This was the only state park we visited while in the state of Tennessee. Located in Bledsoe and Van Buren counties and it surrounds the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau. We explored two waterfalls while here, Fall Creek Falls and Cane creek Falls.
Even when you take into consideration that we visited here without a plan, in mid January, and really only came to hike a quick hike to the Fall Creek Falls itself…..our visit here ended up being quite amazing. Now, apparently, there is an inn, campsites, cabins and meeting rooms for, I would assume, weddings and such…..we saw non of this. Like I said, it was quickly planned and we went directly to the trailhead we were seeking without any extra exploration.
Upon arrival to the trailhead we found ample parking, great signage, and an overlook for anyone not hoping to hike down to the falls itself.
All very gorgeous and easily accessible……but we were looking to hike. So down into the gorge we headed.
It was amazing. The terrain was mostly rock with some dirt trail here and there. We knew to be careful not to turn an ankle since the park ranger we spoke to upon arriving told us many individuals do injure themselves on this trail.
Beside the falls itself, our favorite spot we found to explore was a crevice in the rock that we all crawled into. If you recall in Sedona, the new family rule is I only hike on trails that are as wide as my hips and thankfully my hips fit through this crevice which meant I could also explore with my boys.
Eventually you arrive at the end of the trail and two waterfalls roaring over the edge into the gorge.
After we all did some exploring in this area it was time to head back out of the gorge and see if we could find our way to Cane Creek Falls.
Although, by the time we reached the top again, we were hot…. in January…..again just amazing, so it was time do some adjusting to our zip off hiking pants.
To reach Cane Creek Falls you followed a fairly smooth trail through some dense wooded areas with lookouts along the way.
For us the lookouts were quite a disappointment since you could see very little if anything around the over grown tree line. So we headed a bit further down the trail to what we had read was a swinging bridge. How fun does that sound right? Well, it was fun, shaky and a bit unnerving to see cables with only, what I refer to as, chicken wire for edges. However, you only live once, so we all crossed it once and then twice to return to our vehicle from there.
Our entire hike took us 5.3 miles through this state park.
The park service rated this hike as strenuous and going into the gorge down to the falls I would agree simply because of the terrain. With that being said, I think anyone not disabled could do this at a comfortable pace per individual.
The trail to Cane Creek Falls I would rate as easy….since there is very little rock to be scrambling over to reach the overlooks.