Sometimes you have to go the extra mile to find something worthwhile, or an extra six miles or so. Outside of Tellico Plains, Tennessee and a short detour from the Cherohala Skyway is the 90 foot tall Bald River Falls. A drive on the Cherohala Skyway is a dream of mine that I will one day see through. The skyway connects Tellico to Robinsville, North Carolina via a winding road lined with virgin Poplars and other old growth of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. Bald River Falls is on the Tennessee side of the skyway (directions posted below with link.)
Bald River Falls is a tributary of the Tellico River and is easily accessed by a paved road. Upon arrival at the falls you'll cross over a bridge with limited parking. I can't wait to come back up in the fall and see the leaves make their colorful annual transition.
Directions courtesy of Cherohala.org
Located on Forest Service Road 210. From the Highway 165 in Tellico where you turn right to go up the river, drive 4.5 miles to the turn off to Bald River Falls. The Bald River Falls turn off is clearly marked on the right hand side of the Skyway. You can view Bald River Falls without leaving your vehicle.
Back in Tellico is the 'I can't believe this is the boonies' kind of restaurant named Tellico Grains Bakery. They mill their own red winter wheat flour, create pastries such as chocolate croissants and muffins, bake pizzas in a wood fire brick oven, and make delicious paninis. I enjoyed the Waucheesi Club which consists of smoked ham, roasted turkey, Benton bacon, pepper jack cheese, red onion, mayo, dijon mustard, lettuce, and tomato on their scrumptious rustic Italian bread which is baked in store. Each panini halve was the size of a regular sandwich which allowed for a nice dinner later along with the chocolate croissant I picked up.
I hope that you can add the extra well deserved miles to Tellico Plains next time your in Eastern Tennessee or the smokies. Don't let this small town just be a glare in your car window; but, make an afternoon out of visiting Bald River Falls, Tellico Grains Bakery, one of the few local museums, downtown shops, and the Cherohala Skyway.