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Margarette Falls

Posted by on May 14, 2011

60' Margarette Falls

One of the most picturesque waterfalls in our region has to be Margarette Falls located in Greene County, Tennessee.  Not only is this 60′ waterfall truly magnificent, but the hike to get to it is very beautiful as well.  Located on west fork of Dry Creek in a very rocky gorge, there are numerous waterfalls on the way up (3 or 4 in the 10′ range), many cascades, and high cliffs towering above the trail.  And if you go at the right time of year, wildflowers are in abundance.  I saw numerous species of Trillium, wild Iris, wild Geranium, Larkspur, Rue Anemone, and Bleeding Hearts… only to name a few.

I had last hiked here in 2008, and immediately noticed many improvements to the trail.  Signage is much better now, and the trail has been re-routed so that there is only one stream crossing, which is easy.  A very nice bridge has also been installed within the past six months (see photo below).  Note:  This hike was done before the recent tornado that devastated the community near this trail, so I’m not sure if the trail itself was affected.

This a great family or beginner hike.  The trail is not overly steep and is only 1.2 miles to the waterfall.  However, if you want to be more adventurous there is another beautiful waterfall on upstream (off-trail) called Bailey Falls.  I will give directions and photos for that hike in my next blog post!

Wild Iris

Trail Sign

Wild Geranium

New Bridge on the Trail

Small Waterfall on the Way Up

Pretty Cascades






Great family or beginner hike!


Waterfalls, Wildflowers.


(this is probably not the fastest way, but it’s the way I went) – From Johnson City, take I-26 to the Erwin/Jonesborough exit (#37). At the end of the ramp turn right and take State Rt. 81/107 for 6.5 miles.  Stay on Rt. 107 by turning left and continue for 14.8 miles. Turn left onto 351 South and drive 0.7 miles where you will take a left on Middle Creek Road. Drive 3.5 miles on Middle Creek Road until you reach a stop sign where you will take a right onto Greystone Road.  Follow Greystone for 2.0 miles, and take a left onto Shelton Mission Road where you will follow it for another 2.0 miles.  You will see a sign for the trails, and then the parking area will be immediately on your left.

From the parking area you will see a forest road (blocked off) and the a sign designating the trails.  I think the sign says “difficult” but don’t let this scare you… the trail is a moderate climb with only around 500 feet elevation gain.  It’s private property on either side of this initial forest road, but it’s fine to take it.  Walk up this road for approximately .5 mile  until it dead ends.  This is the confusing area… You will see two trails here… take the one on your right (at the two large boulders).  After approximately 50 yards this trail will split again… take the one to the left (the is a sign here now designating the trail).  Margarette Falls will be reached in another 0.7 mile.

Gear & Tips:

Insects seem to always be bad along the forest road area.  Bring bug spray!

Approximately 2.4 miles round-trip.


2-3 hours.

Out & Back.

Rating (1-5):

1.0 – No elevated mountain views

Rating (based on a 1-50 scale):

Margarette Falls: H(6) + F(5) + V(3) + W(2) + G(4+5+7) = 32

Crossings (one way):

ONE – easy. Ankle deep and you should be able to stay dry if you use caution while rock hopping.

Easy… there is one area that you might have to use a hand-hold to climb up a six-foot boulder.

Slippery slopes and steep areas.  Please don’t try to climb the waterfall.







7 Responses to Margarette Falls

  1. Ben Trotter

    A bridge…wow. I always loved the challenge of climbing that trail.

    • Bill Fuller

      Yeah, I’m not a huge fan of big structures like that… I’d rather it be more natural. But, it might make it just a little more accessible for more people too visit this beautiful place.

  2. Terry Martin

    Our first time using your website – your directions and descriptions are wonderful! We hiked to the Margarette Falls today. We loved the waterfalls and cascades – we have some beautiful pictures. Our son tried hiking on up to Bailey Falls but found it too overgrown to find a trail at all to follow. Thank you for the time you spend creating your website. We will definitely use it many times! The Martin Family

    • Bill Fuller

      Thanks so much for the compliments, Terry! I’d love to see your photos of Margarette. Yes… Bailey Falls is quite difficult and there is really no trail to follow. You just have to work your way on upstream as best possible. Thanks again!!!

  3. Michelle

    Hey. My family (including my 2 yr. old) just hiked up yesterday. We didn’t go past the small falls because it looked too difficult considering I’m pregnant and we had a toddler. How far apart are the 2 falls?

    • Bill Fuller

      There are quite a few smaller falls, so I’m not exactly sure how far you made it. I imagine you were less than a half mile though. The hike is actually not any more strenuous as you get above those smaller falls, however there is one creek crossing and one area that you would have to climb up some rocks… 10′ or so. Other than that, it’s fairly easy.
      Hope this helps,

  4. Sharon Blackstock

    I visited Margarette Falls back in early 2012. Loved this trail and this fall. Went up above it and saw Glen Falls as well. There is a third fall on up the trail, Bailey Falls, but I missed seeing it. Along the other trail – Phillips Hollow – there are other nice falls also.

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