Hike the Machine Falls Loop at Short Springs Natural Area

Tennessee Machine Falls Parking Area

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. 

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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Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



1.6 Miles



Dog Friendly

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3 months ago

Great Day Trip

Despite the rain, we had a great time! The falls are beautiful, the water is ice cold, and the hike was easily marked. The machine falls loop is marked by white blazes, and the other 2 loops are marked by blue or orange blazes. For an hour+ out of the city, it was a great day trip. I'd definitely do it again.

3 months ago

Added by chase howell

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