Waterfall Wednesday: Machine Falls, Tullahoma, TN

August 16, 2017

 

About this time last year, my favorite adventure buddy, Jessie (she's also a killer personal trainer), and I set out for a little adventure. We hadn't seen each other all summer and were long overdo for a waterfall trip. After scanning Instagram for hours, trying to decide where to go, we decided on Machine Falls. We hoped for a decent waterfall, maybe some swimming, and just a good ole little road trip (we believe that the car stereo should always be used as a karaoke machine, and I'm sure we entertained several drivers with our stellar singing/dancing performances). What we found was the landscape of fairytales! 

 

So, the water isn't actually deep enough to swim in, but we splashed our way through the three waterfalls (2 more than expected)! (Machine Falls is a part of the Short Springs Natural Area, and there are apparently several waterfalls within a couple mile radius.) Looking back over the map of the area, I'm actually not 100% certain which path we took. I believe we took the Machine Falls Loop to the base of the falls, then cut over to the Busby Falls Trail, to the bridge connecting to the Laurell Bluff Loop, where we hopped in the water and made it our path. 

 

 It was one of the most beautiful hikes, so we took a million pictures!!! Seriously, all I could think was, "I've stumbled upon the land of fairytales!"

 

The park is off the beaten path, not overly trafficked, and has no cell service. (Also, there are no bathrooms. . . so if you see a gas station on the way, you might wanna stop before trekking down to the falls.) Zero cell service, I've found, is a common theme when exploring nature's beauties. The first few times I went on adventures and checked my phone to see "NO SERVICE" where the service bars usually are, all I could think was, "Wow, this would be a great location for a horror movie." The more adventures I go on, it becomes less surprising and less alarming. Getting chopped into a million pieces isn't my first thought anymore. Actually it's kind of nice dropping off the radar for a little while. But you also don't want to do anything stupid, because if you fall and break something, calling for help becomes a lot more tricky. 

 

Here's how we executed our adventure. We started in Historic Downtown Franklin,  where we gathered the ingredients for our picnic. We grabbed some delicious muffins and fresh fruit and veggies from the Franklin Farmers Market, then stopped at Merridee's Bread Basket for some Viking Bread and a tub of Chicken Salad togo. We threw everything in the cooler and hit the road! We took the backroads through Shelbyville on the way there (because, why not take the scenic route?). We picnicked in the parking lot at the head of the trails, then explored "the land of fairytales!" On the way back, we took I-24 through Murfreesboro. Via the highway, it's only an hour and fifteen minutes from Nashville. This hike is such a gem, but I feel like it's rarely known about!

 

Here's what you'll need:

Tennishoes! - Do not even think about wearing flip flops! Parts of theses trails are steep! 

Swimsuit - If you feel like splashing in the water! 

Lunch - It's kinda in the middle of nowhere. . . So bring snacks! You don't wanna get hangry in the                        middle of fairytale land. 

Friends - Because adventures are more fun together! 

 

Have a blast! Take tons of pictures! Don't be afraid to get wet! 

 

 

 

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