This is a continuation to the Margarette Falls hike posted a few days ago…
The Margarette Falls hike is very easy and great for families and beginners, however if you want to be more adventurous you can continue on upstream from Margarette to the very unique, grotto-like waterfall known as Bailey Falls. This is NOT an easy hike.
You must first climb the VERY steep embankment to the right of Margarette Falls. The trail here is very faint. Once you reach the top you must work your way through the underbrush back toward the stream. Then, just follow the stream as best you can for a couple tenths of a mile… climbing over numerous boulders, fording in certain places, and sometimes just walking up the middle of the stream. Plan on getting wet.
At one point you will also pass by another very pretty, smaller (10′) waterfall referred to as Glen Falls. And eventually, you’ll come to the awesome, two-tiered waterfall known as Bailey Falls, which is located in a carved out, deep ravine with 90 degree walls. It is truly a unique setting, and well worth the work to get there. This is tough bushwack however, so take a friend.
10' Glen Falls
Another Shot of Bailey Falls
Remote waterfall hike.
(this is probably not the fastest way, but it’s the way I went) – From Johnson City, take I-26 to the Erwin/Jonesborough exit (#37). At the end of the ramp turn right and take State Rt. 81/107 for 6.5 miles. Stay on Rt. 107 by turning left and continue for 14.8 miles. Turn left onto 351 South and drive 0.7 miles where you will take a left on Middle Creek Road. Drive 3.5 miles on Middle Creek Road until you reach a stop sign where you will take a right onto Greystone Road. Follow Greystone for 2.0 miles, and take a left onto Shelton Mission Road where you will follow it for another 2.0 miles. You will see a sign for the trails, and then the parking area will be immediately on your left.
From the parking area you will see a forest road (blocked off) and the a sign designating the trails. It’s private property on either side of this initial forest road, but it’s fine to take it. Walk up this road for approximately .5 mile until it dead ends. This is the confusing area… You will see two trails here… take the one on your right (at the two large boulders). After approximately 50 yards this trail will split again… take the one to the left (there is a sign here now designating the trail). Margarette Falls will be reached in another 0.7 mile. From Margarette Falls, you should be able to notice a faint trail making a very steep climb up the right side of the falls. Start climbing and in about 100 feet you will see a 10′ rock wall to your left. You can either climb this wall (not recommended) or continue on up the hill for another 20 feet or so, to come in on the upper side of this wall. From here, make your way back down to the stream at the top of Margarette Falls. You will soon come to a large flat rock next to the stream, and then the stream will make a sharp turn to the left. You will need to ford at this point. From here, just continue on upstream as best you can. I stopped counting fords because sometimes you just need to pick the best side of the stream that works for you. Eventually, you will come to the deep ravine where Bailey Falls is located.
Gear & Tips:
Insects seem to always be bad along the forest road area. Bring bug spray! Take a friend if you go to Bailey. It’s not highly traveled and requires some climbing.
Approximately 2.8 miles round-trip.
Out & Back.
1.0 – No elevated mountain views
Rating (based on a 1-50 scale):
Bailey Falls: H(3) + F(5) + V(4) + W(1) + G(1+5+9) = 28
Crossings (one way):
Numerous… plan on getting wet.
Slippery slopes and steep areas.