I grew up in Middle and East Tennessee, so naturally I have been to quite a few of the parks and seen quite a few of the waterfalls. So it is beyond me as to why I have never been to Fall Creek Falls State Park. Both of my parents have been; heck, most of my family has been. But not me. My husband, who is also a Tennessee native, had never been either. We’ve heard awesome things about it and decided it was about high time we checked it out, so we made the two hour drive from Knoxville last weekend on a whim. It was definitely worth it!
I had seen several photos online of the suspension bridge at Piney Falls, so the first thing we did was search for that. It was surprisingly easy to find and wasn’t a terribly long hike to reach.
Once we crossed over the bridge and I got my vertigo in check (me and heights don’t mesh well), we hiked along a narrow, winding trail. Once the trail fell away, there was a ledge on the rocks that we followed for awhile. When we rounded the last corner, we saw the top of the falls. We were able to walk right to the edge and look over at the water crashing on the rocks down below. And the best part… we were the only ones there. Everyone else was back at the bridge and up at the main falls. We were pretty pleased with our discovery and stayed for awhile to take it all in.
We made our way back to the bridge and took a little time to wander around the creek underneath before heading back across.
After crossing back over the bridge, we headed back up the mountain and followed another trail to an overlook. From here we could see across the gorge to the waterfall we were at earlier. We didn’t realize how much hiking we had done! The hubby was brave and peered over the edge. I stayed a few feet back… to, uh, get photos… yeah, that’s why I did it.
We made our way back to the car and whipped up some sandwiches for a picnic dinner before driving to another section of the park. Guess what we found? Another suspension bridge! This one, however, was a little sketchy. There were loose boards, sections where the sides were no longer connected to the bottom, and duct tape wrapped around the hand rail. Um…. no. I did not come here to fall to my death, thanks. Instead, we head down to the creek underneath the bridge.
We were standing at the top of a short, but wide, cascading waterfall. We walked down to the bottom of the falls where a crowd of people were swimming and hanging out.
We continued to follow the creek downstream and were almost immediately on the edge of the main waterfall – Fall Creek Falls.
By this time, it’s starting to get late. We decided we had better head out. We still have to hike back to the car, find our way out of the park, and drive two hours back home. On our way out of the park, we came across an old schoolhouse. We made one last stop to check it out, then we caught a beautiful sunset on our way back to the interstate.