Seven of us dodged all the storms yesterday and hiked two Natchez Trace waterfall trails. Knowing my brother-in-law, Ken, would be accompanying us yesterday, I checked in with the Natchez Trace park rangers of Leiper's Fork and they were extremely helpful with information about handicap-accessible trails. We also used the great directions from http://www.nps.gov/ website.
The kids loved the hike down to Jackson Falls but admitted the return trip up was very steep. The trail was paved for the most part so Ken could have easily have made the trip down, but coming back up was our problem. There were picnic tables and a shelter with accessible bathrooms. On the other side of the parking lot was a 1/3 mile trail leading to Bakers Bluff which provided an interesting view of a conservation-friendly working farm. This is also found as its own stop along the Natchez Trace.
Ten miles further south, all of us hiked in to see the Fall Hollow waterfall. The kids took off down the trail while Ken, Kendall and I strolled and enjoyed the scenery from the paved and bridged trail. The creek flows along flat rocks curving through the spring green of the forest. It reminded me of a famous waterfall in Ireland that I visited two years ago.
The paved trail led to a platform overlooking the waterfall where you could rest and see others hiking the steeper part of the trail. Kendall stayed with Ken this time so I could hike with the rest of the family. There are actually two waterfalls to view on this trail. At both falls you can actually walk in to the slippery area behind the waterfall. Great picture and video opportunities for the kids until my niece, Sarah Catherine, took a tumble. She was fine though!
Beautiful is the best word to describe the waterfalls and Fall Hollow was great for those who might not be able to access the entire trail. I hope to return soon and see the fifteen other stops we drove right by to get to the falls. We're so typical of a busy family that doesn't take advantage of the fantastic local tourism opportunities in our own back yard. I am going to make a big effort this summer to get outside this bubble and see middle Tennessee!
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