Friday, January 25, 2008

Pine Ridge Falls

I was hoping that with our recent rains that I'd find Pine Ridge Falls with more water flowing over it than this. If you click the thumbnail to the right, you'll see a photo from last March of this impressive 25' waterfall at high flow (which makes you realize just how dry things have been). On the positive side, with the water down, the one creek crossing makes for an easy walk to get there. And the road through Clark's Creek is glorious with a light layer of snow. This scenic area, home also to Sill Branch Falls, is centrally located to Greeneville, Jonesborough, Johnson City, and Erwin on Clark's Creek Road, off of Route 107. If you've lived in this area all your life and never been down Clark's Creek, put it on your list of things to do. The road through Clark's Creek is gravel, but in pretty good shape -- and while it's narrow, it's not steep. At the end of the road is a wide cul-de-sac which makes for an easy turn around. Click here to see my previous post on Pine Ridge Falls.

Directions: (From Johnson City, TN) 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 3.3 miles (the last 1.9 will be gravel) into the Cherokee National Forest to a parking area on the left (It's 0.2 miles past the parking area for Sill Branch Falls). A small brown sign will indicate the trailhead for "Longarm Branch Trail". After a short hike (1/2 mile?), you'll reach the creek crossing; once across, the trail will fork -- stick to the left, the falls are just a short distance further. More maps here.

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