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?

Anna Ruby Falls, Georgia

I have a lot of thoughts about Anna Ruby Falls, and none of them are particularly eloquent. To get to the falls, you drive through a state park, leave the state park and enter a national forest, and then take the short hike to the falls. I remember you only pay for the national forest entrance. Random memory, right? I don’t remember the hike being particularly long or difficult, and I’m pretty sure it was paved the whole way. It’s really great for the whole family, which explains why it can be busy. Even so, I still had no difficulty finding parking.

As for photographing the falls, I wasn’t especially pleased. Overcast days are usually the best options for photographing well, but when you’re only there for two days, you don’t really have any other choice except to visit, point, and shoot. Adding more to the “difficulty” in photographing the falls are the trees blocking much of the view of the upper portion of the falls. No trees were harmed.

Looking at the pictures, Anna Ruby Falls is a trippy, visual feast for the eyes. It’s a double waterfall! A 150’+ drop is on Curtis Creek, while another 50′ drop to the right is on York Creek. To me, the falls look like they’re at an angle because of how my eyes try to focus. Or maybe the ground is just slanted? Like I said, random thoughts…

As with many Georgia waterfalls, there are others nearby, though it’s not usually a straight drive from one falls to the next. Each visit to the next waterfall require drives down curvy back roads. If you’re in the area, check out not one, but many falls. Otherwise, don’t go out of your way for just one.

Directions:

  1. From Helen, head north on GA-75 for just a few miles until you reach the junction with GA-356.
  2. Turn right onto GA-356.
  3. Turn left onto Anna Ruby Falls Rd. (This is not the first road to the left.)
  4. Head to the end of the road, where you’ll pass through the pay station to the parking area.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 153′ and 50′
Length of Hike: 0.8 miles round-trip

Anna Ruby Falls in May 2012

A cascade below Anna Ruby Falls

Where in the World is Anna Ruby Falls?

Unnamed Falls #3, Burgess Falls SP, Tennessee

A smaller waterfall in Burgess Falls State Park (December 2009)

In Burgess Falls State Park, there are a number of smaller waterfalls to be found. They are all waterfalls that flow into the Falling Water River. The third of these unnamed falls is probably the least intriguing.  At the right time of day, it might be very pretty, but the sun was shining directly behind the falls. (It was early morning when I visited, and had the whole place to myself.)  I’m guessing the waterfall is likely to be flowing only in times of higher rainfall. I could imagine it drying up when there isn’t as much rain. I visited the falls in late December, though I don’t know if there was much rain before that.

A random note:  Even though I numbered this #3, this is actually the one of the first unnamed waterfalls you will encounter.

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: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: 1.6 miles round-trip (to see all falls)

Where in the World is Unnamed Falls #3?

Dukes Creek Falls, Georgia

The portion of Dukes Creek Falls that is on Davis Creek (May 2012)

As I am sitting here, I am trying to decide how to put this post together. No waterfall in recent memory could be more convoluted to explain as Dukes Creek Falls. In a recent post, Upper Dukes Creek Falls, I initially identified these falls as being partially located on Dodd Creek. Dodd Creek is nearby, but the falls are not located on Dodd Creek. (I based this information on another site, which is also not correct.) Instead Dukes Creek Falls is located on Davis Creek Falls, at least a portion of it. Another portion of the falls is actually located on Dukes Creek. It’s just confusing. I’m just going to assume that the all of the portions below refer to Dukes Creek Falls.

The portion of Dukes Creek Falls found on Davis Creek (as the two creeks are about to meet) is just plain frustrating. Much of it is hidden behind trees, and there’s really no clear way to nicely photograph the falls. This portion of the falls is rather tall, but gosh darn if you’re going to get a good shot! This might be better when the trees haven’t bloomed, but there’s still a lot of clutter in front of the falls.

The confluence of Davis and Dukes Creeks

The portion of the falls where Dukes Creek and Davis Creek meet are more interesting, since you can actually get a better view. You’re actually standing directly in front of them.  This portion of the falls isn’t particularly tall, though.

If you look upstream on what is Dukes Creek (to the right), you’ll see one other drop. I wasn’t sure whether to list this as a separate falls, but just decided to make it easier. You can see all of these falls along the same short part of the trail. This is also not very tall, though it is somewhat wider.

The total hike to the falls is about 2.2 miles round trip. It isn’t difficult, maybe moderate at most. It is consistently downhill on the way there, and therefore uphill on the way back. The trail is very well kept, and the final stretch to the falls includes stairs and a boardwalk.

Directions:

  1. From Cleveland, Georgia, head northwest along GA-11.
  2. After some distance turn right on GA-75.
  3. Again, some distance later, turn left on GA-348. (I seem to remember this turn coming rather abruptly.)
  4. Drive two miles to the parking area for Dukes Creek Falls Recreation Area. A National Forest pass will be required, which carries a daily cost.
  5. Follow the trail to Dukes Falls.
Accessibility: 4/10 (moderate/difficult)
Height: 250′
Length of Hike: 2.2 miles round-trip

The portion of the falls that is actually on Dukes Creek!

Where in the World is Dukes Creek Falls?

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?

Upper Dukes Creek Falls, Georgia

When I visited northern Georgia in May 2012 searching for more waterfalls, I stopped at the Dukes Creek Falls Recreation Area in the Chattahoochee National Forest. The main attraction is clearly Dukes Creek Falls. Dukes Creek Falls is not found along Dukes Creek, but instead Davis Creek (confusing, isn’t it?). Dukes Creek Falls is found at the confluence of Davis Creek and Duke Creek.

As you’re hiking to Dukes Creek Falls, you will often be hiking alongside Dukes Creek. I noticed about a third of the way along the trail (maybe a little bit more) that I could hear water flowing nearby. Often, this is just some small cascade or rapid, but in this case there was a larger fall to be found. I would guess the falls were about 10′ tall or so. It is not particularly easy to get to these falls, but it is also nowhere near impossible. There is no official trail to the falls. You’re just very quickly heading down a moderately steep hill. There are trees and roots that planted themselves strategically to make your journey less difficult. In the end, you’re rewarded with a falls that pretty and isolated.

Directions:

  1. From Cleveland, Georgia, head northwest along GA-11.
  2. After some distance turn right on GA-75.
  3. Again, some distance later, turn left on GA-348. (I seem to remember this turn coming rather abruptly.)
  4. Drive two miles to the parking area for Dukes Creek Falls Recreation Area. A National Forest pass will be required, which carries a daily cost.
  5. Follow the trail to Dukes Falls.
Accessibility: 4/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Height: 10′
Length of Hike: 2.2 miles round-trip

Upper Dukes Creek Falls in May 2012

Where in the World is Upper Dukes Creek Falls?

Great Falls, Tennessee

I guess your first inclination when hearing the name Great Falls would be that, well, it’s an impressive waterfall. My guess is that this inclination is highly dependent on water flow. Searching for pictures online has revealed that at certain times of the year, the falls are so flooded with water that they just disappear…At other times, when there is less water, a number of smaller falls are found along the very wide drop. I just imagine that there are certain DAYS of the year when the water levels are just right to get nearly all of the rivers width to appear as falls. It’s got to be a tricky balancing act, complicated by the dam just upstream.

When I visited in December 2009, there wasn’t a considerable amount of water, and so there were a number of separate waterfalls. They are all along one drop in the river, though separated by areas of uplifted rock. It’s still an impressive waterfall, but its view is diminished by the fact that you are not very close to the falls. The viewpoint in the park does allow for sweeping views of the whole falls and river, but you really can’t get up close.

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’re headed north, the road you’re interested in, TN-287, will be on your left. There are a number of old stores in the area. Turn left onto TN-287.
  3. You’ll head along TN-287 past the dam, which is pretty obvious, to a parking area on your right. It’s a pretty big parking area. If you pass this area, you’ll keep heading out into the country, missing the falls.
  4. The falls are directly visible from the edge of the parking area.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 20′
Length of Hike: roadside

One portion of Great Falls (December 2009)

Another portion of Great Falls

Where in the World is Great Falls?