Niagara of The South

Located along the Cumberland River in Kentucky is a waterfall known as the “Niagara of The South”. Cumberland Falls stands 60-feet tall by 125-feet wide, and, on this particular day (following substantial rains) was brown with soil and very loud.

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Waterfalls In Kentucky

I recently enjoyed a road trip to Kentucky with a friend and her energetic yellow Labrador Retriever. We visited both Eagle Falls & Cumberland Falls following a substantial rain, with high water colored brown from surface materials swept downstream. Between clouds, sunlight also streamed through heavy mist providing a sustained rainbow over the plunge pool.

Stopping first at the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, we had a sneak peak of the “Niagara of The South” – Cumberland Falls, which stands 60-feet tall by 125-feet wide. With adjoining counties having issued flood warning advisories, the Cumberland River was flowing fast and loudly:

Eagle Falls

See previous post: Eagle Falls Trail, Kentucky

Hiking 3 miles out-and-back, the Eagle Falls Trail was slippery with wet leaves and mud, but the views were impressive. Here are a few photographs from our hike, including a view of Cumberland Falls:

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Cumberland Falls

See previous post: Cumberland Falls, Kentucky

Renown as the only location in the western hemisphere to have a “Moonbow”, the park provides ample parking, restrooms, visitor center, gift shop, local music and, most important of all, wonderful scenic overlooks. Here are a few examples:

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Conasauga Falls

Located near Tellico Plains close to the Cherohala Skyway, the 30-foot Conasauga Falls is a secluded, three-tiered waterfall not far from Knoxville or Chattanooga, Tennessee. The trail is a relatively easy 1.5 mile hike out-and-back, with an elevation gain of 370 feet. And, despite what some people have said online in review of their visit, the gravel roadway to the falls isn’t that bad – just watch for a few deep potholes.

This visit followed an earlier, same day hike to Falls Branch Falls, an adventure organized by my friend, Lara – thanks again!



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Falls Branch Falls

I recently hiked to the 70′ Falls Branch Falls, a 2.2 mile (roundtrip) trail located in the Cherokee National Forest near Tellico Plains, Tennessee, along the Cherohala Skyway. It was the first of two hikes that day, the second being Conasauga Falls Trail – more on that another time.

I’d like to acknowledge my friend & her dog for making our hiking adventure so much fun – thanks Lara for your great planning!!!

Directions From Knoxville, TN

  • take I-40 W / I-75 S to Exit 60 (Sweetwater / Spring City)
  • turn left on TN-68 S (New Hwy 68) for 24.4 miles
  • turn left on TN-165 E (Cherohala Skyway / Unicoi Turnpike) for 22.4 miles
  • parking on left at Rattlesnake Rock

The Hike

The trailhead is located at the left side of the parking lot, and descends 515-feet to the base of the falls. Along the way, hikers will encounter a sign lacking clarity as to which way to proceed. Fortunately, someone has marked the sign with an arrow pointing left to the falls (see photo, middle):

Toward the end of the trail there is a steep section with loose rocks where hikers should exercise caution, particularly when covered with leaves, or following rain when surfaces may become slippery.

Though no flowers were present along the trail at this time of year, rhododendron plants were in abundance throughout the hike. As such, a return trip to this area in the spring may be in order.



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House Mountain

I recently hiked House Mountain, the tallest point in Knox County, Tennessee, located near Corryton. With an elevation of 2,110 feet above sea level, hikers may ascend 1,000 feet from the surrounding valley on either the blue (Mountain) or white (West Overlook) trail.



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