Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Backbone Falls Trail is a 0.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Shady Valley, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 0.3 mi Elevation gain 147 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Kid friendly Fishing Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Forest River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Rocky
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (55)
Photos (127)
Recordings (27)
Completed (154)
View user's profile page
David Mason
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 10, 2020
Hiking

Nice little walk, but we couldn't find any markings. Also, some of thevstairscarevin need of repair and there was a tree that looks like it had fallen across the path some time ago as a walk around has been worn out through the woods.

View David's Recording
View user's profile page
Amanda Hensley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 19, 2020

We loved this short hike. There are signs that caution uneven footing and drop offs, which is true, however I never felt unsafe (and I had my kids ages 10 and 12 with me). We also loved the falls, even though it is a small one. The surroundings are beautiful

View user's profile page
Brittany Blevins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 8, 2020

This little trail was kinda confusing to find. I was looking for the waterfall which is not in the parking lot to the backbone loop. After completing the loop, I got back into the car and drove on up and passed a trail without a parking area right at it and then drove down to another parking area and walked along the road to find the trail head to the fall. very short beautiful hike to the fall in the snow.

View user's profile page
Kayla Renea
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 12, 2020
HikingMuddy

This is a neat little trail, and doesn’t take long to complete! You can see the small waterfall beside the road, then go up about 50 stairs and then take the path to the waterfall. It is a narrow waterfall but still in a very pretty place! If you stay on the trail to the right it is probably faster, but you can loop all the way around if you choose. Be sure to also take the trail across the top of the tunnel - it also has many stairs but is a neat experience! If you don’t do well with stairs this may not be for you. Dogs can go on either trail, but it may be best they stay on the leash

View user's profile page
Bernie Weese
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 22, 2019
Hiking

Another good short hike with lots of stairs. The flow was very low due to lack of rain.

View user's profile page
Wes Walter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2019
Hiking

Beautiful waterfalls!! The trail map is misleading. I did the loop and got nothing close to what Alltrails has. Awesome short hike. Take time to cross the tunnel! It's amazing up there!! I'll be back here in the winter!!

View user's profile page
Jon E
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 3, 2019
Hiking

Very short trail loop to falls and back out. Nice little area around Backbone Rock- especially for kids that like to play in the creeks. If you are looking for an actual hike just stop for a pic of the "tunnel" and head on to the AT.

View user's profile page
Wayne Walk Jr.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 30, 2019
Hiking

Hiked this with Backbone Rock and got a total of one mile logged. Easy trails, nice area!

View user's profile page
Tracy West
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 6, 2019
HikingBugs

Another short hike while you're at Backbone. Take bug spray and your walking stick. Some of the steps on the downside are not in good shape and can be slick.

View user's profile page
Morgan Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2019
HikingBugs

This was a decent trail with a gorgeous stone staircase but it’s covered in poison ivy so beware, especially if you have little ones. Waterfall was nice but underwhelming.

View user's profile page
Daniel Riedmuller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2019
Hiking

absolutely loved this short and easy trail....beautiful waterfall and nice that it is a loop.....it is on the left of the road just past the backbone, when coming down from Damascus VA.

View user's profile page
Debbie Roberts
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 12, 2019
Hiking

Easy little hike to a interesting falls.

View user's profile page
Melissa Dawn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 1, 2019
Hiking

I love backbone rock but this is the first time I have actually been to the falls. It’s just a short little hike but the falls were pretty and the area is gorgeous.

View user's profile page
Doug Neidholdt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 23, 2019
Hiking

Nice waterfall, short climb and back down. Scenic area

View user's profile page
Breck Tuttle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 22, 2019
Hiking

Beautiful falls

View Breck's Recording
View user's profile page
Inga Rauschkolb
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 13, 2019

nice short walk but steep stairs nice little fall

View user's profile page
Sabrina Lester
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 8, 2019

I have been going to Backbone Rock for years and had no idea there was even a waterfall there!! Fortunately, one of my hiking websites had a listing for it. It turns out, the waterfall is on the opposite side of the road and down the street from the main parking lot where I usually hike. There is a fence with a marker that says Backbone Falls. If you go to the end of the fence, you'll see a small cascade and steps going up. Take the steps about halfway up, and you'll see the waterfall. You can walk down to the water, but you need to watch your step since it can be very slick. I would definitely do this one again!

View user's profile page
Andy Kraus
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 10, 2019

Neat recreation area! The waterfall is good and the top of Backbone Rock is cool. Watch your step because there are no railings on the waterfall loop.

View user's profile page
tom wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 16, 2018
Hiking

nice short loop trail nice small water fall in wet weather,

View user's profile page
Faith Mabe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 23, 2018

Great short hike to a nice waterfall.

View user's profile page
Donna Beal
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 26, 2018
Walking

really nice little falls, use the entrance along the fence, much shorter walk!

View user's profile page
Sheila Birchfield
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 6, 2018

pretty waterfall went during raining season so it would be larger. this falls is for when you dont have time dor long hike beautiful area and lots to look at

View user's profile page
Tracie Witt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 1, 2018
Hiking

Quick little hike! Beautiful waterfall in April. Our young kids (3,6,7) did well with this.

View user's profile page
Aaron Roberts
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 10, 2017
Hiking

For those looking for a crazy short trail to see a decent waterfall. This is the trail for you. It's super family friendly area. Not the biggest waterfall and would suggest visiting during the wetter months to catch a good flow coming from it.

View user's profile page
James Roberts
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 17, 2016

This a nice little trail, short and sweet. Starting from the parking lot and crossing over tunnel for a more moderate scenic hike. If your in the area its worth swinging by to hike. Not worth traveling more then an hour to hike unless you time it out with the operating hours of the local brewery.

View user's profile page
Robert Parker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 24, 2016
Hiking
First to Review

This was a very easy hike with lots of stairs. The trail head is on the east side of route 133 and you can see some stair steps in a small parking lot next to another dirt path. If there isn't enough room then park in the main parking lot on the other side of the street where the Backbone Rock trail head is. I initially took the left which ended up being a bushwhack. Its a half mile loop with blue blazes. Take an immediate right after going up the stairs next to the Trail 198 sign. There is also scenic overlook facing route 133 on your way to the falls. You will come up to the top of the falls and then take some stairs down and around for a better view. Follow the stairs all the way down to route 133 where there is a wooden foot bridge to cross on your way back to the parking lot trail head. The skinny waterfall is 40-50 tall and it had good volume. Its located next to a gorge like rock wall which makes for a good pano shot.

View user's profile page
Denise Moss
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 22, 2020
Hiking
View Denise 's Recording
View user's profile page
Jodi Peppin
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 14, 2020
Hiking
View Jodi's Recording
View user's profile page
Tim Haley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 23, 2020
Hiking
View Tim's Recording
View user's profile page
Lisa Mason
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 10, 2020
Hiking
View Lisa 's Recording
Showing results 1 - 30 of 55