Fall Branch Falls Citico Creek Wilderness, TN
miles
LENGTH 2.4 MILES
DIFFICULTY 5.9 Easy
Medium
DURATION 1-2 hours
ELEVATION GAIN
610
feet
TRAIL TYPE
There And
Back Again
Fall Branch Falls

Don't let the beautiful falls and short trail fool you, the last section of this hike is quite difficult with steep drops and climbs to get the base of Fall Branch Falls. Nestled in the Cherokee National Forest, the impressive 70 foot high waterfall awaits those that take on the task. As a bonus there's a good chance you'll have it all to yourself.

Park at West Rattlesnake Trailhead. This caused some confusion for me since Google Maps called it Fall Branch Trailhead. The trailhead is large enough with capacity for about 15 cars. Start the hike by taking the #87 Trail from the trailhead. Shortly thereafter the trail splits with the #196. Keep left here.

The trail runs parallel to the Cherohala Skyway for the first half, with glimpses through the trees in parts and the sounds of cars rushing by. The trail is rocky and muddy in parts, even when it hasn't rained in a while.

As you approach the falls, the trail begins to drop rapidly for more than 250 feet over .2 miles. Take your time as many rocks and roots are slick with moss. Just before reaching the waterfall, the traill drops almost vertically before crossing Fall Branch. Climb over large rocks to get across the creek, then back up you go through a narrow pass between two large boulders.

Continue along the trail, climbing a few more steep sections, before arriving at the base of Fall Branch Falls. The 70ft waterfall splashes down among large boulders and with no one else there you really get a sense that you're deep in the heart of the woods. Don't venture out on the rocks too much as most are wet and extremely slick. Remember to pace yourself on the way back up to the trailhead. Getting to the falls was the easy part.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Terrain Map Click to control map
Details
length2.4 miles
difficulty5.9 Easy-Medium
duration1 - 2 hours
trail typeThere And Back Again
blazeNone
elevation gain610 ft.
state Tennessee 
park/forestCitico Creek Wilderness
Cherokee National Forest
ranger districtTellico Ranger District
250 Ranger Station Road
Tellico Plains, TN 37385
423-2538400
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 35.346776, -84.06099 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°20.81, W 84°3.66 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 35°20'48'', N 35°20'48'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
35.346776, -84.06099 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°20.81, W 84°3.66 most GPS units use this one
N 35°20'48'', N 35°20'48'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
Park at the West Rattlesnake trailhead. Google Maps listed this as the Fall Branch trailhead but there is no sign for the falls.The trail begins on the left side of the parking lot.
Notes
Be careful when stepping on wet rocks or ones covered in moss as they can be very slippery.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
5 (1)
hikethesouth-3 months ago
Much Waterfall.
This is a really impressive waterfall that is a bit difficult to get to for the last quarter of this hike, but very much worth it. The trail ends right at the base of the falls. On a nice August weekend, only one other couple was on the trail and no one at the falls so I suspect this is never really crowded, which is unique for a waterfall hike.
Easy-Medium | Hiked Summer 2018
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