Summary: The trail starts at an abandoned coalmine area along Richland Creek providing multiple natural swimming pools. The trails are in great shape and well marked with white markers on trees. There could be a potential problem of hiking during current rain as some of the trails are formed of rock and some maneuvering over large rock areas are necessary. Pack a lunch and enjoy a cool “dinner table” nearby the waterfall, mist included. After lunch there are many photo opportunities just be careful climbing on the rocks in and around the falls. If you are feeling really adventurous there is a marked trail to Bryan Overlook which takes you up a rocky trail and some creek crossing but taking your and being careful you shouldn’t have any problem getting to the 1724’ overlook, the view is well worth it! This is a 1.35 mile round trip from the waterfall area and with steep elevation I would rate this part strenuous. Snow Falls can be reached the same day via 8-mile trip.
Trailhead: Directions via I-75: Exit 60 Sweetwater. Follow Highway 68 West to Highway 27 and turn left (south) toward dayton. Turn right on Walnut Grove Road (first traffic light). Bear left when road splits, onto Back Valley Road. At 0.7 mile, turn right on the unmarked gravel road across from a small white church. A small "pocket wilderness" sign marks the road and follw this to the end of a large parking area. The trailhead is just ahead past the huge rocks. (Lat:35.52637 Lon:-85.02158)
Trail Guides for Laurel Falls:
Best Seasons: Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Laurel-Snow Bowater Pocket Wilderness Trail
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Bobby Trotter, who has posted 74 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 3 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Michael on 6/13/2013
Beautiful hike BUT there are some horribly marked trails. We got lost about 3 times and once spent 30+ minutes trying to figure out where the trail continued. Great falls and lots of things to do
Reviewed by JR on 4/11/2012
My husband and I have hiked to Laural falls 2x first time was in 2011 and the fall was just trickling water very disappointed,but knew we would have to come back to see it when flowing and we did that,in March 2012 the second timeit was sooo worth it! When the creek and the falls are flowing swiftly this hike is amazing.We are heading back up this weekend to Bryan overlook.We also did the snow falls hike which was a good hike also, but the fall was not as impressive as laural in my opinon,also had to cross the creek which for some reason I failed to remember I read that, it was about the middle of my calve so got a little wet.Anyway all in all these falls are well worth the hike!!
Reviewed by J9 on 9/20/2011
Unfortunately, we hiked up to the falls during the dry season, so there were no falls, but I could tell that it would be beautiful if the water was running. The campsite above laurel falls was quite nice and peaceful, but on our way up, we checked out the campsite going toward snow falls and it was a complete mess. There was a gigantic pile of beer cans, food and cans in the fire pit, an old tent someone didn't want. I guess since it's so close to the parking lot, people expect that there are workers to come in and clean up the mess. Other than that, the place is great, and I'll probably return
Reviewed by Gina on 11/3/2010
I don't know what the poster stating the area is closed experienced, but according to the TN site it is still public access. http://www.state.tn.us/environment/na/natareas/laurelsnow/
Reviewed by Roy on 5/28/2010
Great hike, second visit, first time was a couple years back, and the water was minimal, don't even remember the falls. Yesterday Laural falls was fantastic, and yes at the top Mt Laural is in bloom. Good trail, It is still a state owned Pocket wilderness, we also hiked ofsite on Bowater land and visited another interesting land form. Trail was nice, no snakes, missed the panther, and black bear, sun was shining, not like home where it rained and they worried about our hike.
Reviewed by Viewer on 11/17/2009
11/07/2009 took my wife and son very nice hike easy not hard beutiful scenery with the trees in fall we live in florida and loved it there so much that i just put the house up for sale and plan to move there . when we get back we plan to take up hiking im already a fly fisherman so i will fit write in .the falls are great but go during the week because there were to many people there on a sat and one woman pushed my 9 year old son and he tripped thankgod i was holding on to him because he could have gone over the edge so be careful with your kids. the trailis about 3ft wide but when people are coming from both ways there is not enofe room there should only be a certain amount of people alowd at one time.
Reviewed by Matt on 10/17/2009
If it was indeed "bought out" we never knew it. We drove right in, walked on the trail, and never had an issue at all. The first mile and a half or so is relatively flat, and you can see a couple of waterfalls along the way. After that, get ready to do some climbing. The more climbing you're willing to do, the more reward there is for your efforts. My warnings would be that 1.) some parts of the trail are hard to figure out, be watchful for the white marks and occasionally the orange tape. There is also a part after forking towards Laurel Falls where you will actually climb underneath a boulder. 2.) It's easy to miss your turn on the way out (where the trail forks) Be excessively watchful, and if needed, remember- downstream= ou
Reviewed by sc on 7/19/2009
Please know that Laurel, snow, crystal, and morgan falls has been sold and is privately owned. I found this out the hard way after traveling 1 hr and 20 minutes to get to the first falls and more time thereafter. Disappointed and frustrated that noone cared enough to post this information.I had planned for weeks to visit the sites.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: Tennessee Hiking, Tennessee Trails, Tennessee Hikes, Rhea County Hiking, Rhea County Trails, Rhea County Hikes