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Machine Falls Loop at Short Springs Natural Area

Tullahoma, Tennessee

based on 13 reviews



4.07 miles

Elevation Gain

732 ft

Route Type



Added by chase howell

This is a very nice hike to a beautiful, secluded waterfall 1 hour from Nashville.  It makes for the perfect day trip to the crisp and photogenic Machine Falls. 

The Machine Falls loop at Short Springs Natural Area is a 1.6 mile round trip hike easily followed by white blazes.  It is rated moderate difficulty due to the short, steep descent into a gorge where the falls is located.  The trail is sparsely trafficked; there are usually quite a few people hanging out at the falls on the weekend. You can extend this part of the loop by continuing up to Adams Falls Trail.

There is also an alternate route to Bugsby Falls following Bobo Creek Trail, which is another loop trail that leads you down to Bobo Creek, where you can chose to do the 1.2 mile Laurel Bluff trail. This loops back to the Bobo Creek Trail. I highly recommend doing these trails as well if you have enough time.  They aren't as heavily trafficked and are very pretty hikes.

Combining all loops: Machine Falls, Adams Falls, Laurel Bluff/Bobo Creek makes for an approximately 4-mile loop. 

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Machine Falls Loop at Short Springs Natural Area Reviews

Loved this hike. It was short and sweet and was an easy pathway. It’s a little steep to get down to the falls but there are stairs and large rocks that make it easier to get down

I have live in the area for years. I went with a friend who is well versed in hiking. I am a newbie. This was only my second hike ever. It was not terribly bad. Definitely a work out but well worth it. A must see.

Hike down isn’t too bad it’s going back up that’s a little tough. But it’s totally worth it!!! You can hear the falls around the bend which makes the anticipation build that results in this beautiful waterfall. We went after a rain so it was really something to see that day. Been here a couple of times and still enjoy this hike every time.

Machine Falls is a pretty hike to a nice waterfall. Most of the hike is an easy woods romp, but there is a steep staircase with a few smooth/slippery spots (head left at the loop fork, or else you'll be hauling up the stairs), and maybe some rockhopping in the creek if you go to the base of the falls. There are usually 15 or 20 people hanging out at the falls. We see lots of families and dogs on the trail. It's usually described as a "hidden gem", but it's extremely popular and well-used by locals. Don't expect solitude. There is paved parking at the water tower. You'll be lucky to find a spot. Recently, all overflow and off-pavement parking is prohibited in an attempt to limit ecodamage. Get there early, or on a weekday... I've had to skip the hike several times due to lack of parking.

It’s so much fun and beautiful the entire way

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