Creek Falls State Park, south of Spencer, Tennessee
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 10.8 miles to the
Nature Center, which is well-signed on the left side of the road at a sharp
curve in the road. Head down the Paw Paw Trail for ~500 past the
bridge on Rock House Creek, and watch for the Cable Trail sign on the left.
quad; Trail maps available at the Friends of Fall Creek Falls website
UTM NAD83 zone 16 649377e 3947722n
Trail: A short
and thrilling 400-ft side-trip down a very steep rock face to Cane Creek
at the base of Cane Creek Falls.
Weather Service Forecast
April 17, 2011
This short, thrilling drop
down a steep cliff face is a fun trail that spurs off the Paw Paw Trail
not far from the Nature Center, just past the Rock House Creek crossing.
It is clearly signed. As the name suggests, a thick steel cable some 300
ft long, anchored above and below, provides a handrail of sorts for the
steep descent down the rock face. It is perfectly possible to descend and
ascend without touching the cable at all, and in fact in most spots it
is easiest to do so, but it is indeed reasurring that there is something
to grab onto if a foot slips!
Initial descent on the cable
While Andra and Ada waited
above, since a kid carrier is not really compatible with this trail, I
scurried down the rocks during what turned out to be our last day at Fall
Creek Falls SP before moving away from Tennessee. Will I ever be back?
You never know. At the time, I had a hope I’d be taking a job in Wyoming,
but I hadn’t heard anything about it yet, so I went about my hiking with
the carefree presumption that I’d be able to come see this great park again,
any day of the week.
The downclimb leads to the best
view of Cane Creek Falls, a torrid chute of water about 50 feet wide that
drops about 60 feet over a limestone cliff, with a second narrow falls
further down canyon that drops even farther. I enjoyed the roar of the
water, snapped a few photos of the grandeur to remind me of this trip years
down the line, and then scaled back up, challenging myself to small degree
by refraining from using the cable to assist my way up.