Fall Creek Falls State Park
Sorry this is a long post- but we did a lot in this park!
On our first full day in Tennessee, Fall Creek Falls State Park was our first destination. It was about 50 minutes from our campsite and the drive to the park was beautiful and reminded me a lot of home except for more hilly. Throughout the day occasional rain showers would dump on us out of nowhere then pass within a few minutes, clouds would roll in and make everything gray just as fast as they would roll back out again and the weather was cool (yet warm) and we both loved it. We arrived to the park around 9:00 am and there were only a few other cars in the parking lot (we parked near the Nature Center (?) it's wherever our gps popped us out to). We started by hiking the Woodland Trail to see the upper Cane Creek Cascades then went across that super cool swing bridge (side note on the swing bridge- it would slightly bounce up and down with each step and when you got off on the other end for the next couple hundred feet you hiked it felt like you were still bouncing). After the bridge we hiked around to the Gorge Overlook Trail. The overlook is of Rockhouse Falls and Cane Creek Falls from above (pictures 3 & 4). At this point I really wanted to get down to the base of the falls so instead of hiking the rest of the Gorge Overlook Trail, we turned around and headed back to the parking lot. This was a HUGE mistake because we missed the biggest/main waterfall in the entire park (last picture- not my picture). From the parking lot we took the Paw Paw Trail and hiked until we intersected with the Cable Trail. The Cable Trail is really just a super steep cliff with a thick cable hanging above it to help you get down and up. It was soooo much fun! Once we got to the base of the falls we stayed for about 45 minutes; Michael skipped some rocks, I took a few pictures and we both sat for awhile and enjoyed the view. No one else attempted to hike down to the bottom while we were down there so we had the entire base of the falls to ourselves!
After we enjoyed the base of the falls we hiked back out (aka pulled ourselves out via that cable) and headed back to the parking lot, from there we drove down past Fall Creek Falls Lake (looks like a lake with mountains around it) and kept going until we reached Scenic Loop Road. We drove the entire loop and stopped periodically to enjoy the different outlooks and hike a little bit (last 6 pictures). You can tell that it would randomly dump rain on us because the sky is totally blue but we're covered in rain! It was kinda cool.
For more information on this state park go here. Make sure if you go you hit Fall Creek Falls, Cane Creek & Rockhouse Falls, the swing bridge & the Cane Creek Cascades, the lake (bring lunch to eat next to it?), then drive along Scenic Loop Road! Two hikes to make sure you hit are the Overlook Trail then if you want to go to the base of the falls like we did, take Paw Paw Trail to the Cable Trail.