Early in our Tennessee trip, we had a day with nothing planned other than driving from the eastern side of the state to the middle of it. Someone mentioned waterfalls, and my ears perked up. I have wonderful memories as a child of visiting spectacular waterfalls in Oregon, probably Silver Falls, but the visual memories are sharp, the ones for names not so much. I found a website with a map of all the waterfalls in TN, plotted a rough line from point A to point B, and picked two waterfalls as possible places to visit.
I learned a couple of things from this. One, never set your GPS to ‘shortest route’ and I’m just glad that all the roads were at least paved! Two, check that the waterfall isn’t seasonal…
The Notch Falls were a complete disappointment, the ravine was spectacular from what little we saw, but the water in the little creek was all but dried up. However, Elrod Falls more than made up for it. It was an easy hike in from the end of the road, which terminated at a park. There was a shelter with fireplace, and a semi-permanent camp set up there, with two skeevy-looking guys sitting in it. The parking spot was far away from this, though.
I learned later that had we attempted the ill-defined trail which led up into the forest beside the falls, there was a secondary fall out of sight above it. But with the slick mud, I wasn’t going to try it and risk injury. We may return on a better day with better boots (some of us weren’t ready for hiking).