Hike the Machine Falls Loop at Short Springs Natural Area

Machine Falls Parking Area

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. 

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.

Pack List

  • Daypack  
  • Water  
  • Snacks 
  • Trekking poles (if shaky legs) 
  • Hiking sandals 
  • Friends!
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RT Distance 1.6 Miles
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Dog Friendly
Forest
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Favorite Place

I really enjoyed this place. It is secluded and not crowed. Not a swimming hole, but able to go up to the falls. It is perfect💕 . Park in the lot with the white water tower and cross the street using the white crosswalk. Careful, lots of poison ivy and oak near the trails.

2hr leg stretcher

We hiked this to break up a road trip and we were really happy we did. Easy hike, good directions and a peaceful little hollow. The bugs were a bit thick but not unbearable.

Beautiful Falls

Not a far hike to the falls which are gorgeous. Rain boots (winter) or water shoes (summer) make getting over to the falls easier. We scaled the side/edge of the water to get over to the falls. I will hike this again. We did not take the loop back, there is an awesome deer trail over to another falls (Busby) that isn’t marked but not hard to follow.


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