This is the picturesque Caney Fork River running through the gorge at Rock Island State Park, in Tennessee. It would make a wonderful addition to a wall in your home, with many print types available for review in my gallery at Pixels.
See earlier post – Rock Island State Park
Getting to Twin Falls from the parking area at Caney Fork Gorge is a four mile drive, still within the Rock Island State Park of Tennessee. These falls are not natural – rather, a byproduct of damming the Caney Fork River, and a power house. Interestingly, the water found its way through the limestone; hence, these 80′ waterfalls pour out of the gorge walls, rather than over the edge some 40′ higher.
Bring Nature Into Your Home
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Here’s a video of Twin Falls –
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Not far from the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, hikers can enjoy the 1.3 mile trek to Laurel Falls, one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At 80′ tall, a railed-walkway divides the upper and lower sections of the waterfall.
The trail at Laurel Falls was completed in 1932 at a cost of $590, providing fire crews access to the Cove Mountain area in the event of a fire. Three years later, a fire tower was completed. By 1960, frequent trail use and erosion were problematic, and, as part of the 1963 Accelerated Works Projects grant to the Department of Interior, the trail was paved. Today, with over 800 miles of trails within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, only four trails are paved for a total of three miles.
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Here’s a short video of Laurel Falls –
The 2.3 mile trail to Alum Cave Bluffs is located in the Smoky Mountains, approx. 8 miles from the Sugarlands Visitor Center, near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It’s the shortest and steepest of 5 different trails to Mount Le Conte.
Originally mined in 1838 by the Epsom Salts Manufacturing Company for deposits of magnesium sulfate & alum, it’s now a popular hiking area with limited parking – one should plan to arrive early; or, park along the road some distance away.
At lower elevations, the trail meanders alongside the Alum Cave Creek, providing a pleasant and constant sound of running water throughout the forest.
Here are a few photographs –
At 1.4 miles along the trail, hikers have the opportunity to pass through a natural tunnel in the side of the mountain – at Arch Rock. A series of steps with a cable handrail make this a fun, navigable passageway.
Here are some photographs –
Eye of The Needle
As hikers continue up the trail, the sound of water fades and glimpses of the surrounding mountains begin to appear between the trees. Inspiration Point is situated at 4,700′, which, on a clear day, provides an unobscured view of the surrounding landscape, most notably Little Duck Hawk Ridge – which features the Eye of the Needle (a see-through hole cut into the side of the ridge). It is in this area, if you’re lucky, that you might see Peregrine Falcons.
Here are a few shots –
More Scenes From The Trail
Note: it’s not really a cave. Rather, large sandstone bluffs standing 80′ tall, extending 500′ in length, with a substantial ceiling-overhang.
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Having observed that the gorge below Lower Piney Falls (Tennessee) wasn’t easily accessible, I hiked back uphill and sought to secure a path of descent further along the river. Alas, it was not to be. However, on this half-hour side excursion, I did have the opportunity to see some very interesting rock formations.
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This photograph in Tennessee highlights cascades preceding the 40′ high Lower Piney Falls, which empties into a tall, narrow gorge without access.
Here’s a video of the falls, from the top –
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I recently enjoyed hiking the 440-acre Piney Falls State Natural Area, located in Rhea County where Little Piney and Soak Creek have carved deep gorges into the Cumberland Plateau. It’s recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Interior as a National Natural Landmark, one of fourteen in Tennessee, featuring rare virgin forests.
If you’d be interested in visiting the park, here’s a map:
Note: there are no restrooms or gift shop, and limited signage.
There are two waterfalls at the park, Upper and Lower Piney Falls.
Upper Piney Falls is 80′ high, the top of which is easily accessible by trail. It features a concave ledge which circles behind and around the falls where visitors can enjoy an awe-inspiring view of the gorge below. Getting to the plunge pool, however, is more difficult; in addition to traversing a narrow trail along the upper rim of the gorge, hikers must then descend a steep, rocky surface, safeguarded to some degree via provision of connected cable for support. Exercise caution!
Here are some photographs of Upper Piney Falls –
Here’s a short video of Upper Piney Falls –
Following the trail down to Lower Piney Falls, which stands 40′ high, hikers arrive at the top of the falls for a picturesque view into a taller, narrow gorge. Unfortunately, there are no trails to access the plunge pool nor lower slopes below, which feature an old growth forest of tall white pines and eastern hemlocks.
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With a low volume of water present, I was able to approach the top edge of Cane Creek Falls, while hiking recently at the Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee. I’ve added this photograph to my gallery at Pixels.
Many prints available to select!
The following collection of photographs features Cane Creek Falls – a portion of the many shots I took while recently hiking Fall Creek Falls State Park, in Tennessee.
Prints of Cane Creek Falls – and other areas of the park – are available for your review in my gallery at Pixels. Selections include framed, canvas, art, wood, acrylic and metal prints. Other items available, too – stop by to see more!
If you’d like to visit the park, follow these directions:
Cane Creek Falls
Standing 85′ tall, Cane Creek Falls can be seen from the Nature Center (10821 Park Road), located near the entrance of Fall Creek Falls State Park. Guests may enjoy views of this waterfall and the sandstone gorge from either of two observation platforms, one of which provides easy access for handicapped visitors.
Here are some photographs of Cane Creek Falls…
Next, to connect with the hiking trail near the Nature Center, it was necessary to walk along a suspension bridge in order to cross Cane Creek:
Supported with two expansive cables, the bridge was relatively unstable and shifted with each step. As such, I was later pleased with how well the next photograph turned out – taken from the center of the bridge:
Across the creek and then up some stairs, a sometimes rocky trail awaited my steps:
Another Point of View
I continued my hike around this first gorge, until I discovered another area from which to view Cane Creek Falls. Approaching this spot wasn’t easy – don’t trip over the edge! – nor was it necessarily prudent to cross the rudimentary fencing for a better photograph. Look closely at the third picture to see a man standing (left side) on the observation deck – across the gorge – located by the Nature Center:
I hope that you enjoyed this post, and please consider purchasing a print if interested. More pictures of my hike at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee will be forthcoming; until such time, thanks for visiting!
You may not be able to visit the state of Kentucky, but you can still enjoy this view of The Cumberland River by visiting my gallery at Pixels. There, you may select among several different print types (framed, canvas, art, wood, metal, acrylic), and more!
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Road Trip To Kentucky: Part One
Known as the “Niagara of the South”, Cumberland Falls features an impressive 125′ wide curtain of water that plunges 60′ into a boulder-strewn gorge below.
The waterfall was named by Dr. Thomas Walker during a 1750 exploration of Kentucky, after the Duke of Cumberland, a son of King George II of England. Additional history of the area can be read here.
Cumberland Falls photographs were shot both at the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, and along the Eagle Falls Trail (across the river).
Learning of Cumberland Falls back in the mid-1990’s, I traveled to the area for two days of hiking & camping. At that time, I shot photographs using a disposable Kodak camera. Years later – with a better camera – I returned to enjoy the great outdoors!
Cumberland Falls is known as the only location in the Western Hemisphere to have a “moonbow”. If interested in seeing this natural phenomenon, you can check this Moonbow Calendar of dates (weather permitting). Visitors will find ample parking, restrooms, gift shop, visitor center, scenic overlooks, picnic tables, and maybe a musician playing a flute for tourists, complementing the sound of falling water.
Here are some more photographs of Cumberland Falls:
Consider A Print For Your Home
Framed, canvas, art, acrylic, wood, metal – there are several print types available in my gallery at Pixels to adorn the walls of your home, or office! Alternatively, you may select from a variety of other merchandise options in these categories – home decor, lifestyle, beach, greeting cards, stationary, phone cases, apparel and coffee mugs.
Here’s a video of Cumberland Falls, from a cliff across the river –
Coming Soon ~ Road Trip To Kentucky: Part Two… Eagle Falls
Having rained the previous evening, the river was full when I shot this photograph along the Middle Prong Trail. This is the top edge of Lower Lynn Camp Falls, located in the Tremont section of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
You can visit my gallery at Pixels to see a nice variety of print types – and more!
Located in the Tremont section of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, the Middle Prong Trail is 8.2 miles roundtrip, with Indian Flats Falls at the 4.1 mile mark. It then becomes the Greenbrier Ridge Trail, which leads to the Appalachian Trail.
Turning on Tremont Road, the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont is 2.2 miles at the stop sign, providing restrooms and a small gift shop (maps, t-shirts, hats, etc.). Continue another 3.1 miles along a gravel road to reach the trailhead.
The Middle Prong Trail was originally a railroad bed used by the Little River Railroad & Lumber Company, based in Townsend, Tennessee, which was one of the largest commercial logging operations in southern Appalachia, in operation for 38 years until 1939, with 150 miles of railroad. Visitors can find more information available at the Little River Railroad Museum web site.
“Best waterfall hike in the Smokies”
Having read this quote at hikinginthesmokies.com, I was encouraged to organize my gear and hike the area. Also, recent rainfall boded well for active streams. Following my adventure, I concur with the aforementioned sentiment!
Immediately after crossing a footbridge over the river, the trail forks – stay to the left to follow the river. Over the next 4.1 miles, elevation gain is 1140′ along a trail that I would rate as moderate in difficulty – some of the trail includes rocky terrain, and watch out for horse droppings (equestrians allowed).
Present for the entire hike were the pleasant sounds of running water echoing through the forest, from the river as well as several smaller waterfalls – including:
Lynn Camp Falls
Lower Lynn Camp Falls
Lower Lynn Camp Falls was spectacular! At approx. 1/2 mile from the trailhead, this 35′ waterfall sends water crashing downward along a multi-tiered mountainside. While cognizant of safety concerns, one may traverse its ledges for a closer view.
Without further adieu, here’s a short video of Lower Lynn Camp Falls:
If you’d be interested in prints featuring photographs of Lower Lynn Camp Falls, then please visit my gallery at Pixels to see more. Select from these options: framed, canvas, art, wood, metal or acrylic.
Here are a few examples of what you’ll find:
Upper Lynn Camp Falls
Back on the trail for less than 100 yards, hikers encounter the Upper Lynn Camp Falls. Though not as tall, this picturesque waterfall features interesting rock structures channeling the scenic Lynn Camp Prong. It’s also possible to climb near the falls, but please be aware of prevailing – potentially hazardous – surface conditions.
Here’s a short video of Upper Lynn Camp Falls:
A variety of prints featuring photographs of Upper Lynn Camp Falls are available in my gallery at Pixels.
Enjoy the outdoors → inside your home:
Back On The Trail
Returning to my trek, it wasn’t easy to stop marveling at the abundant beauty of the river, though I did enjoy additional points of interest along the way.
Sights along the trail:
Indian Flats Falls
Following several switchbacks and an increase in elevation, I observed an offshoot of the trail tucked behind a leafy-bush. It certainly wasn’t obvious and there were no signs to follow, but I knew that I must be close to Indian Flats Falls, so I turned right and proceeded into the forest. This was a much more difficult, albeit brief, section of the trail. If you make the hike, prepare to climb over and under downed trees, and exercise caution moving across larger, moss-covered rocks.
Upper & Lower Indian Flats Falls
When I arrived at Indian Flats Falls, I was the only person on site for the next 1/2 hour. This allowed me the leisure of taking several photographs, as well as finding a seat to enjoy my packed-lunch (peanut butter sandwich, banana, energy bar, h2o).
Indian Flats Falls actually has three sections; however, the bottom section was not accessible – and, the Lower Indian Flats Falls does require a rather difficult descent.
Here’s a short video of both Upper & Lower Indian Flats Falls:
Several prints of Indian Flats Falls are available in my gallery at Pixels – with customization options, allowing you to make it your own!
Here are some examples:
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post highlighting the beauty of nature, as found along the Middle Prong Trail. It certainly was a wonderful experience, and I’d recommend it to anyone in the area interested in hiking.
Thanks for stopping by ~ enjoy the great outdoors!
This photograph features the Spruce Flats Falls, located near Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. I’ve added this image to my gallery at Pixels – check it out…
Located in the Tremont section of the Great Smoky Mountains near Cades Cove in Tennessee, Spruce Flats Falls is a lesser-known though beautiful waterfall. It’s 30-feet in height, but measures 60-feet when connected sections are included.
A two mile (roundtrip) trail with helpful signage provides visitors with a scenic, albeit moderately difficult, hike, which includes elevation changes and rugged surface conditions. Here’s an example of what to expect –
Despite the need to remain attentive to ever-changing trail conditions, various sights along the way provided interesting distractions. Here are a few:
And a few more…
Finally, Spruce Flats Falls
The sound of distant running water grew more prominent as I increased proximity to Spruce Flats Falls. Turning the last corner along the trail, I was pleased to discover that I was the only person on site! For over an hour, I enjoyed the unobstructed sounds of nature and was able to take several photographs of the area – without people climbing around.
This all changed when, as I prepared to leave, the first of several groups of elementary school students on a field trip appeared. As is the case with many attractions in the Great Smoky Mountains, tourist destinations can become quite busy, so an early arrival time is recommended.
These pictures are available in my gallery at Pixels on a variety of print types:
Here’s a short video of Spruce Flats Falls –
If you’d like to learn more about trails to hike & sights to see, then visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Service. Enjoy the great outdoors!
Morning sunlight struggles to pierce the dense fog covering rock ledges on a mountain. I created this digital landscape using Adobe Photoshop & Filter Forge.
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At the Twin Arches in Big South Fork National Park, in Tennessee, many gorges featured scenic sandstone bluffs. See my gallery at Pixels for more.
This photograph was taken at the Twin Arches in Big South Fork National Park, in Tennessee, and features many layers of eroding sandstone. If you’d be interested in a print for your home, then visit my gallery at Pixels.