I have passed the sign to Piney Falls a gazillion times on my way to more talked about destinations. I mean, I had NEVER even heard Piney Falls mentioned anywhere. It was always one of those that I thought I ‘might’ go to one day.
Well, I decided to look it up online one day when it just popped into my head. You know, to see if it was anything worth seeing. Well, to my surprise it was. As a matter of fact, it is one of the prettiest falls I have seen. Now, you need to be sure to go when there has been rain. I heard a woman talking about how in the middle of summer it is a trickle and not worth the trouble to get to.
Speaking of trouble…well, if I go there is usually trouble. Something happened that will forever be referred to as ‘The Incident at Piney Falls.” The hike started out great. It was so good to get out. We just came out of what seemed like forty days and forty nights of constant rain. All three of us were happy to finally be out and walking in the woods. We came to an intersection where you could go to the lower Piney Falls or continue on to the upper and walk across the top of the falls. That’s the way we decided to go. This was all of ten minutes into the hike. I had finally gotten a little handheld tripod for my phone and I had my big tripod for waterfall pics in my backpack. I was just about to put my phone up and watch where I was walking when my feet slipped out right from under me and down I went. First I landed hard on my butt and the back of my head hit the rock face I had slipped on. Then I was flung forward where I tried to keep from falling forward and this must of been when my knee hit and twisted causing me to hit the front top of my head on another rock. I knew instantly I had hurt my knee pretty badly. All I could hear was one of the ladies in the group say ”She hit her head! She hit her head!” When I fell my little tripod hit the water and my phone dislodged and sank near my head and the tripod went right over the falls. Unfortunately, no pictures of this section.
I pulled myself together and my friend ran over to help. I handed her my phone and she dried it off. I took off my pack and sat there for a few minutes holding my knee. After a bit, I got up and started to walk when I slipped again on another rock and slammed my shin on the same leg (left) inbetween two more rocks. I am shocked that this did not break my leg. I couldn’t believe TWO falls in one day. I got up from that and finally managed to get over to dry land. We stood there a few minutes and I really thought about going back. HOWEVER, that would mean crossing right back over where I had just fallen and I just didn’t think I could do it. So, I decided to trudge on to the rest of the hike. It’s a loop and I knew that at least I wouldn’t be on this part again. I just hoped there would be nothing else as difficult on the rest of the trail.
Well, just a little walk from the fall I had brought us to this steep descent with a rope. Of course, there would be a steep section with a rope. Why not?
As you can imagine I was a little unstable on this section. I went insanely slow since my knee was screaming. I scooted on my rear down some of it as I would on other upcoming sections.
After a little bit, we got our first look at the falls.
You will be on a hillside the entire time down to the falls and only levels out on the section of trail that is behind the falls.
It wasn’t until I got down to the area where I could get a good shot of the falls that I found out that I had broken the head off my big, expensive tripod in the fall. I was so frustrated. All I had now was a mini pod thing and, honestly, my knee was hurting so bad that I had a hard time concentrating on getting a really good picture of the falls.
Here’s a look after crossing behind the falls at the trial.
I thought that the top of the falls was upper Piney and this section was lower Piney. I was wrong. We had not come to lower Piney.
I can’t remember how far you have to hike before you come to the lower piney sign. The trail was very pretty and had some interesting rock faces. Lower Piney had a more level area where I could sit more comfortably and use my mini pod to get some good pictures.
After a good break there we headed on up the hill.
After we climbed up some wide steps we ran into this little guy and his people. His name was Garth.
He was the cutest dog EVER. He’s also a better hiker than I am. He’s done several from what his people said.
Soon after this, the trail leveled out and we were back to the fork. We headed on out to the car and to get our post hike meal (That’s why we do this. So we can eat without guilt.)
Now, if you look this up on alltrails it will be listed as an out and back. That’s not true. It’s a loop and it’s also around 3 miles total. So, the person that originally submitted it probably did not do the whole thing. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/tennessee/piney-falls
Here is my wikiloc recorded trail:
If you go, please just know that this is a moderate to difficult (in certain areas) trail. I recommend doing this clockwise UNLIKE what we did. The hike was worth the trouble. Go after a good rain and take a camera and tripod.
Update on Knee:
The Monday after hike I went to the dr. She sent me for an xray and an mri. I have two sprains and a femoral attachment of medial patellofemoral retinaculum. In other words, something tore (not meniscus) and it will heal without surgery. So, I have been icing it for two weeks now and it’s still swollen.