I recently had an opportunity to hike the trail to Laurel Falls, an 80-foot tall waterfall on the Cumberland Plateau, near Dayton, Tennessee.
It’s 6.1 miles out and back, most of which parallels either Richland Creek or Laurel Creek. Hence, the sound of running water permeates both gorges and forest landscape. By contrast with hikes at many different locations, the size and frequency of massive boulders strewn along both creeks – some as tall as 50-feet – is stunning.
I arrived early, on the trial at 7:19 a.m. and with a 32-degree fahrenheit temperature. To stay warm, I walked without stopping until I reached Laurel Falls. Alone at the waterfall for the entirety of my visit, I would later spend a good deal of time traversing Laurel Creek down the mountain, over and around large rocks, where I discovered some wonderful smaller falls and cascades.
If you’re considering a hike to the Laurel-Snow State Natural Area, I can recommend it as being one of my favorites – no matter ones age or conditioning, there’s so much to enjoy!
If you’d like to accent a wall in your home or office with a print featuring my photography, you can visit my gallery at Fine Art America to select the print type which best suits your interests – framed, canvas, art, poster, metal, wood, acrylic and tapestry.
More Views From Laurel Creek
With some exceptions, hikers can expect mostly hard pack soil and generally small rocks along the trail for the initial two miles. After crossing what appears to be a new aluminum bridge, the trail becomes much rockier on an inclined surface for the remaining mile.
The drive into the park is somewhat challenging, with deep crevasses from erosion, and a sign reminding visitors that the road is “unimproved”. Proceed with caution at a slow speed. There are no restrooms. The park closes at 7:00 p.m.. Permits are required for camping.
Thanks for stopping by!