Pocket Wilderness

Pocket Wilderness is a 5.5 mile out and back trail located near Dayton, TN that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.5 miles 954 feet Out & Back
dogs on leash birding camping fishing fly fishing hiking mountain biking nature trips rock climbing trail running walking whitewater kayaking horses bugs cave forest muddy rocky snow views waterfall wild flowers wildlife
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Your hike begins along the Richland Creek that provided water and mining for the town of Dayton for many years. This area was once logged by Bowater Paper and then turned over to provide excellent trails for the pocket wilderness and Cumberland Trail. The first 1.5 miles is shared by Snow Falls & Laurel Falls; at this point turn left (NW) to Snow Falls. You will hike 3/4 mile then you will walk around a huge boulder and then cross 3 50' bridges to cross over Richland Creek. The next 2 miles you will ascend over 500' by a series of switchbacks that lead to the upper rim to Buzzard Point. Once you are on top follow an old log road to the south to Buzzard Point for lunch with a view! Backtrack to connect to the Snow Falls trail that crosses this log road you're on. You will descend to creek level of which you will have to wade or cross depending on water level. Once you are across the creek follow white blaze. Backtrack to upper rim for the Dunn Overlook for great views.

Maria Lankford

2 Completed2 Reviews

The Laurel Falls Trail was one of the most beautifully scenic trails I have had a chance to hike so far. It is mostly easy to moderate in difficulty with a couple of more strenuous areas near the end. The terrain starts out fairly level then gradually inclines up to the falls. At the trail head there is a beautiful mountain creek winding along side the trail for quite a way. There are even some places to stop and rest and plenty of photo opportunities. Eventually the trail veers off in another direction for a while and then winds its way back around meeting up with the creek again closer to the falls. There are also a lot of beautiful rock formations along the way and a couple of small water falls on cliff sides and cascading over the rocks. I would recommend going in the spring. The Spring rains and snow melting make the creek and the water fall much fuller and more beautiful. But it is still pretty at other times as well. The only issue we encountered the last two times we were there was the bridge that allows you to cross over the creek to the remainder of the trail. Apparently a storm had caused a tree to fall on the bridge severely damaging it on one end making it unsafe to pass. There is a note posted about it at the entrance of the trail head. The first time we scrambled across the creek using the protruding rocks as stepping stones and our trek poles to steady us but the second time the water was so high and swift we were unable to do that. We had to risk crossing the bridge. We made it okay but it was a little scary. Otherwise it was a great hike and seeing the falls made it well worth the trip. They are absolutely beautiful. Definitely recommend going. Its a great day hike but if you're interested in camping there are rustic camping areas along the way and near the top of the falls.

Calvin Witt

2 Completed1 Reviews

Love the trail, my son and I have been back twice and will keep going back. It's just that good.

Kristen Warren

15 Completed4 Reviews

I loved the laural falls trail, but the snow falls trail was very confusing. The bridge is really cool on the trail, the hike up the mountain isn't to bad and it leads to a cave and rock formations. I never actually found the falls, it lead out to a huge overlook which was cool but the bryer bushes over grew the ground where the paint marks were so we had to turn around after losing the trail. Bring a lot of water!!! Because my Boxer overheated and we had to stop for her to drink and I had to cover her in water.

Billy Eells

7 Completed6 Reviews

Laurel Falls is the most beautiful falls on this trail. It is also the closest to the trail head. Snow falls is smaller and is the tougher of the two trails. Don't forget the overlooks though. The views are worth the extra miles.

Otis Peterson

5 Completed2 Reviews

beautiful fantastic hike by the river up to the laurel waterfall and then on up to the overlook. don't follow directions given by Alltrails. They will get you lost.

Lisa R.

I have hiked this trail many times in the last 2 years whether it's to Laurel Falls, Buzzards Point or Bryan overlook. This trail never disappoints. Most recently the bridge to Laurel falls has been out but there are creative ways around. Start early and enjoy the day exploring this amazing area of East TN.

Joseph McGowan

1 Completed1 Reviews

I adore this park. Even though I live in Hawaii now, Laurel/Snow Falls Pocket Wilderness remains my favorite place ever to hike. The multiple cliff faces, overlooks, bouldering fields, rocky creeks, abandoned coal mines, swimming holes, and interesting wildlife make this park a winner. There are always more side-trails and geographic features to explore.

Michael Curry

20 Completed16 Reviews

This is an EPIC TRAIL! It has many places to camp and a lot of adventurous places. The rocks running across the river and near Laurel Falls are SUPER FUN to climb around on. Take an entire day to explore this area. It's well worth it!

Nicole Lawson

17 Completed6 Reviews

Nice day trail that hikes up to a beautiful waterfall.

Gerry Hallcox

10 Completed5 Reviews

Nice walk along stream before you start on switch backs up Mtn . Pretty scenery but trail is rocky, huge boulders and nice falls. I will go back sometime.