. In all other cases signs specifically point the way for Benton Falls.

About a quarter of a mile from the end you'll begin to hear the falls. Making a sharp left turn at the last sign, the trail begins to descend. A short side trail leads to the top of the falls just before the main trail drops steeply down to the base of the falls. Rock steps leading down can be wet and slippery, so take your time.

Arriving at the base of Benton Falls, you'll be treated with a multi-tiered 65-foot waterfall. If it's rained recently, it will be quite powerful and all the more impressive. There's not a lot of room to navigate around other people, another good reason to try and visit when it's not crowded.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Slope Breakdown
Elevation Gain
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Elevation Gain
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
1.5 mi
105 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
0.3 mi
101 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
0.1 mi
74 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
71 ft
11 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
284 ft
60 ft
For out-and-back hikes, elevation loss is the same as the gain.
Terrain Map Click to control map
length3.2 miles
difficulty2.9 Easy
duration1 - 2 hours
features Dog Friendly  Waterfall 
trail typeThere And Back Again
elevation gain290 ft.
state Tennessee 
park/forestChilhowee Recreation Area
Cherokee National Forest
ranger districtOcoee Ranger District
3171 Highway 64
Benton, TN 37307
parking fee$3/Day
trailhead coordinates 35.150239, -84.607581 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°9.01, W 84°36.45 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 35°9'01'', N 35°9'01'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
35.150239, -84.607581 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°9.01, W 84°36.45 most GPS units use this one
N 35°9'01'', N 35°9'01'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
Parking Capacity
83 parking spots, including 4 handicap spots.
If it's rained recently the trail will be extremely muddy and wet. Wear waterproof hiking shoes or boots if you got them.
The last section down to the falls and at the falls themselves have plenty of wet slippery rocks.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
5 (1)
hikethesouth-1 year ago
Great Waterfall
Beautiful waterfall, especially just after rain. Very powerful. The trail gets right down to the base where you can rock hop out in front of it. Very muddy on the day I went but I saw plenty of small kids hiking the trail so no excuses. The mud shouldn't be a problem on a sunny warm day if it hasn't rained too much.
Easy | Hiked Winter 2018
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