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.
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.
If you’d like a print for your home or office, then please visit my gallery at Pixels. There you’ll discover a variety of options – framed, canvas, art, metal, wood, acrylic – in addition to general merchandise items.
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!
I recently visited the Frozen Head State Park And Natural Area in Tennessee, where I photographed this scenic outcropping along the South Old Mac Trail. Now, prints are available in my gallery at Pixels – framed, art, canvas, wood, acrylic and metal.
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.
Enjoy this photography of a trail at the Twin Arches in Tennessee. Following along the contours of impressive sandstone bluffs, I was pleased to discover and explore this wonderful National Park. You can enjoy it, also – in your home or at work – by visiting my gallery at Pixels. Pick out a print and enjoy the great outdoors!
I photographed this interesting sandstone bluff at Twin Arches in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, in Tennessee. The concave structure provided a ceiling, of sorts, extending perhaps 30 feet. Now, you can enjoy this geological structure in your home or office, available on a variety of different print-types to suit your wishes. See my gallery at Pixels for more!
While hiking at the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, in Tennessee, I climbed to the top of South Arch to shoot this photograph. If you’d be interested in a print, then visit my gallery at Pixels. Many print types are available for your review, as are customization options to make it your own!
While visiting the Twin Arches in Tennessee, I explored this small cave featuring a gap at that back that allowed light to stream inside. I’ve added this photograph to my gallery at Pixels, where many prints are available to select – so, check it out…
With many sights to see, I decided to hike the Twin Arches, described as “the most impressive rock arches in the eastern United States”. The North Arch has a clearance of 51 feet, a span of 93 feet and its top deck is 62 feet high, while the South Arch has a clearance of 70 feet, a span of 135 feet and its top deck is 103 feet high.
Here’s a video taken at the South Arch…
A sign at the park provided this description as to how these arches were formed:
Weaker layers of sandstone form the base of the nearly vertical walls of this narrow ridge. The weathering of these erosion-susceptible layers caused sections of the wall to fall away, forming shallow rock shelters on both sides of the ridge.
The collapse and shelter enlarging process continued until two “windows” in the narrow ridge were formed. This opening enlarged until it reached the stronger and more erosion-resistant sandstone layer of rim rock that caps the Twin Arches.
A cave was situated under one end of the South Arch, so I entered to discover that there was an exit at the back, albeit a narrow passage at approx. 18″ wide. Footprint-impressions in the sand from hikers provided some assurance that the cave was empty – no bats or bears. But, watch your step & don’t bump your head!
Here’s a short video as I entered the cave…
The top of the arches are one contiguous surface area, accessible by stairs, though the South Arch has additional areas visitors may ascend so as to attain the best view:
At the pinnacle, scenic views were truly spectacular on this fine day – unique walls of eroded sandstone, mountains and valleys lined with trees, and an interesting cap-rock area to walkabout. Here are a few examples:
Here’s a video of the surrounding environment –
The only complaint I had while visiting the Twin Arches is Divide Road. As soon as you leave TN-154, you can expect to travel for nearly 5 miles along a gravel road which is narrow with frequent & deep potholes, many hidden by shadows from trees lining the road. So, to be safe, I drove this stretch at less than 10 m.p.h..
Keep in mind, however, that the most impressive sights to see at the Twin Arches are at ground level. So, stay tuned for Part Two…
Enjoy a cave in your home with this black and white photography, featuring sedimentary layers of sandstone recessed under a 15-foot overhanging cliff. Select one of many different print types from my gallery at Pixels…then, pick a wall.
This photograph features the sandstone caprock at Chimney Top Mountain, located at Frozen Head State Park in the Cumberland Mountains of Eastern Tennessee. If you’d be interested in a print for your home or workplace, then stop by my gallery at Pixels to review framed, canvas, art, metal, acrylic and wood print types.
With mild embellishments, this macro photography of two pieces of carved sandstone resemble the faces of creatures of sand. Well, somewhat. Anyway, this image is now available in my gallery at Fine Art America. Please stop by for a visit to see more.
This macro photography features two pieces of sandstone from Marquette, Michigan, carved by children circa 1974. Now, it’s available on a variety of print types in my gallery at Fine Art America. Stop by for a visit to have a look around…