Gentry Creek Falls
Hike with 13-14 water crossings to double drop waterfall.
How to get there
From Kingsport, TN:
- Take I-81 north to Exit 19 for US-58 towards Damascus.
- Continue through Damascus.
- Take right (south) when VA-91 and US-58 split.
- Proceed back into Tennessee to Laurel Bloomery.
From Mountain City, TN:
- Proceed north on TN 91 for 7.7 miles to Laurel Bloomery.
Then for both routes:
- Turn at the A-Z Market onto Gentry Creek Road (sign to Pleasant Home Church) and proceed 0.8 miles.
- Make right turn onto Star Gap Road.
- Then quickly left again ton continue on Gentry Creek Road, which become gravel after 1.1 miles.
- Continue on rough gravel road for 1.4 miles and park at road end.
Point of information is that the first cul-de-sac parking lot reached on the gravel road is for Rogers Ridge Horse Trail. Veer to the right to continue back to the dead end cul-de-sac with a trail marker for Gentry Creek Falls.
Hikers cross mound barriers. The trail is very gentle rise up a shaded valley with the expected numerous creek crossings using stepping stones. Gentry Creek is pretty with small rapids. The two tiered waterfall is an enjoyable vista for lunch. Note: The upper falls can be reached by a very narrow path on the right side of the lower falls - but dangerous!
Trail is not regularly maintained, but usually passible. Recent (2014) work by the Cherokee National Forest has resulted in stepping stones at all the creek crossings. Difficulty of creek crossings depends on season and whether recent rains. The crossings are all quite navigable, though hiking poles won't hurt. Lots of mosquitos during summer.
Fees, Permits, etc.
Located in Watauga Ranger District of Cherokee National Forest. Office number is (423) 735-1500. No fee to hike the trail, but state fishing regulations apply to Gentry Creek.
Consider wearing blaze orange during hunting season.
After the Hike
Stop in Damascus for ice cream
Gentry's Falls are named after Joseph Gentry, who farmed 800 acres in the area startng around 1796.