hiking

nature trips

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A paradise of more than 20,000 acres sprawled across the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau, Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of the most scenic and spectacular outdoor recreation areas in America. Laced with cascades, gorges, waterfalls, streams, and lush stands of virgin hardwood timber, the park beckons those who enjoy nature at her finest. While Fall Creek Falls, at 256 feet, is the highest waterfall in the eastern United States, other waterfalls in the park are Piney and Cane Creek Falls and Cane Creek Cascades. The oak and hickory forest that covers most of the park gives way to tulip poplar and hemlock forest in the gorges. The plants and animals of the moist, protected gorges are not unlike the species found in southern Canada. Mountain laurel and rhododendron are abundant throughout the park, as are other plants and animals. With its many amenities and panoramic natural setting, it is little wonder that Southern Living magazine readers voted Fall Creek Falls the best state park in the Southeastern United States. The park is located in Bledsoe and Van Buren counties, 11 miles east of Spencer and 18 miles west of Pikeville. It may be entered from Highway 111 or Highway 30.

backpacking
1 day ago

Nice trail, easy to follow. Great views

Absolutely gorgeous if you go all the way to the falls

Very worth it! Not terribly hard, but very rocky so you have to watch your feet.

Really gorgeous views of the gorge,and a couple falls.

Beautiful falls. Pretty easy hike, not too crowded.

nice hike to the base of the falls,can get crowded

This trail is great for seclusion and beautiful! Trail is strenuous as far as climbing the rocks to top of hill. We did lose the trail at the top and were unable to finish. Was difficult to follow due to all the leaves on the ground. We'll certainly return and if anyone has any pointers I'll gladly accept on navigating past the huge hill!

This was a fun trail and worth the drive from Fall Creek Falls cabin area. Parking at Trailhead. You may need to pull into the parking area before you see the sign. Rocks make the trail slow going at times. We took our dogs with no issue, but broke the rules and had them off leash for the rocky areas with an elevation change. Will do this trail again!

We went in the middle of October the hike wasn’t to bad but the waterfall is totally worth it we’re from Missouri and we had a blast.

This trail was amazing. The overlooks are the best part. Make sure to keep going and go down to Fall Creek Falls to the base of the falls. All of it together makes for a wonderful day.

Beautiful year round.

nature trips
29 days ago

beautiful in the autumn colors; peaceful in its isolation, almost other-worldly...

backpacking
1 month ago

Had a great overnight backpacking trip along this trail over the weekend. Car camped on Friday and 7 miles in to campsite 2 on Saturday. 8 miles out Sunday morning back to the parking lot (we went off some side trails adding to what would have been ~6 miles on Sunday). Would definitely recommend going counter clockwise. Hiking down into the gorge and back up the other side is the biggest stretch of elevation changes. If you're going clockwise you'll have this nice long ascent for the tail end of the hike. Going counter clockwise lets you get all that out of the way near the beginning when you should be fresher.

Campsite 2 has a well pump for water. Still recommend filtering the water but it is very convenient. Outhouses were fine to use. Clean enough, considering. Definitely recommend site 2 over 1, it is much closer as a half way mark.

The trail can be a bit difficult to find when you get closer to the nature center. Lots of fallen trees over the trail and parts were not very clearly defined. Not a big deal though, just had to take a quick minute to find a marker a few times. I saw other reviewers taking a star off their rating because of this. I don't think it was that bad. Still a five start hike in my opinion.

100% recommend this for overnight trips or long day hikes. Will likely be back

[TL;DR: A good starter trail if you want to do long day hikes. the only tough spot is at the top (middle) of the trail. Useful as a gear-check and practice for scrambles and rapid ascents.]

Did this 3 weeks ago; didn't have the app yet, so here's a belated review.

This is a longish beginner trail with one short (~1 mile) tough spot between the two campsites. I went clockwise (left at the junction), so after Campsite 2 I had a scramble down to the bottom, with a rapid ascent to Campsite one. Neither is overwhelming, and will be a good place to get some practice and try out gear.

The trails up to the 2 campsites are very smooth and easy. Near the Nature Center the signage and blazes go crazy, so I did the last bit on the road, as I kept getting directed to the wrong paths. I recommend parking at the Village. You've got some good connector trails and on return you've got all the food and facilities waiting on you.

This is another trail everyone I met was overnighing, but I did it in 7 hours, counting breaks, without pushing for speed at all. Very good beginner trail, but I may or may not do it again (the trails to the campsites are kind of dull).

Tough!

Great trail - some of the best views in TN.

Nice trail! Not too hard, good length, and an abundance of nature!

hiking
1 month ago

If you are looking for a solid overnight hike with friends I would check out this trail. We parked at the Overnight Trailhead parking and proceeded along the lower loop trail. There is a segment where you will take the paw paw trail to the remaining lower loop. As others have stated, doing this loop counter clockwise is the way to go. I would encourage anyone who is doing this loop to start here and follow the lower loop trail to campsite 1 and then down into the gorge. The gorge is absolutely treacherous so take your time here. The mileage to Campsite 1 is super flat and very quick, the gorge should take about as much time as the hike to it. On the other side of the the gorge that crosses Cane Creek, you will find Campsite 2. That is the campsite you want for your overnight trip. The hike out is about 7 miles and gets pretty dicey towards the Nature Center. Just follow the white blazes the entire time. It is very hard to find the rest of the loop, but stay with the Nature center on your left and you'll see the rest of the trail. The last 2 miles basically follows the road and pretty much sucks.

Campsite 2 has a working water pump and some dilapidated outhouses. It has great areas for hammock camping and open meadow tent camping. I would have given it 5 stars if it weren't for the terrible break down of the trail near the Nature Center.

1 month ago

It's beautiful but it really difficult to steep go downhill and claim up to the hill, make sure wear the gloves since have to hold the cable wire railing and some the wire splitter will cut the hand or finger

Hiked Upper Loop. It still has a lot of garbage and even signs from an endurance event a month ago all over it. Lot of downed trees. I lost count of how many we climbed over. Missed a turn and had to back track cause a tree had fallen on a sign. The AllTrails app got me back on the trail. Good white blazes on one half of the trail going counter clockwise but the last 1/8 of trail had minimal red emblem blazes. The garbage really needs to be cleaned up. Any future events should require the participants to trek out their litter. Also should note, there is really no scenery on this hike. I only took pictures of the many water crossings. I saw zero people all day, but I went during the week.

backpacking
1 month ago

Overall this is a great backpacking loop. There is no log book at the trailhead, apparently if you don’t book a site, they don’t know if you’re out there. We started at the overnight lot and hiked to campsite 2 passing campsite 1. The first 3.5-4 are super easy to campsite 1. This took us about an hour and a half. We hung out at the bottom of the gorge for a while as all the waterways were rushing with water after a week of rain. The ascent up the gorge kicked our a$$. This definitely makes the trail a hard trail if you’re doing it with a full pack. Campsite 2 comes at the perfect time and I thought everything was well marked to campsite 2. There are two outhouses at campsite 2 along with a well that we used iodine tablets just to be safe. #3 is the best campsite I would say at campsite 2. From campsite 2 to the overnight lot was overall pretty easy. The reason I rated this a 4/5 was because the trail markings became sparse after hitting the fall creek falls area and especially the nature center. The nature center is under construction and we had to guess where to go. There was also an area where you had to go on the road that wasn’t clear before getting back to the trail. We ended up just taking the road back to the parking lot. Overall a great trail, I would probably pack lighter for that ascent in the gorge as it took almost as long to go that last mile as it did the first 5. Overall my Fitbit said 6.17 miles in 4:15 to campsite 2 then 7.22 miles in 3:57 to the parking lot.

Super steep but worth it if you feel comfortable

Fantastic hike featuring two major waterfalls: Cane Creek Falls and Fall Creek Falls. Also several gorge overlooks. Hardest part is the Base of the Falls Trail, which is steep and/or rocky for most of its distance. Start at the Nature Center for an extra Cane Creek Falls view and an extra adventure: walking over a high, swaying suspension bridge. Overall, best hike at the best park in central TN.

Nice trail - a bit strenuous/slow if you have little kids with you; but we made it all the way in and out with kids aged 3, 5, 6 and 8. They enjoyed it :)

Not much of a hike, but it’s beautiful. It’s great for kids, dogs, people who aren’t able to handle big/difficult hikes.

hiking
1 month ago

There are several areas of the trail that are difficult to follow due to fallen trees. A few fallen trees were trees that once marked the trail but the blazes were on the ground- not very useful. I would recommend doing this clockwise, so start on the paw paw trail part and then continue. It’s rough for a one day but kind of easy to split into two days. If you go clockwise and stay at the last campsite you’ll get about 10-11 miles in and only have about 2 to hike out. Those sites are backcountry 1 I believe. The section of the trail near the nature center is closed but you should be able to circumnavigate this, or just begin the trail at the nature center instead of the overnight loop trail head

The Woodland Trail is a beautiful well tracked trail that starts with at the Nature Center with a cool suspension bridge overlooking a beautiful stream and waterfall. I would rate this trail as a moderate hike until you get to the part of the trail that leads you to the base of a huge waterfall then the trail becomes difficult. We loved this hike and did it as a day hike. The Gorge Overlook branches off the Woodland Trail and is also a beautiful moderate hike. There are a couple of very difficult spurs off the trail that lead you out to some of the prettiest views in Fall Creek Falls State Park!!!

Super easy hike. You have an amazing waterfall that you are able to walk behind on one side and a huge cave 500 yards away on the other side. I highly recommend packing a lunch and eating at the waterfall. I was told the waterfall was used in the children's movie the Jungle Book.

Great, short, steep trail down to a couple of great waterfalls, with very little foot traffic. Water was refreshing and the river otters were very playful!

Great short little hike with two trails and a couple of caves. The water fall was AMAZING!

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