Baskins Creek Falls Trails

Baskins Creek Falls Trail: A Secluded Gem in the Great Smoky Mountains

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Trail Difficulty: Easy | Round Trip Hours: 2 Hrs | Round Trip Miles: 3.0 Mi | Elevation Gain: 953 Ft

The Baskins Creek Falls trail offers a serene and enchanting hiking experience in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. With its picturesque two-tiered waterfall and secluded surroundings, this hidden gem is a perfect escape from the bustling crowds.

In this article, we’ll explore the trail features, provide tips, and guide you on the best way to enjoy this captivating natural wonder.

Baskins Creek Falls Trail Features and Highlights

1. The Perfect Picnic Spot

As you embark on the Baskins Creek Falls trail, you’ll encounter a short climb followed by a long descent. The trail will lead you to the magnificent 40-ft, two-tiered Baskins Creek Falls, a haven for nature enthusiasts.

The falls provide an idyllic setting for a midday picnic, where you can relish the soothing sounds of cascading water while enjoying a delightful meal amidst nature’s beauty.

2. Seclusion and Serenity

Unlike the more popular waterfall hikes in the area, such as Abrams Falls and Grotto Falls, Baskins Creek Falls remains “off the beaten path.” Its secluded location ensures a tranquil experience, even during the peak summer season.

If you yearn for a peaceful retreat amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Great Smoky Mountains, this trail is your ideal choice.

Exploring the Baskins Creek Falls Trail

The Baskins Creek Falls trail starts at the main trailhead located on the one-way Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail loop. During winter, the loop may be closed, but you can still access the trail by hiking a short distance from Cherokee Orchard Road.

Once you’ve parked at the Baskins Creek trailhead, get ready for a brief ascent followed by a rewarding descent to the falls.

The journey to Baskins Creek Falls begins with a quarter-mile climb, offering stunning views of the western mountains and glimpses of Gatlinburg during the winter and early spring months.

As you progress along the trail, the lush summer foliage obscures these vistas. After approximately 0.9 miles, you’ll reach Falls Branch, which requires crossing without a footbridge. Be prepared for the possibility of getting your feet wet, especially after heavy rains.

Once you’ve crossed the water, the trail begins its rapid descent. Around 1.1 miles, you’ll encounter a side trail branching to the left, leading to Baskins Cemetery. Stay to the right to continue towards the falls.

As you proceed, you’ll come across a second small creek, which is an easier crossing compared to the earlier one. At 1.3 miles, a trail junction awaits.

Turn left to head to the falls, while continuing straight will take you across Baskins Creek once more and back to the eastern side of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail—a second “trailhead” for the Baskins Creek trail.

Turn left at the trail junction and embark on the final 50-yard descent to reach Baskins Creek Falls. Exercise caution during this steep and rugged section, especially after rainfall when the rocks may be slippery due to mud and moss.

If you have trekking poles, they will prove helpful in maintaining stability.


The Enchanting Beauty of Baskins Creek Falls

Upon reaching the falls, you’ll be captivated by their natural splendor. Legend has it that the falls were named after a local hunter known as “Bearskin Joe,” and over time, the pronunciation transformed into “Baskins.”

Take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the cascading water and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this picturesque oasis.

Don’t forget to pack a small picnic lunch or snack to savor along the falls, accompanied by ample water to stay hydrated during the return ascent.

The waterfalls provide an exquisite backdrop for memorable photographs, as do the lush forests and the breathtaking laurel blossoms.

Returning to the Trailhead and Tips

If you plan to return to the original trailhead, remember to bear right at the trail junction immediately after leaving the falls. However, if you’re embarking on a split-party hike, bear left at the junction, following the trail for another 1.3 miles to the alternate trailhead.

Tips for an Enhanced Experience:

Opt for an Early Morning Arrival: Arriving early in the morning offers several advantages. You’ll encounter fewer people on the trail, allowing you to relish the serenity of nature undisturbed.

Additionally, the cooler temperatures during the early hours make the return hike more comfortable.

Directions to Baskins Creek Falls Trailhead

To reach the trailhead for Baskins Creek Falls from Gatlinburg, follow these directions:

Turn off the main Parkway onto Historic Nature Trail/Airport Road.

Drive 0.7 miles before turning onto Cherokee Orchard Road.

Continue for an additional 2.2 miles until you reach the entrance of the one-way Cherokee Orchard Loop.

Drive 0.9 miles on the loop, then turn right onto the one-way Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail loop.

Look out for the Baskins Creek trailhead, located 0.2 miles on the left side of the road, just before the Jim Bales Places. You’ll find a small parking area and marked trailhead.

Unveiling Nature’s Hidden Gem

Baskins Creek Falls offers an unforgettable hiking experience, rewarding visitors with its serene ambiance and captivating beauty. By venturing off the beaten path, you’ll discover a secluded oasis tucked away in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Whether you’re seeking a tranquil picnic spot or an enchanting escape into nature, this trail is sure to leave a lasting impression. Embark on the Baskins Creek Falls adventure, and immerse yourself in the wonders of this hidden gem.

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