Hike to Bay's Mountain Firetower

3.42 miles 570 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Merritt McKinney

Towering 60 feet above the peak of Bay's Mountain, this firetower displays panoramic views of Kingsport, South Fork Holston River, and the surrounding Tennessee Mountains. An easy trek for adventurists of all skill levels, this hike is way more than the epic mountaintop views.

Bay's Mountain Firetower overlooks the city of Kingsport, the South Fork Holston River, and the surrounding Tennessee mountains. Part of Bay's Mountain State Park, this is the most popular hike of the 25 miles of trails. The hike to the fire tower passes the Kingsport Reservoir which is essentially a massive lake with a dam. You will almost certainly pass wild deer if not other various wildlife (bears have been spotted along the trails). Along the trail, you will cross several wooden bridges spanning low marshes. The last half mile to the top is steep but well-maintained. The firepower is sturdy, has ample guardrails, and the main cabin is accessible. The windows can be pushed out for a less obstructed view.

There is a $5 permit fee that will be collected at the gate of Bay's Mountain State Park. From there, follow the signs that lead you to the designated parking area. You will be given a trail map after paying. From the parking area, walk downhill Bay's Mountain Road to the dam. Follow Lake Side Trail Northeast for .3 miles until it forks at Fern Trail. Hang left on Lake Side Trail for another .3 miles until it forks with Holly Trail. Hang right on Lake Side Trail for .2 miles until it forks with Hemlock Trail. Take a right onto Hemlock Trail for .1 mile until you intersect Lake Road. Cross Lake Road and join Firetower Trail which will take you to the top of the mountain and Bay's Mountain Firetower.

At the top, there are several benches to sit on and trees to hang a hammock overlooking the view. This is an easy hike for anyone in decent condition and perfect for families and groups. Dogs are allowed on a leash. The hike is hidden under thick tree coverage so you will not get much sun nor is it deathly hot during the summer months. The park offers several other hikes, mountain bike trails, waterfalls, a ropes course, animal habitat, and planetarium that are worth exploring. 

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Tags

Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

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Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

2 months ago

Beautiful area!

This is a great hike near Johnson City. The hike is fairly easy but can be tough at some points. On a clear day the view from here is unparrelled.

One of My Favorites

Love this hike, I’ve done it several times. From sunrise to sunset & everywhere in between, it’s an incredible view! Steep at times but not too hard if you’re an avid hiker. There are several ways to get there and each trail has its own beauty. Try them all!!

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