Tellico Bald is at the heart of one of the largest expanses of public land in the region, with high-elevation, old-growth forest. The Appalachian Trail bisects the area, and the Cold Spring Trail Shelter is nearby. The trail across Tellico is the most likely route of an old Cherokee trading path. Burningtown Creek, a tributary of the Little Tennessee River, cascades down the mountain, and several small streams flow into the Nantahala River. Three 5,000-foot peaks surrounding Tellico—Burningtown Bald, Copper Ridge Bald, and Black Bald—also boast high-elevation spruce-fir forest and patches of old-growth.