Prater Place Trail is a 6.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Spencer, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
This a new trail located in the recent Fall Creek Falls acreage addition to the park, and is located outside of the park entrance just off Hwy 30 on Hwy 285 in Van Buren county. This trail is also home of the Camps Gulf Cave which is famous for it's large chambers and rooms. Spectacular scenery, wildflowers, creek crossings, river views and finally ending at the short but very scenic Hemlock Falls
I went last Friday with my boyfriend and dog. This was a fun trail! It had stormed the night before so the creeks were full and flowing. You do cross one big creek near the start of the trail (my dog had a blast in it!), so prepare for wet feet. We spent about 4 hours walking and stopping for pictures and lunch. The turn for the trailhead is a little hidden. There are no signs for it off the road. Will definitely go again!
Beautiful forest and falls. Not difficult to follow trail. Moderate climbs. Saw no people all day. Interesting sink-holes, caves, and rock cliffs.
This trail has rocky and forestry terrain with a steep climb. Hemlock Falls are small this time a year but maybe more water in the spring?
Looks like a nice trail but we had to turn around and head back after about a mile because we where sick of walking into spider webs.
A nice trail that was easy to follow, but very few blazes and most are just red plastic ribbons. We saw lots of evidence of wild hogs and actually saw a group of about 6. The side trail to the cave is not marked, but you turn right at the first directional sign indicating Prater Place is to the left. Also a sign there starting there is no camping.
Great day for hiking. Trail was well cleared and easy to follow.
It was a good trail. There were several muddy spots on the trail. I recorded 6.6 miles. I did got off trail s few times. Took me 3 hours.
The best was crossing the creek a few times and putting up my hammock at the falls.
My wife and I hiked this the last Saturday in January. The trail was muddy in places from the snow the week before, slowed us up a bit but no real problem. Also the creek was up a bit, presumably for the same reason, and it took us a little while to get across the creek, both coming and going. About a mile and a quarter out, the trail seemed to disappear. We followed some red flagging (which I later discovered to be survey markings and not trail markings) up a very steep gully with large boulders. It was a tough climb and at the top, we could not relocate the trail, so we headed back. It was a gorgeous day and we can't wait to go back in the spring after everything buds out.
My wife and I did this trail Labor day weekend. We were the only people on the trail, so it was nice and quiet. The trail is easily followed for the first half. There were several trees down across the trail, no biggie. After we got to a cave and water fall (we think, no water) we kept on going upward for about another mile marked by red markers in the trees which I found out later were survey markers not trail markers. I'm sure we went farther than we needed. I called Fall Creek Falls the next day and they told me the trail was marked in white but they had some vandalism up in the recent past. We are in our sixties so it was vigorous at the end. They said they would send rangers up there to clear and remark if needed.
The distance is listed as 2.9 miles. It is actually a 5.8 mile hike. Once you reach the falls at 2.9 miles the only way out is to retrace your steps back down the trail which doubles your mileage. So make sure you have made time for a 6 mile hike.
Great hike with very low traffic. But the directions to get there that are given are sketchy. The trailhead is off of 285 and not where Google maps directs you. I would consider it a moderate hike for older children and adults. But it gets steep in certain areas so small children might not do as well. The trail gets very muddy in some low areas if there has been much rainfall recently. All in all a good hike for someone looking for a trail that is not overly traveled since its a new addition to Fall Creek Falls State Park.
Great hike with great reward at the end, Hemlock Falls was amazing.