Black Canyon Falls, Tennessee

Black Canyon Falls in December 2009

Black Canyon Falls seems to be appropriately named. The sky was moderately cloudy on the day that I visited the Fiery Gizzard Trail, but there was still some sun. When trying to photograph this particular waterfall, it was rather difficult. The rock consistently showed up as being very dark in all of the pictures. The rock surrounding the falls seems to absorb light very well, hence the appropriate name.

The hike to the falls was enjoyable even for a late December. I lucked out because the weather in Tennessee turned not-so-nice just a few weeks later. Still, the temperatures were very comfortable.

Directions:

  1. As you enter Tracy City along US-41, you should notice a sign indicating the Fiery Gizzard Trail/Grundy Forest.
  2. Follow the signs to the trail, where you’ll find a sign-in sheet and other information.
  3. This waterfall is found near where a number of trails merge.

Accessibility: 5/10 (moderate)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: 1.8 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Black Canyon Falls?

Sycamore Falls, Tennessee

The Fiery Gizzard Trail is about 14 miles long. I have only hiked a short portion of the trail, and Sycamore Falls represented the end of that hike. You can actually wander around many loops in the Fiery Gizzard Trail. They loop trails merge together rather early on.

I can’t remember exactly how far Sycamore Falls is along the trail, but it is essentially the last waterfall listed on the map for some distance. Later along on the trail, there is another waterfall, but it required a further 3 mile hike, which I wasn’t particularly interested in doing. Foster Falls is on the opposite end of the trail, and I visited Foster Falls separately.

Some of the other waterfalls are easier to visit along the trail, but Sycamore Falls does require some mountain-goat qualities. At one point, you hike up a moderately steep slope, which isn’t terribly bad, except that the trail below you is composed of large, moving rocks instead of flat ground. As you’re hiking along, Sycamore Falls is found along a side-trail, which was rather easy to find.

Directions:

  1. As you enter Tracy City along US-41, you should notice a sign indicating the Fiery Gizzard Trail/Grundy Forest.
  2. Follow the signs to the trail, where you’ll find a sign-in sheet and other information.
  3. For the quickest hike to this specific falls, follow the Fiery Gizzard Trail for a ways to the side-trail to the falls. You can also hike down the Day Use Trail, where you will reconnect back into the Fiery Gizzard Trail. Hiking on the Day Use Trail allows you to view other falls, but adds time to your hike.

Accessibility: 5/10 (moderate)
Height: 12′
Length of Hike: 2.8 miles round-trip

Sycamore Falls in late December 2009

Where in the World is Sycamore Falls?

Ozone Falls, Tennessee

While there are many other waterfalls in the general vicinity, Ozone Falls is sort of by itself. It’s hidden away and you might pass a few hundred feet from it without ever even knowing. Thank goodness there are signs!

When I first got to Ozone Falls, I parked at the first parking area I saw. There was a clear trail that led to the crest of the falls, but boy was that disappointing. For a second, I thought that I wasn’t going to get a very good view of the falls. Luckily, I decided to head back and go toward the sign indicating the trail to the base of the falls.

As you go down the trail toward the base, at first it seems rather daunting. Some parts of the trail can be steep, but surprisingly, it’s not nearly as bad as it seems. If it has just rained, it may be slippery, so be careful. Otherwise, be careful anyway. Once you head toward the base, you’ll be treated with a spectacular view of Ozone Falls. It is by far one of my favorite waterfalls in Tennessee. It’s not the tallest or the widest, but it is amazing.

Directions:

  1. Parking for Ozone Falls is found on US-70/TN-1. The parking area is surprisingly close to I-40, though in order to get there, you’ll have to take a rather roundabout way.
  2. I took the exit for TN-299 from I-40 and headed south.
  3. From TN-209, turn left at the intersection of US-70/TN-1. Head west until you get to the parking area.
  4. Head down the trail to the base of the falls for the best view.

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate)
Height: 110′
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles round-trip

Ozone Falls in December 2009

Where in the World is Ozone Falls?