Thursday, April 30, 2015

Fall Creek Falls (Tennessee)

The next day, I woke up early and drove east out of Nashville. It was lightly raining, which was perfect conditions for waterfalls. Luckily I was heading towards a spot with a great collection of waterfalls – Fall Creek Falls State Park. The park is home to several waterfalls, including the namesake Fall Creek Falls. It’s a monster of a waterfall, and at 256 feet is the tallest free-flowing waterfall east of the Mississippi.


This was taken from an overlook at the park, which provides this view of the falls and of the slightly smaller (only a measly 250 feet) Coon Creek Falls. The park is one of the most popular state parks in Tennessee, and was even rated as one of the top ten state parks in the country. I can see why, besides the waterfalls there are miles or trails, tons of campsites and a few overlooks. There is an even a golf course if you’re in to that sort of thing. This was one of the overlooks, called Buzzard’s Roost, which stands above the Cane Creek Gorge.


The next stop was at an overlook of Piney Creek Falls. Here, the 95 foot tall falls crash into a narrow ravine.


This is a really nice park, with a lot of great places to stop and look around. This view of the creek, passing under a bluff, was taken right by the road.


The actual Fall Creek Falls isn't really the waterfall epicenter of the park. A few miles away, near the park's nature center, sit several tall waterfalls along Cane Creek. It was raining fairly heavily when I went by the nature center towards the creek, cursing the fact that forgot to bring an umbrella.

After heading down some steps you reach Cane Creek Cascades, which have been listed as 45 feet tall.


The creek then rushes under these bluffs, before curving over Cane Creek Falls.


For the best view of Cane Creek Falls, you can cross the creek on a wobbly swinging bridge that is strung up above the Cane Creek Cascades. It's not the most stable crossing, but it does provide a nice overlook of the cascade and the creek below.


From the bridge, you can follow a trail for about a mile or so to an overlook of the 85 foot Cane Creek Falls, and another bonus waterfall! For scale, you might be able to spot a few people standing on the top of the bluff in the middle of the picture.


The other waterfall is the 125 foot Rockhouse Falls, which plunges into the same pool as Cane Creek Falls.


I had gotten a bit spoiled at the park, with tons of waterfalls in just a few short hours. But my luck would quickly change. I left the park and headed towards Burgess Falls State Park, but the rain was gone and the sun was out. I tried to get a few pictures but they didn't really turn out. So I guess I'll just have to try there again on our next trip to Nashville.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Greeter Falls (Tennessee)

After buying a new house, we spent several nights trying to do some painting. I quickly realized that I was not a great painter – Picasso has nothing to worry about here. So luckily we were able to take a quick break and head out of town. My wife needed to travel to Nashville for work, so I took a few days off from work and went with her. So while she was working during the day, I headed out to try to find a few waterfalls in Tennessee.


The first waterfall I went to is Greeter Falls, located about a two hour drive of Nashville. The falls are along a short trail, and is protected within the Savage Garden Gulf State Nature Area, part of the South Cumberland State Park. The trail loops around through the forest for a few miles, and is fairly easy (it does get steep in a few spots). Beyond the waterfalls, there is also this cool swinging bridge there.


Along the way, the trail passes by Broadtree Falls, which has two drops. The upper falls are about 30 feet tall, and the lower is about 15. It’s a neat spot, and luckily some clouds helped with the pictures by blocking the sun.



The trail then runs above the creek and heads towards Greeter Falls. The trail then drops steeply down the hill towards the creek, using a conveniently placed spiral staircase to get to the falls. Which is a nice touch, more hiking trails need spiral staircases on them. From there the trail runs steeply down to the falls. But it is a great waterfall, where Firescald Creek drops about 50 feet into a scenic pool.


I was there on a Thursday afternoon, and there wasn't anyone else around. Apparently it can be a busy spot in the summer since this is a popular little swimming hole.



It's a great waterfall, and is one that would definitely be worth visiting again.



Upper Greeter Falls is just a short walk away. They are about 10 feet, I think. I tried to get a few pictures but the sun was coming out from behind the clouds.


After that I needed to get back to Nashville, but would head out the next day to try to hit a few more waterfalls.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Stars over Pinnacle

Things have been a wee bit busy here in the past few weeks, as my wife and I have been going through the hectic and protracted process of buying a house.  But I've been trying to find some time to take pictures, in between inspections, signing papers and packing boxes.  One night I headed out to Pinnacle Mountain State Park to try to take a few star trail pictures of the old bridge over the Maumelle River. 

The bridge was built in the 1920s, and replaced by a newer span in the 80s.  But the old bridge was preserved as part of the park and is now the crossing for the Ouachita Trail.  It's also an easy place to get to for pictures at night.  I set the camera up and took pictures of the stars for about an hour and a half.  The skies managed to stay clear for the most part, except for some low clouds and a few planes (some I think from the Air Force base).


Monday, April 20, 2015

Arlington Hotel

A few weeks ago, we took off from work for a trip to Hot Springs. The plan was to go to the races at Oaklawn, and presumably, lose some money. But it turns out that the track was closed the day we were planning on going. Whoops! So instead we spent the day walking along Central Avenue. This is a shot from the inside of the old Arlington Hotel, with part of the staircase leading up from the lobby.