Hike the Machine Falls Loop at Short Springs Natural Area

Tennessee Machine Falls Parking Area

Added by

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!
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

1.6 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Forest
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

5 months ago

Beautiful Hike

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.

5 months ago

10 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.

10 months ago

Added by chase howell

More Adventures Nearby

Photograph Buzzard's Roost Overlook

Tennessee / Buzzard's Roost Overlook

Located in the beautiful state park of Fall Creek Falls, you'll find this overlook along with Millikan's Overlook.

Mountain Bike up Pinnacle Mountain

Tennessee / Pinnacle Mountain Trailhead

Pinnacle Mountain is a long, grinding climb to the top. The singletrack winds up 1,500 feet of elevation for nearly 5 miles with few downhill sections.

Camp at Unaka Mountain Overlook

Tennessee / Unaka Mountain Overlook

Unaka Mountain Overlook is one of the highest locations in the Cherokee National Forest.