Hike the Machine Falls Loop at Short Springs Natural Area

Machine Falls Parking Area, Tullahoma, Tennessee, United States

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    1.6 Miles

Dog Friendly
Forest
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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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Reviews

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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.

about 1 month ago
about 1 month ago

It is not a hike for the faint of heart. However, making it to Machine Falls is worth it. It is a beautiful waterfall!

4 months ago
4 months ago

One of my favorite go-to for a day hiking spot. Always a sweet spot for an easy hike with a treat of a view with that waterfall. I definitely make a point to go early to beat any crowds in the summertime. Worth it.

7 months ago
7 months ago

This hike is truly beautiful. It's pretty steep in and out of the gorge. Also bewear of some trees down due to a recent tornado. Be prepared for a bit of an adventure trying to get down to the falls, as the trail runs about 100 yards away from them once you get down to the creek. I would recommend bringing waterproof boots or shoes to get there as you might need to walk through some shallow water to get there.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

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.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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