Piney Falls
  • Location: Fall Creek Falls State Park, south of Spencer, Tennessee
  • Access: From Spencer, TN, head south on Hwy 111 8 miles, then turn east on Hwy 284 (follow the brown signs to Fall Creek Falls), and proceed 1 mile to Old Tennessee 111. Jog north ~300 yards and continue east on Hwy 284 and follow the signs to Piney Falls. 
  • Maps: USGS Sampson quad; Trail maps available at the Friends of Fall Creek Falls website
  • Fees: None
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash
  • Weather: National Weather Service Forecast



  • Sept 25, 2010

    Thereís not much to hike at Piney Falls, but itís a nice destination that most people seem to pass by when on their way to Fall Creek Falls. From the parking circle Andra and I loaded Ada into the backpack on Andra and skipped off down the walk to the overlook first, which is an easy walk of 50 yards. There wasnít much to see from the overlook because there wasnít much water coming down Piney Creek, though the blackened area of rock where the falls typically are is plain to see across the deep gorge. I could hear water dripping somewhere down below, but I couldnít see any falls. We returned to the parking circle and then headed down to the suspension bridge, which is only a few hundred yards down a wide trail. The suspension bridge spans a gorge over Piney Creek, and is at first sight, apparently a bridge to nowhere since there is no trail or established route beyond it. Perhaps that is in the works. Anyway, it wasn't a problem as the terrain was mellow in that area, and we worked our way through the mountain laurel to an informal trail that snaked down the slope through a dense forest to the creek channel. The clear water was very shallow, so we were able to actually walk in the creek channel downstream and around a bend to the falls, a distance of only a few hundred yards. Piney Creek has a limestone channel that has a very appealing texture to it. Like rippling waves, it reminded me of the lava fields of southeast Idaho. A thin trickle of clear water ran through the shallowest notch to overrun the water-blackened cliff and trickle down 90 feet to the rocks below, an amount of water so small that I could not even see it hit the bottom, only hear it. We picked our way slowly back up the creek, admiring the moss and bryophytes along the way, ducking through a mountain laurel colony, and finally making our way back across the bridge. By the time we reached the trail again, Ada was asleep and limp as a dishrag, so we walked carefully back to the car where Andra demonstrated her carefully-practiced transfer technique. Success: Ada didnít wake up, and slept the whole car drive home. 

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    Page created 12-13-10
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