(You know your limitations and the limitations of your children and family best. Although this trail was appropriate for my family, it may not be appropriate for you or your family. Please use your best judgement in deciding whether or not to hike this trail. Neither Mom Explores The Smokies nor the blog owner are responsible for any damage, mishap or injuries (physical, mental or otherwise) that may occur while you and/or your family/children are on this trail or anywhere in the Smoky Mountains. When in doubt, opt out of this trail.)
Bald River Falls is one of those rare picturesque hiking spots that you never tire of. No matter the season, Bald River Falls is an excellent choice. Aside from the very beginning of the trail, which has a steep incline with hand rail, the terrain is pretty mild. The slopes are gradual and most of the pathways have more than ample foot space. The terrain is so mild, that my family and I completed the hike with a 4 year old and 1 and 1/2 year old, who was carried. When I say carried, I mean by hand. I don’t recommend going that route. Remember to bring your baby carrier.
We began our adventure with a picnic lunch. If you drive 1/2 mile past the falls, there is a nice picnic area with tables, restrooms and parking. The restrooms do not have running water, so bring your hand sanitizer. The tables sit right along the water and it is an excellent spot for pictures or viewing wildlife.
Since the trail is located in Cherokee National Forest, you can really bring the WHOLE family. Unlike the Smokies, all Cherokee trails are dog friendly. The largest waterfall is right on the road, before you even get to the hiking trail. Parking for the falls is free and is right in front of the entrance to the hiking trail.
As you continue along the trail, there are several other smaller cascades.
Near the beginning of the trail there is a set of stairs and a cute and slightly scary wooden bridge. My dog was petrified of both.
The hiking trail follows the water and there are several areas that make great wading or fishing sites.
Children and dogs alike love making a splash!