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Buck Bald

Buck Bald is about to become one of your new favorite places! This bald mountain peak, located in the Coker Creek community of Tellico Plains (inside the Tellico Ranger District of the Cherokee National Forest), offers panoramic views of the majestic peaks of Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. To the north and east are the Nantahala and Yellow Creek mountains of North Carolina. To the South are the North Georgia mountains around Blairsville, Blue Ridge and Ellijay. In the west is Tennessee’s Big Frog and Little Frog wilderness areas along with Chilhowee Mountain and the Hiwassee and Ocoee River breaks; gaps where the rivers cut through the mountain chains. When you arrive at Buck Bald, you will notice a stone marker spelling “C-15” in large letters. This was to mark the Forest Service's Fire tower that used to be located at Buck Bald.

This peaceful mountain peak is one of the top places to visit in East TN. It's also the perfect destination for sightseeing and hiking in Tennessee and spending time with your family away from cell phones and other distractions!

Photo of two kids running on some grass with trees and mountains in the background. It appears to be around sunset.

What can you do at Buck Bald?

  • Picnic (there is one picnic table at the top)

  • Enjoy the ride to Buck Bald - who doesn't love a ride through the countryside on a gravel road?

  • Watch the sunrise

  • Watch the sunset

  • Play tag with your kids

  • Bring a frisbee and enjoy a game with your group

Even more to do...

  • Disconnect with the rest of the world to truly take in the wonders around you (you may not have cell service at Buck Bald)

  • Try to locate all of the peaks you can see from the top

  • Explore the flora surrounding the top of Buck Bald 

  • Stargaze

Photo of a woman drinking from a metal cup and looking into the distance. Behind her is a grassy field, trees, distant mountains, and the sky during sunset.
Photo of a woman and two kids walking on grass with trees and mountains in the background.

Take a hike!

  • For those who would like to hike to the top of Buck Bald instead of drive, you can drive one mile outside of the Monroe County line to the Benton Mackaye trail sign on Hwy 68. There, you can park your car in the small lot and start your hike.

  • The trail intersects the Forest Service road toward the top and you proceed straight ahead up the dirt road to the top.

  • The hike is a 4 mile round trip (out & back).

Buck Bald is only a 30 minute drive from the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center. To reach Buck Bald from the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center:

  • Turn right when leaving the parking lot and head northwest on the Cherohala Skyway

  • At the stop sign, turn left onto TN-68 S/Unicoi Turnpike

  • Follow TN-68 S for 14.4 miles

  • Turn left onto Buck Bald Road (this is a rough paved road that turns into a Forest Service gravel road)

  • After about two miles, take a left turn onto another gravel road

  • Continue driving for about .8 miles to the mountain top

  • There is a small parking area and steps up to the grassy bald.

Photo of a couple sitting together, watching the sunset over the mountains.
Photo of a family walking together on grass with mountains in the background.
Photo of the sun setting over mountains with clouds against the blue and gold screen.
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