Kayaking to The Base of Burgess Falls

Kayaking Trips, Waterfalls

This was a trip I had been wanting to do for ages. A friend had told me some time ago that this was doable, but would not share with me how to get there. People are funny. As if they are the only ones to know things and want to hold on to that power somehow. So, when I finally decided to do it,  all it took was a quick google search to find out where to put in.

I borrowed my brother’s kayak and the couple that went with us had an extra my husband could use. The only potential problem was the vehicle we had to take the one kayak. My husband’s car is a Prius. Yep. A Prius. The kayak would not fit in my sedan. We needed a car with a hatch and seats to fold down.

Believe it or not, we got it in there.

Burgess Falls

Ok, maybe not ALL of it fit, but most of it. We bungeed it to the seats and tied the hatch down and off we went.

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We put in at Cane Hollow Road at the Burgess Falls boat ramp. It is not far from the entrance to Burgess Falls State Park.

MAP TO KAYAK TO BURGESS FALLS

The paddle to the falls is about two miles and the water is very calm. Most of the boats that went by did their best to slow down so the wakes would not be too big. There were a few that did not, but it was no big deal.

It was hotter than blue blazes on the day we went. By the way, make sure to take PLENTY of water. I recommend freezing a few bottles the night before so they stay ice cold if you aren’t taking a small cooler.

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As the map above indicates you put in and then go straight across the lake to the cove that takes you to the falls. It actually dead ends right at the falls. The pic above shows the put in to the right. I was hanging out waiting for the rest of my group to hurry up so we could get the show on the road, or the water rather.

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The guys took off and left us. They have been friends forever and have a great time together. Always so much laughter when they get together. You would almost not realize that Kristie and I had to drag them out to do this. I think they were actually having fun.

Burgess Falls

Several times we had to pull over to the side and get some shade for a few minutes. There was almost no wind and it was in the nineties and, of course, 100% humidity.

The falls are absolutely gorgeous!

Burgess FallsI pulled over and got out so I could get my shots. As usual, I had all my gear and tripod. I knew that I would be taking my time here on this day. No hurries. The other three kayaked right up to the base and ended up hanging out on the side to wait for me.

Burgess Falls

The water level was high enough that some ‘bigger than kayaks and canoes’ boats could get pretty close. The larger pontoon and ski boats hung back and anchored and the kids jumped in and swam up to the falls. Please note I DID see a snake in the water.

Burgess Falls

After about an hour we headed back.

Burgess Falls

As you can see there were several on their way in as we were leaving. It was a beautiful day spent with great friends. We plan on going back to Center Hill Lake and exploring more of the waterfalls in the area.

For more information check out the links below.

http://www.southeasternoutdoors.com/public-lands/lakes/center-hill/cane-hollow-burgess-falls.html

https://tnstateparks.com/parks/activities/burgess-falls

Happy Kayaking!

Lori

Hike to Piney Falls

Tennessee Hikes

I have passed the sign to Piney Falls a gazillion times on my way to more talked about destinations. I mean, I had NEVER even heard Piney Falls mentioned anywhere.  It was always one of those that I thought I ‘might’ go to one day.

Well, I decided to look it up online one day when it just popped into my head. You know, to see if it was anything worth seeing. Well, to my surprise it was. As a matter of fact, it is one of the prettiest falls I have seen. Now, you need to be sure to go when there has been rain. I heard a woman talking about how in the middle of summer it is a trickle and not worth the trouble to get to.

Speaking of trouble…well, if I go there is usually trouble. Something happened that will forever be referred to as ‘The Incident at Piney Falls.”  The hike started out great. It was so good to get out. We just came out of what seemed like forty days and forty nights of constant rain.  All three of us were happy to finally be out and walking in the woods. We came to an intersection where you could go to the lower Piney Falls or continue on to the upper and walk across the top of the falls. That’s the way we decided to go. This was all of ten minutes into the hike. I had finally gotten a little handheld tripod for my phone and I had my big tripod for waterfall pics in my backpack. I was just about to put my phone up and watch where I was walking when my feet slipped out right from under me and down I went. First I landed hard on my butt and the back of my head hit the rock face I had slipped on. Then I was flung forward where I tried to keep from falling forward and this must of been when my knee hit and twisted causing me to hit the front top of my head on another rock. I knew instantly I had hurt my knee pretty badly. All I could hear was one of the ladies in the group say ”She hit her head! She hit her head!” When I fell my little tripod hit the water and my phone dislodged and sank near my head and the tripod went right over the falls. Unfortunately, no pictures of this section.

I pulled myself together and my friend ran over to help. I handed her my phone and she dried it off. I took off my pack and sat there for a few minutes holding my knee. After a bit, I got up and started to walk when I slipped again on another rock and slammed my shin on the same leg (left) inbetween two more rocks. I am shocked that this did not break my leg. I couldn’t believe TWO falls in one day. I got up from that and finally managed to get over to dry land. We stood there a few minutes and I really thought about going back. HOWEVER, that would mean crossing right back over where I had just fallen and I just didn’t think I could do it. So, I decided to trudge on to the rest of the hike. It’s a loop and I knew that at least I wouldn’t be on this part again. I just hoped there would be nothing else as difficult on the rest of the trail.

Well, just a little walk from the fall I had brought us to this steep descent with a rope. Of course, there would be a steep section with a rope. Why not?

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As you can imagine I was a little unstable on this section. I went insanely slow since my knee was screaming. I scooted on my rear down some of it as I would on other upcoming sections.

After a little bit, we got our first look at the falls.

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You will be on a hillside the entire time down to the falls and only levels out on the section of trail that is behind the falls.

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It wasn’t until I got down to the area where I could get a good shot of the falls that I found out that I had broken the head off my big, expensive tripod in the fall. I was so frustrated. All I had now was a mini pod thing and, honestly, my knee was hurting so  bad that I had a hard time concentrating on getting a really good picture of the falls.

Here’s a look after crossing behind the falls at the trial.

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I thought that the top of the falls was upper Piney and this section was lower Piney. I was wrong. We had not come to lower Piney.

I can’t remember how far you have to hike before you come to the lower piney sign.  The trail was very pretty and had some interesting rock faces. Lower Piney had a more level area where I could sit more comfortably and use my mini pod to get some good pictures.

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After a good break there we headed on up the hill.

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After we climbed up some wide steps we ran into this little guy and his people. His name was Garth.

He was the cutest dog EVER. He’s also a better hiker than I am. He’s done several from what his people said.

Soon after this, the trail leveled out and we were back to the fork. We headed on out to the car and to get our post hike meal (That’s why we do this. So we can eat without guilt.)

Now, if you look this up on alltrails it will be listed as an out and back. That’s not true. It’s a loop and it’s also around 3 miles total. So, the person that originally submitted it probably did not do the whole thing. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/tennessee/piney-falls

Here is my wikiloc recorded trail:
https://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/spatialArtifacts.do?event=setCurrentSpatialArtifact&id=23976471

If you go, please just know that this is a moderate to difficult (in certain areas) trail. I recommend doing this clockwise UNLIKE what we did.  The hike was worth the trouble. Go after a good rain and take a camera and tripod.

Update on Knee:

The Monday after hike I went to the dr. She sent me for an xray and an mri. I have two sprains and a femoral attachment of medial patellofemoral retinaculum. In other words, something tore (not meniscus) and it will heal without surgery. So, I have been icing it for two weeks now and it’s still swollen.

Happy Hiking!

Lori