Hike to Stinging Fork Falls

Tennessee Stinging Fork Falls Trailhead

Added by Nathan Szwarc

A short, yet very beautiful trail that follows a creek with various cascades to a 35 foot waterfall.

The trail begins on the right side of the parking lot. The first part is flat with no elevation change and easy walking. About half a mile in you will reach a trail split. The right trail will take you to the falls and the left trail will take you to an overlook of the gorge below. I was not able to go to the overlook due to the late hour; however, I definitely would because I have read in many other trail descriptions it provides a nice view, and is only a short easy spur from the main trail to the falls.

When you take the split to the right to the falls you will encounter your first change in elevation. Soon after the split you will start descending, going down switchbacks and stairs, for about .3 miles. Make sure you follow the square white trail markers as it can get a bit questionable. Once you have descended the .3 miles the falls will be in clear view. The trail that continues away from the falls and down a bit further till it flattens out and will take you right next to the creek. Once you have reached the creek there is a nice smaller falls right next to the trail.

Continue on the trail for another .1 miles next to the creek and it will take you up to the falls. The waterfall is great to photograph, however, if you go in the evening, you may encounter some rough lighting and glare (as you can see a bit in the pictures above) so definitely try to go when it is cloudy or in the early morning hours. As always make sure to leave the trail better than you found it.

Getting there: To get to Stinging Fork Falls you will want to head towards Spring City, TN. Once in Spring City turn onto Piccadilly Ave, and go 0.6 miles until you are on TN-68 N where you will go only .3 miles until you turn left onto Shut In Gap Road. Once on Shut In Gap Road travel 5 miles until you reach the trailhead. The trailhead will be on the right side of the road, marked by a large brown sign saying Stinging Fork Natural Area.

Pack List

  • Tripod
  • Camera
  • Food
  • Water
  • Day Pack
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Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



3 Miles

Elev. Gain:

400 Feet



Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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How to Get There

3 months ago

Short, Easy Trail and a great view

The trail is only about a mile long and flat 80% of the way. There's a nice swimming hole in the summer, although I went late July and the waterfall was a trickle at most. Still a nice very nice area for the length of trail. Would recommend!

3 months ago

6 months ago

Short But Steep Hike - Worth It

We drove out just expecting to hop out of the car and be at the falls, but there's a pretty decent hike to it. It starts out pretty flat and easy and then turns into some very steep, rocky trail with a good bit of stairs and switchbacks. An intermediate hike but since it's so short it's manageable. Once you get down to the falls it makes it totally worth it. It's so secluded - we were the only ones there when we went. Definitely on our go-back list.

6 months ago

Added by Nathan Szwarc

Avid hiker, backpacker, and aspiring photographer living in east Tennessee.

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