A beautiful drive through the Greeneville countryside will bring you to the trailhead of Margarette Falls, a hike that's well worth your time and effort for the beautiful scenery and picturesque 60-foot falls at the end.
Distance: 2.7 miles roundtrip, plus an additional 1.0 miles of service road from the parking lot for a total of 3.7 miles.
Elevation gain: 751 feet
Directions: From Hwy 11E in Greeneville, take 107 to TN 351 (107 cut-off.) Travel five miles to the four-way stop. Turn left on Greystone Road, drive about four miles. Turn right on Shelton Mission Rd, drive for approximately 1.3 miles. Trailhead will be on the right.
The first half-mile of the trail is a gravel service road.
The sound of the creek accompanied us for much of the hike. The scenery is just lovely.
Jasper's second (and longest) hike on his own two feet!
Hot day? No worries - the entire trail is shaded.
Jasper narrates every aspect of his life, and it was both interesting and hilarious to hear his internal monologue as he negotiated the trail.
This bridge was a beautiful place to stop and enjoy the water.
The terrain is varied, ranging from easy packed gravel or dirt to more challenging areas of muddy, wet paths with exposed roots. This, however, was the worst part of the trail, made up entirely of large, loose, wobbly rocks. It was slow going to traverse this portion of the trail to avoid falling or twisting an ankle. Proper footwear is a must for this hike.
There was also quite a lot of rock stairways - you'll get your workout in for the day!
This is where our GPS tracking confused us - this mini falls was located at the distance where Margarette Falls should have been, though we knew we weren't quite there yet. Our Garmin tracker put the total hike at 3.6 miles instead of 2.7. So we think that the official information for the trail does not include the 0.5 mile service road from the parking lot.
As we got nearer to the falls there was one significant water crossing. Usually this would be a rock skipper, but the recent heavy rains caused all the rocks to be underwater. Matt carried the kids over since he's more sure of his balance, but I took my shoes and socks off and waded across. I'm clumsy as heck and I knew I'd break an ankle if I tried going across the wet rocks.
The creek was around 7 inches deep and the water was freezing cold!
The payoff was well worth it - the falls are absolutely beautiful. The recent rainfall had them roaring.
A sweet couple took a family photo for us!
Snack time while watching the falls.
Jasper did not complain once on the trails and had so much fun. I can't tell you how happy it makes me that he's growing a love of hiking at such an early age!
Have you hiked to Margarette Falls? Let me know in the comments!