The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373




Saturday, October 31, 2009
Laurel Falls is located in the Laurel Snow State Natural Area outside of Dayton. The nature area features both Laurel Falls and the smaller Snow Falls, plus an old coal mine, the remains of the old Dayton Reservoir, and lots of scenery.   Huge boulders are in view along the way.  We will hike only to Laurel Falls.  Leaves should be in color depending on the season .

The trail to Laurel Falls follows Richland Creek upstream, and starts out on an old road left over from the coal mining days and is flat and level. After a mile, just before the old reservoir, the trail climbs a bit and becomes much narrower. Another 1/4 mile or so takes you to a bridge over Laurel Creek. The final segment of the trail is a short steep climb with several switchbacks to the base of Laurel Falls. The trail can be a little hard to follow in spots, and at one point you climb through a hole in the rocks.

The falls is an 80 foot plunge, followed by a long series of cascades whose total drop must be a few hundred feet.  This being the driest time of the year, water coming over the falls may be diminished.

This is a joint hike of the Hiwassee and Cherokee Hiking Clubs.  Meet at Belks Plaza ready to leave at 9 a.m. We will regroup at Hardees in Dayton on Highway 27 North at 9:45 to meet the Cherokee hikers not meeting us in Athens. The natural area is located off of US 27 in Dayton. From US 27 head west on Walnut Grove Road. This is a paved road. Follow this for 3/4 and take a left onto Back Valley Road. Follow this for about .7 miles to and take a right on the dirt road at the Laurel-Snow sign.  There will be a church on the opposite side of the road. The dirt road is a mile long and ends at the trail head.

Hike distance is approximately 5 miles rated easy to moderate with rough footing in places.  Elevation gain is about 700 feet.  Bring water, rain gear, and lunch.  Hiking boots are recommended.

Leaders:  Effaleda and Bob Lee  423-568-2501 (Home) 423-507-5582 (cell),


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