Ozone Falls State Natural Area

Rockwood, Tennessee

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1 Review
5 out of 5
At the end of this short trail is a narrow 110-foot column of water falling from a rock overhang. The amphitheater behind the waterfall is typical of waterfalls on the Cumberland Plateau, where below the erosion-resistant sandstone lip of the falls, the softer sandstone and shale layers erode more quickly, opening up the rock wall behind the fall of water. Before taking the trail to the base of the falls, walk the short path to the left of the natural area sign to the top of the waterfall, where Fall Creek slides through a narrow chute and leaps beyond the supporting sandstone bluff into the gorge below. There are no safety rails along the bluff’s edge, so take care. The trail to the base of the falls leads to the right of the natural area sign, paralleling the road. Or from the top of the falls, take a path to the right along the gorge rim; the two paths converge. At 0.1 mile a stone wall at the edge of the highway signals a left turn where the trail descends into the small gorge; there’s room to park one car if you want to start your walk here.
40 Hikes In Tennessee's South Cumberland

DESCRIPTION FROM:

40 Hikes In Tennessee's South Cumberland

by Russ Manning (The Mountaineers Books)

At the end of this short trail is a narrow 110-foot column of water falling from a rock overhang. The amphitheater behind the waterfall is typical of waterfalls on the Cumberland Plateau, where below the erosion-resistant sandstone lip of the falls, the softer sandstone and shale layers erode more quickly, opening up the rock wall behind the fall of water.

Before taking the trail to the base of the falls, walk the short path to the left of the natural area sign to the top of the waterfall, where Fall Creek slides through a narrow chute and leaps beyond the supporting sandstone bluff into the gorge below. There are no safety rails along the bluff’s edge, so take care. The trail to the base of the falls leads to the right of the natural area sign, paralleling the road. Or from the top of the falls, take a path to the right along the gorge rim; the two paths converge. At 0.1 mile a stone wall at the edge of the highway signals a left turn where the trail descends into the small gorge; there’s room to park one car if you want to start your walk here.

©  Russ Manning/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Rockwood
Distance: 0.5
Elevation Gain: 100 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: Day Hike
Season: Best spring and fall
Local Contacts: Cumberland Mountain State Rustic Park
Driving Directions: Directions to Ozone Falls State Natural Area

Recent Trail Reviews

4/3/2005
0

We stumbled upon this one while riding the bike around the area. Coming up the road (north?) your first glimpse of the falls is an impressive column of whitewater through the trees; the small parking area is well marked by signs. The "Rim" trail to the left is simply a short pathway that follows the river preceding the "action". It's a very short, calm, & unspectacular little waterway with no hint of the natural wonder ahead. You can take this path or the wide one straight ahead to view the falls and the carved rock cavity from the top. Unless you're especially comfy with heights, go ahead and get on your belly and wiggle to the edge for a good view to the bottom. The rocks are fairly flat and perfectly steady if dry, but it was windy the day we went so I felt better being one-with-the-ground! We also met some local guys scaling down the rock wall via a tree they tied to; looked very fun! For the trail to the bottom, backtrack almost to parking and hang a left. You'll walk parallel to the road until you get to sign that points the way down. Lots of rocks, some wet/muddy areas but really NOTHING a little careful footing can't overcome. The walk down is rimmed by small nooks and openings into the rock wall to your left; we had blast scrambling in and out of these and taking pics. Once at the bottom there is quite a mist from the falls but it's just beautiful. You can view it from several areas, including a rock peninsula that resembles the one from the Lion King. The trail is less obvious from here but you can continue exploring the smaller cascades and falls through the rocks to the right (which we did) or you can go behind the falls to the left. We didn't take this route b/c we had the bike and being damp at 70mph isn't fun! But we'll try it next visit; rocks looked wet, of course, but worth the trek. There's also a neat looking cave across the way we plan to explore.



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