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Archive 2012 · Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

Not sure where to go with this question, so this seems like as good of a place as any....

I'm looking to do a photo trip in a few weeks, and one of the few places I'm looking to capture is the Tennessee Cumberland Plateau area. However, with the drought challenging any potential waterfalls, I'm afraid if I go, all I will see will be dry rocks at the end of the trails.

Can anyone who has been to that area confirm, or suggest where I can go (online) to find out?


Sep 11, 2012 at 06:29 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

I usually check with a local Visitor Center about recent conditions. sometimes it works, sometimes...not so much.

Sep 11, 2012 at 07:47 PM

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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

Not exactly sure where you're looking to go, but I can tell you that if it's dry, I would stay away from the Scott's Gulf area (Virgin Falls Pocket Wilderness) and head to the areas where the water almost never stops falling.

For waterfalls that I've never known to dry up, I would recommend Burgess Falls and the falls in the Rock Island area. I wish I could comment on what Big South Fork is like this time of year, but sadly I've never been.

Hope this helps and hope you get some good shots!

Edit: Forgot to mention Fall Creek Falls. When it's flowing, it's really nice, but it does have a tendency to run thin during the dry months. I wouldn't bother if you're unsure about it.

Here's a shot of Burgess Falls in Sparta (not mine)...


Sep 11, 2012 at 08:54 PM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

You should add Machine Falls to your list. It is located just outside of Tullahoma, TN. The GPS location of the trailhead is 35.407365,-86.174489 . I posted images from that area on the forum here - http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1113423/0

From the trailhead, you have an easy 0.9 mile hike to the falls and the route is well marked and maintained.

Also, check this link: http://gowaterfalling.com/waterfalls/maps/cumberland.shtml

Sep 11, 2012 at 09:22 PM

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Jon Buffington
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

Machine Falls (part of Short Springs State Natural Area) and Rutledge Falls will have water. Also the falls at Old Stone Fort State Park are flowing. However, they are in the highland rim area and just below the Cumberland Plateau (not technically on the plateau). Good place on the southern end of the plateau is Savage Gulf, part of south cumberland state recreation area. Horsepound falls will be flowing as well as savage falls. Suter will be dry or almost dry. Also Foster Falls is flowing and is impressive at 65' feet. Fiery Gizzard Creek is down however there are some falls flowing well (smaller). I have shot extensively on the Cumberland Plateau and the above suggestions of Burgess Falls and Rock Island (though Rock Island is not on the plateau) are good suggestions due to their flow of water this time of year. Also, Greeter Falls is impressive and flowing.

Fiery Gizzard Creek in early winter

Greeter Falls in Winter

Old Stone Fort at this time of year (late summer)

Rutledge Falls

burgess falls

bridail veil falls at Sewanee (dry this time of year except after a rain)

machine falls

Ranger Falls (view from behind the falls)

Overhead view of Foster Falls

There are also some off trail hikes to some interesting falls as well.

Milk Sick Creek

Deer Lick Falls (on private property)

and many many more. Feel free to ask any questions about specific falls. I have probably shot it multiple times in this part of the state.

My apologies for so many photos but hopefully this gives you an idea of the different falls around the plateau.

Sep 12, 2012 at 03:55 AM

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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

Jon, fantastic waterfalls! Would love to get some shoots like these.

Nov 17, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Doug C
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

Jon, you have a fine roster of waterfall images here. I need to get back down to Tennessee to shoot more often!

Nov 18, 2012 at 04:39 AM
Jon Buffington
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

Thank you for the kind words, Doug and Rick. I need to post up some recent work just never enough time for processing.

Nov 18, 2012 at 05:12 AM

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