The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373




Laurel - Snow Pocket Wilderness Dayhike
Saturday, January 23, 2010

Laurel Falls


Bluffs along the Laurel-Snow TrailBrief Description:   An 5 mile hike up Laurel Creek on the Cumberland Plateau to a beautiful waterfall then back out. This is one of the pocket wildernesses on the plateau and was the first trail in Tennessee to be designated a National Scenic Trail.

Length 5.0 miles

Difficulty Rating: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 1000 feet

Hike LeaderJane Finch, 479-5933

        Trail Map

Trailhead Access MapYes, the trail goes this way!

Other Useful Links:

Directions to the Trailhead: Plan to meet at the commuter parking lot on 25th street at 9AM. We'll take highway 60 into Dayton turning right onto Walnut Grove Road. Then turn left on number 8 traffic light. You will pass La-Z-Boy factory. Stay on that road for two miles till you come to an unmarked gravel road with a small white church on the left. Turn right onto gravel road proceeding about a mile to the parking area at the end of Richland Creek Road. The hike will begin. Lunch or snack will be eaten upon arrival at the Falls. Hope to see you there. 

Old set of directions. Use whichever is easier for you. Laurel-Snow is located north of Dayton and is accessible via Highway 27/29. From the north turn right, and from the south turn left, onto Walnut Grove Road north of Dayton (new Eckerd Drug on corner). Proceed 3/4 of a mile to Back Valley Road (pass La-Z-Boy factory) and turn left. On Back Valley Road, proceed 0.7 miles to an unmarked gravel road/Richland Creek Road (small white church on the left) and turn The perfect swimming hole for a dogright. Proceed about 1 mile to the parking area at the end of Richland Creek Road.

Trail Description: The hike will be approximately 5 miles and is considered at least moderate since it involves a thousand feet or so in elevation change.  We will hike along Richland Creek, a beautiful creek in the Laurel-View from the escarpment at the topSnow Pocket Wilderness near Dayton TN.  It is one of the prettiest places I've seen in awhile.  We will hike at a moderate pace so anyone who can do the distance and elevation change should be fine.  We will see an old coal mine, part of an old reservoir that once served Dayton, and lots of interesting rocks and cliffs.  The endpoint will be a visit to Laurel Falls, which are beautiful falls coming off the Cumberland Plateau.

Post Trip Report:

Thirteen hikers participated in the Laurel Snow Hike. The previous day's rain caused the waterfalls to be spectacular. Abigail, a Brittany Spaniel, lead the way throLaurel Falls from across the valleyugh the rock terrain, up to the waterfall. As we viewed the falls and settled in to eat our lunch, three brave souls traveled further, climbing to the top of the falls, only to inform us the view from the top was limited.  As we descended down the trail we stopped to watch kayakers maneuvering through the swift water currents and over numerous mini falls.  Hikers were: Mike and Phyllis Callaway, David and Debbie Flowers, Will and Lindsey Smart, Kenneth Johnson, Jane Bohannon, Peggy Griffin, Bonnie Thomas, Debbie Zuidema, Kaye McClanahan and hike leader Jane Finch.  Everyone seemed to have a good time and expressed an interest in doing more hikes in the Laurel-Snow Falls area, as shown in the picture below.


Bridge over Richland Creek on the Snow Trail




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