Really nice trail with a beautiful waterfall! You have to go thru creek to get to the falls which me and my sister was able to rock hop and we never got wet. We only did the Machine Falls Loop which was around 1 .5 miles.

Park at the water tower and walk across the road to this trail head.

Load up with bug spray as there were lots of mosquitoes, spiderwebs and other creepy crawlers.

One of the best waterfall hikes I’ve been to in Tennessee. The stairs going down to the waterfall are pretty steep but doesn’t take 10 minutes or so to get down there. You gotta pay attention to where your walking it’s a bit slick after a lot of rain.

Definitely wear waterproof shoes if you plan on walking right up to the falls otherwise prepare to side step and balance on the stones and rocks. Beautiful picture taking. You can go right up to the falls and feel the mist on your face. It’s incredible.

The path getting back up from the falls is steeper than the one going down. Narrow in places and you definitely have to watch where you’re going. Only a 10-15 minute climb back up and then the rest of the trail is pretty flat and shady.

There is an overlook on the way back but after having been down there it offered nothing exceptional. You can only see a glimpse of the falls because there’s so much overgrowth and the bluff is really small, only room for a couple of people. I’ll definitely skip it next time.

Lots of wildflowers and lots of colorful mushrooms were amazing after so much rain. First of October was a great time for this hike.

About 2.15 miles from start to finish.

hiking
19 days ago

Very enjoyable hike. Several short trails sprout off the main trail. Well maintained.

East to follow Trail with several spur trails to add to the hike.

Beautiful area and trail. Shorter trail at a little less than 2 miles. We made a day of it by starting at Rutledge Falls a few miles away then to Machine Falls. The hike is relatively easy. My parents are in their mid-60s and did just fine. There are some steep steps near the falls but no biggie. The falls is beautiful and has some of the clearest water I’ve seen here in Tennessee. Just beautiful. Look for the big water tower and the trailhead is across the street.

This was a mostly easy hike with some steps and steeper areas nearer the falls. To see the falls you have to either walk through the water or stone step your way to it. The pay off is worth it. I wish I had brought a towel and bathing suit. I do not recommend Adam's Falls Loop trail that goes off this trail. The falls were nonexistent and we walked through lots of spider webs.

This is a short hike with a great, refreshing reward at the end. Beautiful! We will hike this one again.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike with nice falls. We added busby falls to the loop just to play in the water more

We came with our four kids, ages 2, 4, 6, and 8. We decided to go counterclockwise which I think was the right move. We already got the payoff of seeing the falls before we had to climb up the stairs, so we had no choice. :) We had the youngest boy in an Ergo, but the older girls all handled the trail—and the stairs—just fine. The trail was clearly-marked, but it did help to have downloaded the map from AllTrails just to be sure we were on the right path.

The falls were incredible, some of the best we’ve seen around. We really loved that the pools are wade-able, and you don’t have to decide you want to go swimming in the cold to get close. Combine that with a really wide, really beautiful cascading waterfall, this one is near the top of our list.

Pretty easy hike. We took our 3 boys: 5, 6 years and a 5 month old in a baby carrier. The down slope wasn’t bad as long as you take it slow. We will definitely be back!

backpacking
3 months ago

Hike in was easy until you start dropping down to the falls, it had rained day before so it was a little slick in spots, had to watch where you were stepping for sure. The rain had made the falls run really full, it was beautiful! Hike out was super easy!

Absolutely gorgeous waterfall, the hike wasn’t bad other than a bit slippery after the rain we’ve had. Looking forward to going back during the Fall & winter.

it was an overcast day just after a rain storm. the trail was not crowded and very easy for the family. the waterfall was specracular.

hiking
3 months ago

Arrived a little after 9 AM on a Saturday, waterfall was relatively empty with only two other groups there.

Park at water tower, trail is across the water tower (opposite side over the road)

Trail to me, was easily marked..
- WHITE marked trees — Machine Falls
- BLUE marked trees — Bugsby Falls

Beautiful waterfall! Went 6/27 in between rain storms. The way it’s nestled it’s like a hidden treasure. We got there around noon and no one was there. Then there were about 10 people that came in different groups. Perfect for wading, no deep spots. Saw a few salamanders by the rocks too.

Pretty easy hike. I brought my dog who is still a puppy and he did great. There is a point where you kinda have to walk along the creek or in it if you don't go across the bridge, I thought it was more fun. You might as well walk along the water because if you want to see the falls up close - you're going to get wet. I went late in the afternoon around 7 and there wasn't a single person there and it was straight up beautiful.

Also if you do plan to walk around the falls I'd wear water shoes, the ground is uneven and rocky and hurt! I will admit to having been unprepared in that department as this was a spur of the moment trip. Well worth it!

hiking
3 months ago

I loved this trail. I did the trail clockwise, heading through the woods for a little over a mile, along side the creek part of the way. There were two spots along the wooded path where you have to cross water but it's shallow and there are rocks in place.

The path was a bit over grown in parts but manageable.

Once you get down to the Waters edge, you can make your way across it to get all the way to the base of the falls. If you don't mind getting wet, wade right through! I managed to stay dry and sat and had a bite to eat there.

A small word of advice for non hikers on the trail .... the trail and falls are gorgeous. Keep them that way. If you pack it in....pack it out. The trash along the way wasn't bad but it was noticable. Let's keep our parks clean eh?

Highly recommend this hike. The stars are the end are the only killer haha.

Really enjoyed this hike. Trails are clearly marked and easy until you enter or leave the falls at which point the trail is a bit steep.

The falls are beautiful and there’s a pool and upper ledge to walk in. The water is very clear and COLD!

If I had to “complain “ i would say the only downside is the actual falls area is rather small so it can feel a bit disappointing to make the drive and hike for such a small area.

Definitely worth a visit.

The only reason I give this trail a 2 star is because it’s not clearly marked as to whether you should start clockwise or counterclockwise. We chose to go clockwise per one of the reviews below. I had my husband, our dog and my 5 and 7 year old. We went around 6:45 on a Monday and no one else was there yet. We passed the Busby falls trail and started to get confused when we kept seeing signs for connectors. We just kept following the white strikes and finally after going downhill on a very narrow path my husband said the path came to a complete stop and went straight down and told us to turn around. Apparenlty he had kind of freaked out and didn’t mention until later that we had come across the “narrow/steep” stairs that lead up from the falls. We went to the overlook which was really a waste, it’s unkept and very dangerous. I tried to hang onto a tree and step out some but really couldn’t see much. We did play in the creek a bit but that’s about the extent of what we got out of the hike. It would just be nice to have a better explanation of the trail at the start for those that are not familiar with it. Seeing the pictures, I’m sure it’s very worth it if you get to the falls, but a word of advice, don’t take a dog and husband who are scared of heights and don’t take small kids...

We love this trail. We take our two dogs and two kids and spend all day there. So much to see. We hang our hammocks up stream where the water is gentle then play in the pool at the base of the amazing waterfall. We always bring friends who are visiting from out of town. Plus there are a few options (wildflower, busby, adams) if you want to mix it up a bit.

hiking
5 months ago

short strenuous hike. Absolutely beautiful waterfall at Machine Falls.

Overall really loved this hike! Ran into 6 different snakes though. Going down to machine falls is super steep so coming back up is worse!

Great hiking, but the paths to the falls are very steep and narrow. Absolutely worth the drive and hike. It is beautiful!

Great short hike with a pretty Machine Falls. Easy hike!

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike for families, kids, and dogs. There are a few trails and loops to take and all are clearly marked. There were a lot of wildflowers. Would be a great place to hang out all day with the family and a picnic. Watch out for ticks.

Bring water shoes in your pack. Went after the rains and the waterfall was in it’s full glory. Wildflowers and the trees in bloom. Perfect day

This is a great short hike with plenty to see and do. The steep descent and climb back up is well worth it to check out Machine Falls. With more than 6 total miles of trail in the Short Springs Natural Area, there is plenty to fill an afternoon. All of the trails are well maintained.

Beautiful hike! It is dog friendly, but unless your dogs are really great on a leash, you'll have to unleash them for a bit to get down to the falls. It's a little difficult to access because it's STEEP and quite slippery. Was a little crowded for my taste, but other than that, the falls are beautiful and definitely worth the hike!

Hiked there many times. There was a time before the State bought this area when very few people knew where it was...that was when it was the best but those days are gone.
Pretty easy hike but the trail does get steep going to the river although there are now some stairs (use to be none! )and the rocks near and in the water can be very slippery...take it slow....
Very crowded lots of days especially on weekends

Absolutely amazing hike. I went counter clockwise at the trail entrance and did the stairs first down to the waterfall and was happy someone suggested this. I was glad I took my trekking pole to assist me on the slippery rocks when walking in the water and climbing up into the waterfall. Wear waterproof shoes and bring extra socks! I picnicked up right next to the waterfall, it was beautiful. Be sure to follow the white paint on the trees to stay on the trail to the waterfall, anything with two colors together; means it’s a joining trail and not necessarily headed towards the waterfall.

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