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  • Atlanta Northcutt

Falling in Love With Fall Creek Falls

Updated: May 12

By: Atlanta Northcutt --- Reporter for the Southern Standard

Fall Creek Falls is more than just a state park. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. The feeling of abundant life and growth thrives there. Sitting on just under 30,000 acres of land, it is Tennessee’s largest state park and home to one of the highest plunge waterfalls east of the Rockies. With over 60 miles of trails and nine impressive waterfalls, Fall Creek Falls is full of natural splendor. It stretches through Van Buren, White, Cumberland and Bledsoe Counties. The amount of outdoor activities that Fall Creek Falls offers is a delight for both outdoor enthusiasts and sightseers from all around the world with 1.7 to 2 million people visiting the park yearly. I was taken on a personal tour of all the Fall Creek Falls features by Park Ranger Jacob Young. Our first stop was to visit the overlook of Fall Creek Falls, which stand at 256 feet tall. As I watched the surge of water rushing over the cliffs, I was taken back by the power and majesty that I was witnessing while Coon Creek Falls poured over the neighboring side of the mountain into the same gorge Falls Creek Falls drops into. I later descended down the mountain on a 0.7 mile trail through a virgin timber forest and past ancient rock formations to the base of the falls and walked underneath them. The experience was both humbling and unforgettable, and I would recommend for everyone to do it at least once. Our next adventure was a very short hike to the infamous Millikan’s Overlook and Buzzard’s Roost. Sitting high atop the mountains, a single tree stands firm along the edge of a cliff. This point looks down into Cane Creek Gulf from the north and Piney Creek Gulf to the left. This spot provided an awe-inspiring view of the immense forestry around and beneath the cliffs. The thick fog topped the peak of the mountains and created an other-worldly scene as the seas of green met the sky. I could’ve stayed in that location forever while admiring the strength of the one small tree whose fully dressed limbs reached outward and stretched upwards, firmly growing from the rock beneath it. Another popular waterfall is the Cane Creek Cascade, which can be reached from the Nature Center. Although not as tall as some of the other waterfalls in the park, the view is still spectacular especially while crossing over the suspension bridge that is located right over the falls. We went to the base of the cascade, and I felt the cool mist of water on my face and the wind from the water’s strength blow through my hair. Hiking and boating are two of the main tourist attractions to the park. There are trails throughout the property that are as short as 0.1 miles and easy to navigate through. The overnight trails can reach up to 14 miles, such as the Upper Loop, and can be either moderate or strenuous to hike.

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