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best easy hikes smoky mountains
Best Easy Day Hikes covers 22 of the best easy hikes in the Smokies.

Baskins Creek Falls

Trail Features: Waterfalls baskins-creek-falls
Trail Location: Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Roundtrip Length: 3.0 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 953 Feet
Avg. Elev Gain / Mile: 635 Feet
Highest Elevation: 2927 Feet
Trail Difficulty Rating: 4.91 (easy)
Parking Lot Latitude 35.67767
Parking Lot Longitude -83.47858

Directions to Trailhead:

Starting from Light 8 in Gatlinburg, turn onto Historic Nature Trail / Airport Road. After driving 0.7 miles veer right onto Cherokee Orchard Road. After driving another 2.2 miles you'll enter the one-way Cherokee Orchard Loop. Drive 0.9 miles on the loop before turning right onto the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. The trailhead for the Baskins Creek Trail will be on your left after driving about 0.2 miles on this one-way loop.

Trail Description:

The trail leading to Baskins Creek Falls begins with a short easy climb. At roughly one-quarter of a mile the terrain levels out where you'll have some decent views of the mountains towards the west, as well as a few glimpses of Gatlinburg - if you're hiking in the winter or early spring. These views, however, will more than likely be obstructed by summer foliage.

baskins-fallsAt 0.9 miles hikers will cross Falls Branch without the assistance of a footbridge. If hiking after a long hard rain this could present a little bit of a challenge, if your goal is to keep your feet dry. The trail then veers off to the left and begins following the creek down the mountain. This a fairly rapid descent, and will make for a challenging climb on your return trip.

At 1.1 miles a side trail will spur off to the left and lead towards the Baskins Cemetery. You should stay to the right to continue towards the falls.

Shortly thereafter the trail crosses over a small creek, but this time is a much easier crossing.

At 1.3 miles hikers will arrive at a trail junction. Continuing straight ahead here would lead you across Baskins Creek, and eventually over to the eastern side of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, roughly 1.3 miles from this point. To continue on towards the falls hikers should turn left at this junction.

The last 50 yards or so down to Baskins Creek Falls is fairly steep and rugged, but well worth the effort. Relative to their popularity, this 40-foot, two-tiered waterfall just might be the most underrated falls in the Great Smoky Mountains. It's also a great place to kick back and enjoy a picnic lunch if desired.

The falls and the creek purportedly received their name from a local hunter known as Bearskin Joe, and over time, the pronunciation evolved into "Baskins".