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!
New Bridge on the Trail
Small Waterfall on the Way Up
Great family or beginner hike!
(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.
Out & Back.
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.