Distance

3.42 Miles

Elevation Gain

570 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Merritt McKinney

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

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. 

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $194/night

Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

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Distance

3.42 Miles

Elevation Gain

570 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Merritt McKinney

Nearby Adventures

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Bike the Tweetsie Trail

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Hike the Devil's Bathtub

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Hike to White Rock

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Hike to Tip Top on Buffalo Mountain

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