Fall Camping Trip

Hello Everyone! We just got back from our camping trip to Fall Creek Falls State Park near Spencer, TN. This was a new park for us and it was beautiful! We left on Monday and fortunately, the forecast rain came early and we only had a few light showers during out 2 1/2 hour drive. We were able to set up and enjoy a little of the afternoon before more showers and a cold front moved through.

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I will warn you, this post is heavy with photos, but the park and waterfalls were so awesome I hope you don’t mind if I share our week with you.  Wednesday and Thursday mornings, we had temperatures in the low 30’s, probably the coldest we’ve camped in. We just bundled up and cooked our breakfast outside, then took it in the camper to eat. Tuesday and Wednesday were in the mid 50’s, but after the coldest morning on Thursday, the day warmed up to the mid 60’s and was gorgeous.

Fall Creek Falls SP has a nice lake, an inn and cabins that are right on the lake, and golf course. We didn’t have time to explore those areas, but we did drive around the park to try to see it all. For us, the main attractions were all the waterfalls. We hiked between 3.5 and 5 miles each day to see the falls and view the gorges. The trails ranged from pretty easy to strenuous. There was a lot of up and down, and the trails could be rocky and rooty.

On our first day, we hiked from the Nature Center near the camp ground to Fall Creek Falls. Just as westarted out from the Nature Center, we passed the Cane Creek Cascade and went over a long suspension bridge.

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Cane Creek Cascade

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Suspension Bridge over cascades

 

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Cane Creek Falls (right), Rockhouse Falls (left)

We continued to hike along the edge of the Cane Creek Gorge rim, stopping at all the overlooks until we came to Fall Creek Falls.

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Fall Creek Falls

Not a lot of water falling, but still pretty. Fall Creek Falls is one of the tallest falls east of the Rockies

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Base of Fall Creek Falls

The trail to the base of the falls was very rocky and steep. We needed about a 10 minute rest after returning to the top before hiking back to the Nature Center.

The next day, we waited for it to warm up a little, then hiked the Paw Paw Trail. According to the trail map, it looked like a 1 1/2 mile loop. Either we are really bad at reading the maps (not) or the mileage wasn’t marked correctly. It ended up being about 3.5 miles. You hiked up from the Nature Center on the other side of Cane Creek Gorge, then it was mostly flat. It was a cool, but beautiful day.

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Walking through the woods on the Paw Paw Trail

After we finished the hike, we went looking for gas (which there wasn’t much around the park) and ended up driving out of the north entrance and through a scenic windy road through the northern parts of the park and into Spencer. We thought we might find lunch there, but couldn’t really find anything. We ended up getting a bar-b-que sandwich at a gas station/market/hardware store before heading back into the park from the west entrance.

As mentioned earlier, Thursday morning was the coldest yet, definitely low 30’s. Fortunately, it warmed up quickly and away we went. Our hike on this day took us to the Fall Creek Falls parking lot and from there, we hiked the Piney Creek Trail, mostly through the woods, then we took the Millikan’s Trail to the overlook. From the overlook, we walked out to Buzzard’s Roost, a steep bluff overlooking Cane Creek Gulf.

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View through Cane Creek Gulf, looking north

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Buzzard’s Roost

This was as close as I wanted to get to the edge!

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Looking towards our next overlook

You can see in the picture above what some of the rocky bluffs look like. This was the next overlook on the trail. After that one, there was not trail, but we hiked back to Fall Creek Falls on the scenic road, hitting all the overlooks along the way.

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My hiking partner (and hubby) on top of the world

Once we got back to the Fall Creek Falls parking lot, we drove along the scenic road to Piney Creek Falls and had lunch.

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Piney Creek Falls from Overlook

We hiked down to the falls and crossed another suspension bridge. We actually went out to the top of falls, although the trail didn’t look like it was being kept up any more. We had to get down to the creek and walk across the rocks to get to the top. It was worth the walk.

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Top of Piney Creek Falls

My husband was braver than I was, he stood close to the edge to get this picture, I wanted to see down into the gorge, but didn’t want to stand. This was a great way to get a look.

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Piney Creek

 

Piney Creek was beautiful. My husband is a trout fisherman and thought the creek was perfect for fishing. Next time we go, he’s going to look into fishing in the area.

Thursday was our longest day, almost 5 miles of hiking, but it was perfect. When we got back to the campground, we had a surprise. Our empty cul-de-sac now had was filled with vintage RV’s. There was a rally that weekend. Our neighbors were kind and we were able to see the inside of a couple of them.

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Except for the one in the middle, they were all small inside. Very cute though.

We will definitely plan another trip to Fall Creek Falls SP. Maybe when it’s a little warmer and we can do some lake activities. It would also be fun to rent a cabin that’s right on the lake. I hope you enjoyed the travelogue. This is a fun way for me to remember our trips, too.

I’ll be back in a few days with the Minis and More for October. Thanks for stopping by.

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2 Responses to Fall Camping Trip

  1. Lydia says:

    I had to pull out my album, doesn’t look like much has changed since our trip there in 2003. We didn’t do as much hiking as y’all did, but we did walk the suspension bridge and visited Millikan’s Overlook and Buzzards Roost. Our day excursions were to Cumberland Caverns and Lost Sea Caverns. There are some great places in TN to visit, and glad y’all had a good time.

    Like

  2. dezertsuz says:

    That was fabulous. Since my husband died, I haven’t done things like that, but next spring I might head there. My son and I have poked mild fun at the name when we passed the area before, but it really does look beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing this location that isn’t terribly far from my home.

    Like

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