Benton Falls – Enjoyable Road Trip From Blue Ridge

Benton Falls

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Our Benton Falls Roadtrip –  I’ll have to add the Benton Falls Roadtrip to our My Top 10 Things To Do In Blue Ridge list.  Last Sunday, the whole family headed out for a little roadtrip up to Tennessee. When you stay in Blue Ridge or North GA, you should come here too!

It really isn’t that far, the state line’s less than 15 miles from Blue Ridge.  I wanted to share Benton Falls with my wife Barbara, and Christine who’d never been there, the boys and I went several years ago for the first time.

Directions to Benton Falls

From Blue Ridge –

  • Go north on SR5 10.2 miles (traffic light at McDonalds) to McCaysville
  • At 3-way stop sign, turn left into Tennessee on TN 68 3.2 miles
  • Exit right onto US 64
  • Turn left on US 64, go 21.4 miles
  • Turn right on TN-314 (look for large sign to Chilhowee Recreation Area) and go 7-8 miles to the Chilhowee Recreation Area.
  • Park at the restrooms and look for trail signs directing you to the Benton Falls Trail.

You travel past the Ocoee Whitewater Center on Old River Road and turn right at the sign leading to the Chilhowee Recreation Area.  This road climbs and climbs (nothing death defying here) until you get up on top of the ridgeline.  I really like this road trip, because there are plenty of things to stop and see along the road.  This ridgeline is the last of the large mountain ridges on the west side, on a clear day, you can see for about 50 miles to the west, it makes for beautiful sunsets.

One of the observation areas has a low stone wall, from the parking lot it looks as though the mountain drops off on the other side of the wall.  It doesn’t, the ground is only about 2 1/2 feet below the wall. We have fun trying to create interesting photos with camera angles and the wall, the one below is from last week.  I call this picture – Brothers Can Be Cruel. (Note – no children were harmed in the making of this photo).  To see some of our creative ideas with this wall follow this link to our other blog post about Benton Falls.

brotherscanbecruel

Brothers can be cruel

I thought that hiking to Benton Falls would be an enjoyable hike for Barbara, she’s not as thrilled as us about hiking in the mountains, and this one had two things she desires in a hike:  Flat easy hiking, and a bathroom.  After hiking for about 1 1/2 miles you get to the waterfall, actually at the top of the waterlall.  You walk down a series of stairs and then you get to explore the waterfall from below as well.  I always go in the late afternoon to waterfalls so that I can take pictures when the light is magic, and I wasn’t dissappointed.

BentonFalls2
We hiked back up to the recreation area and had a gourmet dinner of hot dogs cooked in our camping stove (everything tastes good when you have been hiking). and headed out to try and catch the sunset from one of the observation areas on the ridge.  We didn’t catch the sunset, but we still stopped and watched the last of the light dissappear to the west, and we could also faintly see the Milky Way as it stretched across the sky!

Last light leaving the Blue Ridge Mountains
So why am I telling you all of this?  Because this is becoming another of my favorite road trips, and when you come up here to stay with us, I want you to experience it too!   I am sharing a link to our other blog post about our other Benton Falls Roadtrip.

side view of Benton Falls

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