March 21, 2016
A Tennessee Gem: Fall Creek Falls State Park
Fall Creek Falls State Park is a wonderland. It contains Fall Creek Falls, a massive 256 foot tall waterfall, five other waterfalls, 34 miles of hiking trails, a golf course, a campground, and a zip line. Not bad for a state park.
Fall Creek Falls
The main attraction, Fall Creek Falls, is the tallest free falling waterfall, east of the Mississippi and the tallest and most powerful waterfall we’ve ever seen. The overlook is easily accessible but to really experience this waterfall, we took the 0.4 mile (one way) hike down to the plunge pool. I was completely soaked after standing at the base of the falls for only a few moments and loved every second of it!
Coon Creek Falls
Coon Creek Fall is a 260 foot tall waterfall that, in my opinion, gets overlooked. It shares the same plunge pool as Fall Creek Falls and the beauty of it is lost in contrast.
Piney Falls is not the most impressive waterfall in the park but we loved it, primarily for the “off trail” opportunity. There is a small parking lot with two trails; one to an overlook and one to a suspension bridge. The trail across the suspension bridge (which is a lot of fun in itself) took us down to the river. We followed the river upstream, scaling the stone banks and making our own trail, to end up at the top of the 95 foot tall waterfall. It was a remarkable view and an incredible feeling to be standing there with no other people insight.
We discovered this place called George Hole. Apparently it is swimming hole, but the water level was “too high for swimming”. The area was picturesque, sitting in the midst of a gorge with a small man made (I think) waterfall before the river wound off into the wilderness.
Despite being a very large campground, the sites are relatively small and close together and in general, there isn’t a lot of directional signs. We took a few wrong turns before tracking down our site, even with the campground map.
The bathrooms and showers were very nice, heated (too much for us Michiganders)and we noticed that the deer in the area weren’t afraid of walking right into campsites, even when the people are sitting outside.
Overall it was a nice place to stop for the night and the park was a good day, day and a half stop, but not some place we’ll be returning to.
To learn more about Fall Creek Falls State Park, visit the Tennessee State Park website.