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Hike to the Base of Fall Creek Falls

Scenic Loop Road, Tennessee

based on 1 reviews



0.86 miles

Elevation Gain

299 ft

Route Type



Added by Merritt McKinney

Fall Creek Falls hosts one of the largest waterfalls in the Eastern United States; however, your must trek to the base in order to fully appreciate its great magnitude!

Fall Creek Falls State Park hosts a variety of large waterfalls which can easily become confusing. The park's main attraction is the 256 foot waterfall dubbed "Fall Creek Falls." Fall Creek Falls is observable from a viewing platform less than a five minute walk from the Scenic Loop Road parking lot; however, the magnificence of the falls is best appreciated at the base.

From the viewing platform, continue left down the path besides the wooden fence. There is a sign that describes the base of the falls but does not clearly mark the beginning of the trail. Descend nearly 300 feet down the trail. The trail is relatively steep and composed of rock, mud, and a few man-made steps.

At the base, you can wade in the river and closely approach the waterfall. Even if you do not plan on getting in the water, I recommend bringing a rain jacket to protect yourself from the spray. The rocks at the base are continually wet and thus extremely slippery, so wear proper hiking shoes with plenty of tread. 

The base of Fall Creek Falls is also accessible via Woodland Trail from the Betty Dunn Nature Center, but that will add nearly 2 miles round-trip. If you are wanting to visit the swinging bridge, I'd suggest parking at the Betty Dunn Nature Center, taking Woodland Trail to the swinging bridge (less than a minute walk), returning to your vehicle and driving to the pinned parking lot on Scenic Loop Road. I did not find the signage at Fall Creek Falls State Park to be helpful, so I'd highly recommend using the pinned GPS coordinates in this article or thoroughly researching what parts of Fall Creek Falls State Park you want to visit before arriving.  

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole

Hike to the Base of Fall Creek Falls Reviews

This trail as marked as moderate, but I think it qualifies as strenuous. It is definitely worth it though! Spectacular view!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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