Bald River - Rockgeist
(828) 412-2632, M-F 9am-5pm ET [email protected]


Tellico Plains, Tennessee


Developed by Fireside Outpost

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37 miles, 4,348 ft elevation gain,  117 ft/mi.  Counter-clockwise direction suggested.


Light. Beginner friendly with one big climb and ample time to camp and explore.

Terrain, Bike Choice

Gravel and pavement. Preferred bike rank: Gravel bike, Rigid MTB, Hardtail.


Established campgrounds (reservations recommended). 

Number of Nights

1 night ideal.

Food & Water

Resupply on day 2. Water at campground but bring filter just in case.

Bikepacking Bald River

Important update! The road to Bald River Falls is CLOSED for demolition and rebuilding of the bridge. Anticipated completion late 2024.

A great overnight with the main gravel climb on day one followed by a gradual descent on gravel/pavement back to the car on day two. This is a beginner friendly route with prime opportunity for dogpacking or towing kids. About two thirds of the route follows the Bald River which offers great river-side riding with swimming holes and plenty of primitive campgrounds to choose from.


  • Swimming holes
  • Riverside gravel riding
  • 5 campgrounds to choose from
  • Tellico Fish Hatchery
  • Dog and kid friendly

Trip Beta

The route briefly follows the Tellico River to start the only big climb of the trip. The peak of the climb ends at the Waucheesi Bald which is a short out-and-back off the main route. Riders making the climb will be rewarded with a stunning vista of the surrounding Unicoi Mountains. From here descend to the first camping opportunity at Holly Flats. Next, enjoy a gentle climb before coming to the Green Cove Lake out-and-back. This is a steep detour and if towing a trailer it’s a good idea to leave it at the top while you explore the lake.

The next campground is Birch Branch just past the Tellico Fish Hatchery. Roll on to the Green Cove General Store before reaching the 90-ft Bald River Falls. This last 20 mile stretch is a fast roll on country pavement back to your vehicle. Before heading home Kats Deli has a great lunch and Tellico Grains Bakery serves up some delicious baked goods. 

More East Coast S240 routes can be found on our Routes Page.


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Terms: Routes on are partial planning resources only, primarily for providing potential locations and initial mapping, and may not cover trail surface and challenge details. Please complete your own research before starting your trip. These routes are often remote and require proper knowledge of safety; including bike repair, bail out options, navigation, and resupply locations.  Additionally, because of the remote nature of these locations, you may not have access to wireless or cellphone when onsite.  You should also be aware of and prepared for weather and conditions.  Users are required to obey all road, land, and trail rules, while practicing Leave No Trace principles.  While all routes are diligently prepared and presented, Rockgeist does not guarantee accuracy of routes, trail conditions, or any points of interest detailed herein. It is your intention to fully assume all risks when following these routes. Rockgeist LLC, its collaborators, partners, or volunteers are in no way liable for actions, personal injury, damage to property, or any events that arise directly or indirectly from the routes presented on