Fall Colors on the Paw Paw Trail at Fall Creek Falls

October 17, 2016  |  Permalink

The Paw Paw Trail at Fall Creek Falls State Park is an easy pleasant walk thru the woods. There are three overlooks on short spur trails that are definitely worth the extra time.

The trail starts near the Nature Center and goes down and across Rockhouse Creek where the spectacular but difficult Cable Trail can be found. As you go up the hill, there is a spur to an overlook of Cane Creek Falls. The loop begins a little bit farther up the hill. There is a spur to a view into Fall Creek’s short gorge near the back of the loop. When I walked the trail on October 10th the waterfalls were dry but the fall colors were getting good. All around me the reds and yellows were popping out of the wall of green. The colors start earlier on top of the plateau because of the elevation of around 1700 feet. The best part of the walk was the Cane Creek Gorge Overlook. The cone shaped green Hemlock trees dominated the deep gorge with the Tulip trees adding some yellow. The maples, sourwoods, and farkleberry bushes with their wonderful bright reds were decorating the gorge bluffs.

The fall is a delightful season to walk a park trail. Most of the state parks have trails through the woods for your fall walk. The colors are getting good on the plateau and are starting at the lower elevations too, so go for a walk in the next three weeks and enjoy. 

About the author

Randy Hedgepath

Tennessee State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath is a native of west Tennessee, where his family’s farm was just 15 miles from the Tennessee River. After graduating from UT Martin and working seasonally for several years for the National Park Service and Tennessee State Parks, he has spent the last 30 years with state parks. Randy worked as a ranger/naturalist at South Cumberland State Park on the Cumberland Plateau and at Radnor Lake Natural Area in Nashville until 2007 when he was given the opportunity to be the statewide naturalist for the state park system.