April-May Waterfall Tour 2020


Based out of Tims Ford State Park State Park

  • Wednesday, April 29, Thursday, April 30, and Friday, May 1, 2020
  • $250 per person
  • Package price includes meals, all interpretive programming, taxes, gratuities, and transportation to various destinations. Price does not include lodging. (Cabins at Cumberland Mountain are available for an additional cost.)

Please join Tennessee State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath and Assistant State Naturalist Holly Taylor for this exciting, hiking tour of some of our favorite waterfalls!

This tour has been carefully curated to capture the essence of Tennessee's unique and most remarkable areas. You will explore Tennessee’s Highland Rim and Cumberland Plateau, nationally known for the cascades, gorges, rock houses and waterfalls nestled among their lush forest lands. The tour includes legends and folklore, and other educational and interpretive programs unique to each location, most meals, and transportation during the tour.




Short Springs State Natural Area
South Cumberland State Park
Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park

SCHEDULE: Printable pdf

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29 | Three miles

Noon to 1:00 PM: Meet your guides State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath, Assistant State Naturalist Holly Taylor, and fellow participants at the Park Office.

1:00 PM: Depart for Short Springs State Natural Area where we will visit Machine Falls and Bobo Creek Falls for the scenic beauty and a good place to cool off. A diversity of wildflowers and trees are also featured. We will return to Tims Ford by 5:00 PM.

6:00 PM: Dinner as a group at the Visitor Center meeting room. The meal is provided by the Governor’s Table Restaurant at Henry Horton State Park and will be followed by an informal picture show of Tennessee Waterfalls by State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath.

THURSDAY, APRIL 30 | Five miles

7:00 AM: Breakfast will be provided in the meeting room

8:00 AM: We will meet at the Park Office and depart for South Cumberland State Park where we will visit Greeter Falls, Laurel Falls, and Suter Falls within the spectacular Savage Gulf State Natural Area. A bag lunch will be provided for a picnic at the Great Stone Door picnic area. We will return to Tims Ford by 5:00 PM.

6:00 PM: Dinner, then a free evening.

FRIDAY, MAY 1 | Two miles

7:30 AM to 8:30 AM: make sure to check out of cabins if you are going home today, then join us for breakfast.

8:30 Depart for Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park where we will visit Big Falls and other falls on the big and little Duck Rivers and learn about the 2000-year-old Indian enclosure. Along the way, we will visit Rutledge Falls which is on private land. The tour will end by noon.

Participants should be able to walk over rugged terrain for short distances and climb some steep grades. A backpack, water bottle, and walking stick or pole are highly recommended. Good hiking boots are needed and outdoor appropriate attire. Swimming attire could be useful for the fall's pools.


Holly Taylor got her start with Tennessee State Parks as a Seasonal Interpretive Ranger in 2006, working six years at Edgar Evins State Park before working as a wildlife presenter for the Natural History Education Company of the Mid-South. She took time off to stay at home with her son before returning to TN State Parks as the assistant to State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath in 2018. She graduated from TTU in 2009 with a B.S. in Conservation Biology and also serves as the chapter coordinator for the Cumberland Mountain Chapter of the Tennessee Naturalist Program.

State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath has more than 36 years of experience with Tennessee State Parks. Randy served as a Ranger Naturalist at South Cumberland and Radnor Lake State Parks. He was appointed State Naturalist for Tennessee State Parks in 2007. A graduate of UT-Martin and former National Park Service Interpretive Specialist, Randy is one of the most sought after interpretive specialists in the southeastern United States.

Top photo of Machine Falls by Earl Kiech. Bottom photo of Greeter Falls by TennesseePhotographs.com or facebook.com/tenneesseephotographs.