Located in Tennessee within the Fall Creek Falls State Park, Piney Falls stands 95 feet tall and offers scenic views from an overlook near the parking area. Unfortunately, there are no unobstructed views from the canyon rim. Also, the suspension bridge near the falls is currently closed for repairs. However, there is a difficult trail to the base of the gorge which provides a better view. During winter months, hikers should be weary of slippery ice near the falls.
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Lower Piney Falls stands 40′ tall, and, from the top, has a nice view of a high-walled gorge. There isn’t, unfortunately, access to the base of the falls. Located on the Cumberland Plateau near Grandview, Tennessee, it’s one of two waterfalls that visitors can enjoy – see Upper Piney Falls. Trails are well kept and relatively easy, great for families and/or dogs. Generally, a quiet spot.
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The following photographs of Lower Piney Falls were taken the day after a heavy rainfall…
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Note: also see previous post – Piney Falls State Natural Area
I recently had an opportunity to hike Piney Falls State Natural Area (Upper Piney Falls & Lower Piney Falls), as well as Stinging Fork Falls. It was an exhausting day and I was quite sore when I woke up Monday morning. Be that as it may, it was certainly worth it – tired feet, quiet mind.
I selected these two sites because, first, they are only 10 miles apart, and second, I’d hiked each one of these parks last summer when the water was low. This time around, following a massive weather system the day before, water was in abundance! Here are links to my previous visits:
Of course, the trails were muddy and slippery, with damp leaves and wet rocks. Also, due to high waters, it wasn’t possible to safely cross the river on top of the 80′ Upper Piney Falls – where the mountain trail continues along a rim and leads to an area for descent into the gorge. However, following the trail loop in the other direction, passed Lower Piney Falls, access to the base of the falls is available. It’s also possible to walk behind the falls, though due to a high-volume of mist and windy conditions while visiting, I was nearly soaked! Haha.
Here are a few photographs I shot while hiking. In the days ahead, I’ll add more pictures, including images of both Lower Piney Falls & Stinging Fork Falls…
As always, I’ve made prints available in my gallery for anyone who may be interested. With several print types to select, you’re sure to find something which suits your wishes!
I photographed this interesting geological structure while hiking in Tennessee, at Piney Falls State Natural Area. Located on the ceiling of an overhang from a gorge-wall, these outcroppings represent the end result of erosion, where small amounts of water seeping through sandstone over time have deposited minuscule amounts of mineral – creating these downward structures – before succumbing to gravity; whereby a scattered array of indentations in the hardened ground may be observed.
Or, so it seems. I’m not a geologist, but do sell photographic prints at Pixels.
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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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Running water passes underneath a forest canopy and over a moss-covered stream bed at Lower Piney Falls, in Tennessee. This photograph is available on different prints in my gallery at Pixels. Check it out…
UPDATE: see new post – Upper Piney Falls
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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