Base of Fall Creek Falls Trail was the only trail that we had time for in our drive to Chattanooga. Obviously not enough time for this marvelous state park. Filled with waterfalls, hiking trails, and various other activities. Fall Creek Falls State Park is the gem of the Tennessee State Park System. Home to the Fall Creek the tallest single plunge waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. Seeing this tall 256-foot waterfall from its base was a real treat.
To see Fall Creek Falls from its base there are two relatively short trails. The first and easiest is from the Fall Creek Falls parking lot. From there it is a .4-mile steep trail down to the base. Then it feels like a steeper trail back up to the parking lot. Like all hikes just take your time, bring plenty of water, as much rest as your body needs, and remember it is not a race.
Now if you have the time I recommend a different route. A slightly longer one. Start off at the Betty Dunn Nature Center and cross the swinging suspension bridge. An adventure in itself. Thank you to the group who braved the bridge with me. It was fun trying to balance my step with yours as we met in the middle. From the bridge I had a choice to take the Woodland Trail or the Gorge Trail. Both are relatively flat. I took the Gorge trail on the way to Fall Creek Falls and the Woodland Trail which is shorter on the way back to the nature center.
The Gorge Trail is a wooded trail that skirts the scenic gorge. This is a must see short trail that has an outstanding scenic view at the Crane Creek Gorge Overlook. There is also the Rocky Point Overlook with views of the rocky mountainside. This part the of the trail is well shaded and flat.
The Gorge Trail will connect back with the Woodland Trail which will then leads to the Coon Creek Falls and Fall Creek Falls overlook. Once again spectacular views of running water. Fall Creek Falls is fed and controlled by a dam so it pretty much runs year round. Coon Creek Falls is a seasonal waterfall that flows in spring and after a good rain. Like most waterfalls the later in the year it is viewed the less spectacular it will be.
Near the parking lot there is a trail that will lead to the base of Fall Creek Falls. This is a short but very steep trail. Losing roughly 300 feet in elevation in less than a half a mile. Lots of switchbacks some steps here and there. Towards the end of the Base of Fall Creek Falls Trail is some large boulders I had to work my way around. However most of the trail is well taken care of and mostly people friendly. Just steep. Main thing is just make sure your body is healthy enough to make the trek down so you can make the strenuous climb up. After checking out the falls I retraced my steps back to where the Woodland Trail and the Gorge Trail meet. The Woodland Trail was much shorter so I hopped on that one back to my awaiting family. The Base of Fall Creek Falls Trail is a must do in this wonderful state park.
To see our reviews of other hiking trails we have done, click here
Base of Fall Creek Falls Trail
Distance .8 miles RT from the Falls Parking Lot
Time about 45 mins
Trail Difficulty Moderate
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