Saturday, March 24, 2007

Pete's Branch Falls

Pete's Branch Falls is located in the beautiful Horse Creek Recreation Area in Greene County, TN. You might not know it from this picture, but during high water this waterfall is quite impressive (see photos here). However, getting to it is a challenge. While it's possible to drive in and park 1 mile from the waterfall, this option is only for those with extra-high clearance vehicles (jeeps) and a tinge of insanity. It's the roughest "road" I've ever seen. For the rest of us, getting to the waterfall will require a 2+ mile hike, complete with 9 creek crossings (of varying difficulty). Save this hike for a time when you're sure you'll have plenty of water in the creek -- and perhaps a crazy friend with a jeep.

Directions: From I-26 -- take the Erwin/Jonesborough exit #37. At the end of the ramp, turn west toward Jonesborough and take State Route 81/107 west for 6.5 miles, stay on Rt. 107 by turning left and continuing for 13.2 more miles. Turn left on Horse Creek Park Road and follow the signs as you drive 3 miles to a parking area on the left (where the pavement ends). Park here (trust me, you don't want to drive up the gravel road!). Hike in, following the road for 0.8 miles until you reach another parking area. From here, take the road to the left that immediately crosses the creek continue for a quarter mile (est.), a large sign will point the way to Pete's Branch to the right. You will soon reach another fork, where a sign will point the way to the left. I estimate that in all, it is 2.0-2.5 miles each way.

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