Bay's Mountain Firetower

Kingsport, Tennessee

based on 4 reviews



3.67 miles

Elevation Gain

768 ft

Route Type



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 firetower 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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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area

Bay's Mountain Firetower Reviews

This is a MUST-DO if you're near Kingsport. Bays Mountain has tons to offer, but quite honestly, this hike was extremely well worth it once you get to the fire tower at the top of the hike. If you're scared of heights, do whatever you can to work through that fear to climb the tower and see the views up top. The hike itself offers some decent elevation and beautiful scenes, but it's really the fire tower that makes it worth it all.

I really enjoy this hike! It’s not too difficult and a good length. The fire tower is fun to climb and get good views from. It is also fun to hammock from the bottom of the tower! Because it is so close to the city, you do get highway sounds and one angle from the fire tower overlooks Kingsport. Over all I would recommend this hike though! It’s a great afternoon activity.

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.

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!!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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Bays Mountain Trail Loop

Bays Mountain Fire Tower Loop

Laurel Run Trail

Kayak Patrick Henry Reservoir

Kingsport Greenbelt