Tims Ford State Park

May Waterfall Tour

May Waterfall Tour

Based out of Tims Ford State Park

Please join Tennessee State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath and Ranger Cara Alexander for this exciting, spring hiking tour of some of our favorite waterfalls! 

  • Wednesday, May 1 through Friday, March 3
  • $250 per person
  • Package price includes meals, all interpretive programming, taxes, gratuities, and transportation to the various destinations. Price does not include lodging. (Cabins at Tims Ford are available for an additional cost.)

Join State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath and Ranger Cara Alexander on a three-day exploration of some of our most beautiful state waterfalls. This outdoor adventure features the waterfalls at Short Springs State Natural Area, the spectacular beauty of Savage Gulf State Natural Area, and Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park. Focusing on the beauty and history of these majestic falls, the tours include legends and folklore, and other educational and interpretive programs unique to each location. Tour begins at 1:00 PM on Wednesday through noon on Friday.

Register For Tour

Reserve a Cabin


Day 1: Wednesday, May 1

** A sturdy walking stick is recommended for the various hiking trails throughout the three days. For your convenience, you can find walking sticks available for purchase in the Tims Ford park office.

1:00 PM: Meet guides Cara and Randy along with your fellow tour members in the park office. Depart for Short Springs State Natural Area where we will visit Machine Falls and Bobo Creek Falls for the scenic beauty and a great place to cool off. A diversity of wildflowers and trees are also featured. We will return to Tims Ford by 5 PM.

5:00-6:00 PM: Check into your Tims Ford State Park cabin if you’ve chosen to stay with us.

6:00 PM: Dinner as a group at the Recreation Center provided by the Governor’s Table Restaurant at Henry Horton State Park followed by an informal picture show of Tennessee Waterfalls by State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions.

Day 2: Thursday, May 2

7:00-8:00 AM: Meet at the Recreation Center where breakfast will be provided for the group.

8:00 AM: 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 PM.

6:00 PM: Meet for group dinner back at the Recreation Center.

Day 3: Friday, May 3

7:30-8:30 AM: Meet for breakfast at the Recreation Center and please be sure to check out of your cabin before the excursion if you have chosen to stay with us.

8:30 AM: 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. The total distance for the walks is 3 miles on Wednesday, 5 miles on Thursday, and 2 miles on Friday. A backpack, water bottle, and walking stick or pole is highly recommended. Good hiking boots are needed and outdoor appropriate attire. Swimming attire could be useful for the falls pools.

All times are Central time.

Printable Itinerary (pdf)

Helpful Links

Short Springs State Natural Area
Savage Gulf State Natural Area
South Cumberland State Park
Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park
Tims Ford State Park

About Your Guides

Park Ranger Cara Alexander graduated from U.T. Knoxville with a B.S. in Forestry and a minor in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. She began her career with Tennessee State Parks as the Seasonal Interpretive Ranger at David Crockett Birthplace and Fall Creek Falls State Parks. As a full time Ranger since 2011, Cara has worked at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Nashville and at Fall Creek Falls State Park. Her interests include hiking, birding, and photography.

State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath has more than 35 years of experience with Tennessee State Parks. Randy has 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.