If you’ve been wanting to chase waterfalls, but wanting to social distance and choose one that’s not so crowded, Machine Falls is a great choice!
We took our daughters, ages 6 and 11, and ran into maybe 10 other families the entire time we were there, including our hike to the falls and back.
Machine Falls was about an hour hike down for us, but I will admit we intentionally took our time so that our youngest would feel safe and comfortable, especially on the slippery rocks toward the end.
Things to know before you go: (I was so glad I did research before visiting!)
- Wear sneakers or shoes with good traction, and consider bringing water shoes or sandals for the tail end of the hike. You will be hiking down the creek to get to the falls. And the water is COLD.
- Parking lot is by the big white water tower. Put this address in your GPS: 1861 Short Springs Rd. Tullahoma, TN. Machine Falls is located in Short Springs Natural Area.
- The trailhead is across the street from the lot.
- When you begin the trail, you will notice the sign for Machine Falls points in BOTH directions! The path on the right is much easier! We took the path on the left going to the falls and the right path coming back so we know from experience! If you take the more strenuous path on the left, watch out for tree roots and rocks sticking up out of the pathway at the start of your hike. Regardless of which path you choose, as you get closer to the falls, the climb becomes steeper, and some of the steps are loose.
- When you come upon the little bridge, this is good time to change your footwear.