Compression Falls

HARD 44 reviews
#8 of 96 trails in

Compression Falls is a 1.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Butler, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and rock climbing and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
682 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

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.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

this hike should be labeled as hard. it so steep coming down and going back up. it's not marked very well at all. a resident had to put a sign in their own yard to show people which way to go towards the falls. the only reason I'm giving this trail a 4 is because of the waterfall

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful spot, hike is pretty short but many will find it challenging. Very steep descent toward waterfall, wet rocks around falls - watch your step and keep phones and cameras in bags. Waterfall is beautiful, water is on the chilly side. It's deep enough for jumping from the top (I would say more than 8ft deep on the left hand side of the waterfall), although it's slippery. Get enough grip to push yourself off the rock and you are good to go. There is another smaller waterfall on top, and both can be climbed from the bottom, there are two sets of ropes to help with the steep rocks. To climb the second one, you actually have to get in the water/well, so bring spare set of clothes and possibly a towel.

Now, it seems to me like a lot of college students like to hang around there (it's pretty close to app state) and I couldn't believe how much trash was left behind. Not saying it's all students, but there's a good chance they were. I like to call them hashtag hikers. Empty beer cans and bags of chips, toilet paper, I even saw laundry basket laying there. I assume most of the people will clean up after themselves, please do!

Besides that, totally worth visiting if you are in the neighborhood, you will have fun couple of hours.

3 months ago

Beautiful waterfall. Hike isn't long but is very steep.

hiking
4 months ago

4 months ago

4 months ago

Went last weekend right after a lot of rainfall so the water was really flowing. The trail isn't terribly difficult though I would suggest shoes with good tread. Be watchful for yellow jacket bees nests as we saw 3 nests in the ground along the trail. Luckily we didn't get stung but some folks nearby did. We slid off the falls and the water was swift so be sure you are a good swimmer if you decide to do this. Overall an excellent hike and the waterfalls are amazing!!

4 months ago

Crazy good

5 months ago

Very good overall but the climb down the trail was slippery and dangerous.

Would suggest caution especially when wet and if you do not have some level of experience.

5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

6 months ago

awesome falls that are way off the beaten path. Great place to escape, chances are you'll only find a few locals. Definitely not a tourist trap! #enjoythewild

7 months ago

7 months ago

Pretty day! Fun to jump and explore cliffs! It's pretty dangerous and slippery tho!

Monday, September 05, 2016

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
Sunday, August 28, 2016

hiking
Sunday, August 28, 2016

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
Thursday, July 21, 2016