Little Falls, Tennessee

Every once in a while, I honestly can’t remember a waterfall. I don’t really remember Little Falls. I remember the other not-so-distant Little Falls in Tennessee (which is Rock Island State Park). This one is found in Burgess Falls State Park. I remember walking down a hill to view Falling Water Cascades, which is above Little Falls. I recollect Middle Falls, which I had a difficult time photographing in the early morning sun. And it’s almost impossible to forget Burgess Falls, the largest of the falls.

And yet I don’t seem to remember Little Falls, which is upstream of Middle and Burgess Falls. I have a photograph of it and it’s on the map of Tennessee waterfalls I’ve visited, but it just isn’t clicking. The trail that leads to Burgess Falls is a pretty easy jaunt, and I have a feeling it was so simple to stop and view the falls that it just became an afterthought. I didn’t have to do anything special to photograph the falls. It was just there, and in the process, this beautiful waterfall slipped away.

Directions:

  1. From I-40 near Cookeville, take the exit for TN-135 and head south on TN-135.
  2. Follow TN-135 for a ways, until you see the sign indicating the turn for Burgess Falls. From there, its a short distance to the parking lot for the falls.
  3. The signs make the hike very simple to follow.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 30′
Length of Hike: 1.6 miles round-trip (to see all falls)

Little Falls in December 2009

Where in the World is Little Falls?

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Twin Falls, Tennessee

Most waterfall enthusiasts usually throw out the “man-made” waterfalls pretty quickly. There might be a mention of a man-made falls in the back of a book, but there often not included. Twin Falls bucks the trend. I’m not even sure if “man-made” is the right term, which seems to suggest that we human beings set out to create Twin Falls.

Instead, Twin Falls was the product of we human beings harnessing the power of water to do work. A dam was built in the area, and as a product, the pressure of the water built up, and the water started flowing out of the side of the hill. And now you have Twin Falls. It’s a truly interesting falls. You can tell something is odd, considering the water emerges from the upper-middle layers of the cliff, instead of at the top of the cliff. The falls then drop into the river below, which seemed pretty turbulent when I visited over Christmas 2009. The falls are surprisingly expansive, overshadowing what may have at one time been the more impressive Great Falls. The photo below doesn’t even capture the whole of Twin Falls.

Directions:

  1. There seem to be a number of different ways to view this specific waterfall in Rock Island State Park. As a good place to start, use TN-136 as a reference. This is also known as Rock Island Road.
  2. If you are headed north, you would normally turn on TN-287 (aka Great Falls Road) to visit Rock Island State Park….Keep heading just a further bit north across the river.
  3. Just after crossing the bridge, there will be a less conspicuous road to your left, Power House Road.
  4. Turn left on Power House Road, and keep driving on it until it ends at the Twin Falls Overlook.

*Note: Little Falls is found along a trail starting at the Twin Falls Overlook.

Accessibility: 10/10
Height: 75′
Length of Hike: negligible

Twin Falls in December 2009

Where in the World is Twin Falls?

Little Falls, Tennessee

Little Falls (Christmas day 2009)

Rock Island State Park, found in central Tennessee, is a truly odd place to visit. With the forces of nature being harnessed by humans, Great Falls is greatly reduced, whereas Twin Falls shows up where it was not before. And hiding inconspicuously along a trail is Little Falls, also known as Blue Ice Falls. It is a smaller falls in comparison to the other falls in the park, though it’s not measly in height.

I visited the park on Christmas day in 2009. The park was almost completely dead, especially the northern portion of the park. The only creature I can remember coming across was a cow in my path while driving to the parking area. The parking area starts at the Twin Falls Overlook, which can’t be missed. To your right is the Downstream Trail. Not long after starting down this trail, you’ll come across Little Falls. It’s pretty difficult to miss. There was a sign at the falls, so if you’re in doubt, just look for the sign! I hiked a little bit further, but didn’t find anything of interest. I can’t remember if this was where I thought I saw another waterfall on the other side of the river in the distance, but I couldn’t really get a better view (or I had to start driving back to the airport).

Directions:

  1. There seem to be a number of different ways to view this specific waterfall in Rock Island State Park. As a good place to start, use TN-136 as a reference. This is also known as Rock Island Road.
  2. If you are headed north, you would normally turn on TN-287 (aka Great Falls Road) to visit Rock Island State Park….Keep heading just a further bit north across the river.
  3. Just after crossing the bridge, there will be a less conspicuous road to your left, Power House Road.
  4. Turn left on Power House Road, and keep driving on it until it ends at the Twin Falls Overlook.
  5. At the viewpoint, follow the Downstream Trail to your right for a view of Little Falls.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 50′
Length of Hike: 0.6 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Little Falls?