Piney Falls State Natural Area

Piney River State Natural Area is in Grandview, TN (Rhea Co.) on the Cumberland Plateau. The view truly is grand from up there!
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1 Piney falls sign

Piney falls sign

Piney falls sign 2089
2 Piney Falls is on an easy trail located on the Cumberland Plateau in Grandview, TN (near Spring City). Turn west on Highway 68 and drive up the plateau. Just past the Grandview Community sign is a caution light over the highway. Turn left here on Firet...

Piney Falls is on an easy trail located on the Cumberland Plateau in Grandview, TN (near Spring City). Turn west on Highway 68 and drive up the plateau. Just past the Grandview Community sign is a caution light over the highway. Turn left here on Firet...

Piney Falls is on an easy trail located on the Cumberland Plateau in Grandview, TN (near Spring City). Turn west on Highway 68 and drive up the plateau. Just past the Grandview Community sign is a caution light over the highway. Turn left here on Firetower Road. There is a small gravel parking area at the trailhead. map... The Upper Falls is about 2 miles from the trailhead. The trail down to the bottom of the Upper Falls follows the edge of the gorge. The sandstone walls are fascinating. If the water flow is not too strong, you can walk on the trail behind the waterfall. The geology of this canyon is interesting. The upper rock issandstone, the lower layer is made of shale. Look for Lycopodium fossils in the rock at the base of the falls. Mountain laurel, yellowroot, trailing arbutus,pussytoes, and wintergreen are abuntant along this trail. A word of caution for you folks who are skittish about snakes. Notice the cavern located just behind the falls. If you hike to this waterfall in the good ole hot summertime you may be lucky enough to greet a resident snake or two (or more?). My husband and I have hiked to this waterfall many times during different seasons over the years, and on almost every occasion in warm weather, we've had a reunion with our friendly neighbors resting on the rocks just behind the waterfall. No need to be alarmed, just say "Hi" and the neighbors will most likely crawl down into the water. Please remember, this is their home! 3335
3 Upper Piney Falls is an 80-foot drop over the gorge. This is not a good trail for small children due to the high, unprotected cliffsides.

Upper Piney Falls is an 80-foot drop over the gorge. This is not a good trail for small children due to the high, unprotected cliffsides.

Upper Piney Falls is an 80-foot drop over the gorge. This is not a good trail for small children due to the high, unprotected cliffsides. 2362
4 Just up the road from the Piney Falls trailhead
is this firetower. The lookout cabin is not open,
but it is possible to climb to the top landing. 
Don't do it if you're afraid of heights! The view
from the top is fantastic on a clear day; you
can ...

Just up the road from the Piney Falls trailhead is this firetower. The lookout cabin is not open, but it is possible to climb to the top landing. Don't do it if you're afraid of heights! The view from the top is fantastic on a clear day; you can ...

Just up the road from the Piney Falls trailhead is this firetower. The lookout cabin is not open, but it is possible to climb to the top landing. Don't do it if you're afraid of heights! The view from the top is fantastic on a clear day; you can see the Smokies, the Sequatchie Valley, Watts Bar Lake and the Cumberland Plateau. 2081
5 View of the Cumberland Plateau, Cumberland
Mountains, and the Piney River Gorge looking
north from the firetower. This view is spectacular
in the fall!

View of the Cumberland Plateau, Cumberland Mountains, and the Piney River Gorge looking north from the firetower. This view is spectacular in the fall!

View of the Cumberland Plateau, Cumberland Mountains, and the Piney River Gorge looking north from the firetower. This view is spectacular in the fall! 2373
6 The trail down to the falls is interesting, it follows a sandstone cliff. Some of the overhanging rocks look pretty precarious! We usually find ourselves walking a little faster when we get to this part of the trail!

The trail down to the falls is interesting, it follows a sandstone cliff. Some of the overhanging rocks look pretty precarious! We usually find ourselves walking a little faster when we get to this part of the trail!

The trail down to the falls is interesting, it follows a sandstone cliff. Some of the overhanging rocks look pretty precarious! We usually find ourselves walking a little faster when we get to this part of the trail! 2033
7 A large rock pile below the cliff, another reason not to linger!

A large rock pile below the cliff, another reason not to linger!

A large rock pile below the cliff, another reason not to linger! 1986
8 The trail goes behind the Upper Falls. The spray is refreshing on a really hot day!

The trail goes behind the Upper Falls. The spray is refreshing on a really hot day!

The trail goes behind the Upper Falls. The spray is refreshing on a really hot day! 1808
9 Icicles decorate a rock wall along the trail. Winter is a great time to go hiking, there are no bugs, crowds, or sweat!

Icicles decorate a rock wall along the trail. Winter is a great time to go hiking, there are no bugs, crowds, or sweat!

Icicles decorate a rock wall along the trail. Winter is a great time to go hiking, there are no bugs, crowds, or sweat! 2192
10 Strange formations in the sandstone rockwall along the trail.

Strange formations in the sandstone rockwall along the trail.

Strange formations in the sandstone rockwall along the trail. 2088
11 Lower Piney Falls is a 40-foot drop. It is not possible to get to the bottom of this waterfall.

Lower Piney Falls is a 40-foot drop. It is not possible to get to the bottom of this waterfall.

Lower Piney Falls is a 40-foot drop. It is not possible to get to the bottom of this waterfall. 1989
12 This tree was struck by lightning; this is why you should never take shelter under a tree during a thunderstorm!

This tree was struck by lightning; this is why you should never take shelter under a tree during a thunderstorm!

This tree was struck by lightning; this is why you should never take shelter under a tree during a thunderstorm! 1960
13 There are thin layers of Sandstone along the cliffs, some are nearly paper thin.

There are thin layers of Sandstone along the cliffs, some are nearly paper thin.

There are thin layers of Sandstone along the cliffs, some are nearly paper thin. 1944
14 These may look like a lot of little round pebbles, but they are actually woodrat droppings! They are protected from the elements under the cliff.

These may look like a lot of little round pebbles, but they are actually woodrat droppings! They are protected from the elements under the cliff.

These may look like a lot of little round pebbles, but they are actually woodrat droppings! They are protected from the elements under the cliff. 2439

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