Friday, January 26, 2007

Sill Branch Falls

My bet is that most people who have done any hiking in the area of Northeast Tennessee have been to Laurel Falls (see yesterday's post). It's usually the first place visitors are taken. I know this was true for me when I moved here a dozen years ago. What has been surprising to me is that there are so many other amazing places in this region that just aren't well known or visited -- there are lots of waterfalls which are even more accessible and just as spectacular as Laurel Falls, but few people know of them. Here's one, for example: Sill Branch Falls. What was neat today was the ice that had formed all around the falls and on the ledges. It's listed as a 40' falls, but that estimate is on the low side. I'd say it's much closer to 60 feet. The picture really doesn't do it justice either. I can't wait till spring to see this with more water coming over it.

Directions: Take I-26 to the Erwin/Jonesborough exit #37. At the end of the ramp, turn right and take State Route 81/107 west for 6.5 miles, stay on Rt. 107 by turning left and continue for 5 more miles. Turn left on Clark's Creek Road and drive 3.1 miles (the last 1.7 will be gravel) into the Cherokee National Forest to a parking area on the left. A small sign will indicate the trailhead for Sill Branch Falls, it's only 1/2 mile hike to the falls (when the trail forks, stick to the left).

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