Compression Falls

HARD 27 reviews
#6 of 100 trails in

Compression Falls is a 1.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Butler, TN that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and rock climbing and is accessible from May until October.

1.7 miles 763 feet Out & Back

hiking

rock climbing

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

Hard to find trail with very challenging descent to river and series of waterfalls, main falls is Compression Falls, further up river are two more falls, Twisting Falls and another falls, but are harder to get to. Compression Falls - many times misnamed Twisting Falls - is found in the Elk Mills area of Carter County near the border with North Carolina. On the northeast side of Beech Mountain, NC and just across the Tennessee border on Dark Ridge Road, this hike starts from a dirt parking lot down a gradual and wide 0.3 mi. trail to a sharp left turn straight down a 60 degree quarter mile slope through the forest to a riverbed. You have to use roots & rocks as steps and tree holds to maintain balance (and the way up is a climb) and reach the Elk River. From there, take a left upriver about another third of a mile to the biggest falls, 35' Compression Falls. Another quarter mile upriver is 20' Twisting Falls, and the locals tell me there is another 20' falls upriver from that. This trail is extremely dangerous and the locals don't recommend anything but hiking boots to get you there and back. The climb up is a great workout however. The falls are beautiful and pretty impressive.

2 months ago

The trail was steep, but not 2 miles like the app indicates. It is definitely worth getting down to the falls and at least jumping in for a swim. I wouldn't wear flip flops, but water shoes will work fine. Also, if you're bringing any kind of beverages or food, please take your trash back up with you.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

We have never hiked "down" to a waterfall, so this was a different experience. It was steep, but fun. The falls were amazing. I actually wish I had the guts to slide down the main falls into the pool. I wish the college students took their trash with them. Just beware the rocks are extremely slippery. My husband & I had a blast & plan to come back.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

It was a lot harder than we expected, but it was definitely worth it!! Highly recommended, but be sure to wear good hiking shoes!!

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome! There is much risk involved particularly going down. Very steep elevation and you must be very reliant on taking your time and using trees to grab on to. In addition, the rocks are slick and treacherous at the falls if not careful. Going back up is much safer but quite exerting. Well worth it without a doubt!

backpacking
5 months ago

Super steep but well worth it. We backpacked in and camped. Not much space to camp but magical to wake up with this falls in sight. Two more falls above this one that are easily accessible by swimming. We jumped off both and slid off of the main falls! Had an absolute blast! Currents can be strong so be careful and use your brain. And as always...TRASH IN TRASH OUT! Picked up atleast two bags worth of left over trash :(

5 months ago

Very steep trail; bring some good hiking shoes. The climb up is actually easier, in terms of slipping risks, just more of a workout. The rocks to get to the base of the waterfall are also very slippery but there is a rope to help you up. The fall itself is absolutely gorgeous. Pictures just do not do it justice. If you plan on jumping off, please be careful; there were three people who were injured from jumping when we went, and locals told us injuries were common. Other than that, the fall was worth the hike!

5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

6 months ago

6 months ago

PLEASE take your trash with you!

hiking
7 months ago

Steep steep steep! But well worth it!

9 months ago

A mean climb in and out. Thank goodness it's a short distance! The area and the fall is beautiful. We caught it with lots of ice formations during the cold snowy spell this winter (January 2016)

hiking
1 year ago

sept. 2015 I was just there yesterday. ITS A MESS. I will be taking 4 or 5 trash bags with me next time to make an effort to clean up. There are beer cans galore and millions of waterbottles, socks, cigarettes disgusting. Whoever was there before me should be jailed. All of them. Other than that this is an AMAZING place to go. The trail is quite a hike down and up but completely worth it. Also my boyfriend and I had to do some treasure hunting to find the trail head. there is a old completely dilapidated barn on the hill to the left and if you keep going there is a place you can veer to the right or keep going straight and run into private property. Veer right. Park and start walking until you see some powerlines and then look down and youll see the trail. Unreal how steep but go do it!

1 year ago

1 year ago

1 year ago

DO NOT LEAVE YOUR TRASH HERE!
Seriously, bring a small bag to put your trash in and take with you.

Challenging, steep slop all the way down to the waterfall. Getting back up was even more of a workout, but it's so worth it to see the falls. Definitely really slippery so you have to be extra careful when making your way closer to the fall to swim.

hiking
1 year ago

I might actually rate this a black diamond rather than moderate. The distance isn't bad at all with only a little more than a mile in o the falls but the trail itself is more like the dried washout path of running water after it rains. It's very steep and rocky. I wore hiking shoes and had poles but stil slipped once on the way down. The way up is a challenging workout. The trail isn't really marked on the way down to the water but it's easy to see where everybody else has tread especially as you walk upstream to the falls. The rocks in Elk River are extreme slippery and covered with algae. You will probably have to get your feet wet and to some rock climbing to get to the base of the falls. I saw plenty of folks swimming and even sliding down the 30 foot falls as it was 90 degrees. There were plenty of dogs on the trail and in the water too. It's a beatutiful water fall but it's too bad so many people leave their trash behind.