If you’re interested in taking the family for an easy & fun hike to see a waterfall, then visit the Frozen Head State Park – near Wartburg, Tennessee. The scenic 20-foot tall Emory Gap Falls is only a 3 mile out and back hike, and you’ll also pass Debord Falls along the trail.
See earlier post: Emory Gap Falls At Frozen Head
Like many waterfalls on the Cumberland Plateau, the best time to visit is when there’s water present. This was my second trip to the falls; though autumn foliage was gone, by comparison, recent rainfall bolstered the volume of water flowing.
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Located in the Frozen Head State Park near Wartburg, Tennessee, Debord Falls stands 12-feet tall and is an easy hike of 1.5 miles out and back, along the Emory Gap Branch.
The trailhead is located at the end of the park, where the road stops at a parking area. You’ll find an informational placard which details a plethora of local flowers, and restrooms are available at the visitor center along the drive.
While it’s no surprise that I’ve discovered most waterfalls in Tennessee depend on rainfall to bolster water flow, guests may want to plan their visit in accordance with current weather conditions – many falls can be dry during summer months.
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Water cascades down a series of terraced ledges along the Lynn Camp Prong, located in the Tremont section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. See more.
Located in the South Cumberland State Park (30 minutes from Chattanooga, Tennessee, near Sequatchie) Denny Cove Falls is a picturesque 70-foot waterfall on the Denny Cove Branch. Driving two hours from Knoxville, my road trip into the wilderness also included a second stop at Foster Falls – less than two miles away!
Following directions provided through alltrails.com, I soon learned that there wasn’t access to the park via Dawson Springs Road, only several “No Trespassing” signs posted along private, rural properties. Instead, I found a marked entrance further north along US-41, an old gravel road with many deep potholes. Mine was the second car on site, and I was greeted by a family with two small children, as I walked ahead with camera in hand.
The nearly 3 mile out and back hike included diverse trail conditions, ranging from easy walking on hard pack soil through a pine tree forest, to cautious movements along an entirely rock strewn pathway. The trail is rated as moderately difficult, though, had the rocks been damp, it would have been more challenging. Fortunately, trail conditions were dry.
There are a few different trails in the park for hikers to enjoy. Nevertheless, and despite reading reviews suggesting that the falls are often busy, I had the place to myself for 1.5 hours during my morning visit – very peaceful.
Along the return, I met several other hikers on the trail – and, heard many other voices? Looking uphill through the trees at imposing gorge walls, I could see dozens of rock climbers – a popular recreational activity, accounting for the now full parking lot.
Prints for your home or office
I’ve added a variety of photographs to my gallery from my hike at Denny Cove Falls. Check it out and discover several different print types available – framed, canvas, metal, art, acrylic and/or wood. Thanks for visiting!
Located on the Cumberland Plateau in the Colditz Cove State Natural Area, is one of Tennessee’s most stunning waterfalls – Northrup Falls.
It’s an easy hike into the gorge along Big Branch Creek, where visitors pass towering rock cliffs leading to the 65-foot waterfall with turquoise plunge pool. The trail meanders through an old-growth forest of large hemlocks and white pines, some of which are over 200 years old, before splitting left or right along the top edge of the gorge. There, the trail becomes a loop and either direction leads to the base of (and behind) the falls. However, traveling left provides an earlier view of several interesting geological sights.
Note: shallow, open cave-like structures – a.k.a., “rock houses” – line the creek gorge. These shelters were used by cliff-dwelling Woodland Indians over 3,000 years ago.
This was my second time visiting Northrup Falls, and I did so during a period of a few hours, between (several days of) rain and an oncoming thunderstorm. Hence, everything was wet – muddy trail, slippery rocks – with complete cloud cover. Nevertheless, beautiful scenery!
My First Visit
I first visited Northrup Falls last summer during the month of July, when I enjoyed warm weather, vibrant colors of nature and dry conditions. Here are a few photographs from that hike…
You can enjoy these beautiful scenes of the great outdoors year-round with the purchase of a print from my shop at Pixels. Select among these options: framed, canvas, art, metal, wood and/or acrylic. And, framed prints may also be customized to suit your wishes (size, frame, mat, paper and finish). Whether as home decor, at the office, in a lobby or cafeteria setting, waterfalls serve as an appealing, refreshing addition to your living spaces. Enjoy!
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Located in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee near Gatlinburg, the trail to Rainbow Falls (80 feet) ascends the northern slopes of Mount LeConte (6,593 feet). Despite being rated as a difficult hike, the 2.75 mile trail to the falls is heavily trafficked with a constant incline over sometimes rugged terrain. With many switchbacks, it has an elevation gain of 1,653 feet and is one of six separate routes up the mountain. During warm weather, hikers should consider arriving early to secure a parking space, as the lot fills quickly.
If hiking during winter months, come prepared with proper clothing – the falls are above the frost line and temperatures can be quite cold. Here’s a photograph from my hike in March, 2019:
Fortunately, the weather was wonderful during my recent visit, as evident in the following scenes…
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Here’s a video of Rainbow Falls…
Wow! I’ve hiked many areas in the state, but so far none can compare to the plethora of waterfalls as found along the Laurel-Snow Trail To Laurel Falls, located near Dayton, TN.
From the moment I stepped out my vehicle and on to the trail, the sound of running water was loud, present throughout my hike. Though alltrails.com lists the hike at 6.1 miles out and back, a placard at the trailhead cites the total distance as 5 miles. Whatever the case, I definitely added another mile or two exploring off trail – there were photography opportunities around every corner!
The road into the park is filled (no pun intended) with potholes – it’s somewhat of an obstacles course. Thus, drive slowly with caution around sharp turns near steep hills.
Richland Creek was full, with a wonderful blue-green coloration in deeper pools and dozens of small-to-medium size waterfalls visible from the trail. Other water sources – including Paine Creek – were flowing with waterfalls to enjoy while hiking. Also, huge boulders – some 30 feet tall – periodically peppered the waterside.
The trail, formerly a railroad bed of The Dayton Coal & Iron Company, Limited, was mostly hard-pack dirt and flat, though muddy in areas. Though the trail splits (a white blaze leads left along the creek, and, orange ribbons around trees mark a route into the forest, leading to the right), both trails soon reconnect before reaching a new, aluminum bridge. Thereafter, the trail becomes quite rocky, and signs are posted for Snow Falls (left) and the 80-foot Laurel Falls (right).
If you’d be interested in a print for your home, office, or in the lobby or cafeteria of your business, academic facility or hospital, then please visit my shop at Pixels. Thanks!
See Also: Laurel-Snow Trail To Buzzard Point
Located at the Lost Creek State Natural Area in Tennessee, Lost Creek Cave is one of Tennessee’s largest caves, with five separate entrances and seven miles of mapped passages! This high-contrast, gritty black and white photograph of the cave entrance is available on various prints to suit your interests. Visit my shop to see more.
Looking out on a barren desert from inside the fossilized jaw of a prehistoric beast. View from the edge of an unusual cave with glowing orange object in water. Desert landscape with reflective three dimensional fractal design duplicated and flipped on vertical axis.
This close-up photography features an example of people having carved their initials into rock, now weathered over time. Taken at Charlie’s Bunion in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Prints are available in my gallery at Pixels.
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This photograph features a waterfall known as The Sinks. It’s located in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, along the Little River. Prints and more are available in my gallery at Pixels. Thanks for stopping by!
Close-up photograph of stream water running across a smooth rock. If you’d be interested in a print for your home or office, check out my gallery at Pixels. Available print types include framed, canvas, art, metal, acrylic and wood.