Short Springs Natural Area

Posted By on February 7, 2016

Short Springs Natural Area

2.25 miles; Tullahoma, TN

I took one final trek while on route home from Arizona, this time in Tullahoma, Tennessee. This was an absolutely beautiful spot with lots of elevation changes and waterfalls.

Busby Falls

Busby Falls

The geology of this place must be fascinating. The rocks along the water course were very geometrically segmented—they looked like tiles. In fact, a lot of this whole area is like that… I remarked on how, even in the places where the highway was blasted through, it almost looked like built walls.

TVA Marker

TVA Marker

I was thrilled to come across a marker for the Tennessee Valley Authority, too. Like the WPA and the CCC, this was a depression-era federal initiative, set up in this case to provide electricity to rural Tennessee.

The Trail

The Trail

This hike was a fairly short loop (hey, I had to get back in time for the Superb Owl!), but boy howdy there were some climbs. It was also an extremely popular hike with the locals. There was hardly a parking spot at the trailhead.

Natural Scrollwork

Natural Scrollwork

This was amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything remotely like it—this tree naturally grew in a curlicue shape. The sawn log ends all had this amazing scrolled look.

Getting Late

Getting Late

One missed waterfall… it was too late to add the “Adams Falls Loop” to my hike. It looked to be maybe another mile and a quarter.

Machine Falls

Machine Falls

And I wasn’t able to find a great place to view Machine Falls from, although the loop trail of the same name, uh, looped around it. It’s a 60-foot drop, and was impressive even from here, though.

Hepatica

Hepatica

I was delighted to see my first wildflower of 2o16, a hepatica. Not sure which kind. Almost couldn’t believe my eyes! From my brief bit of research (website, below), this spot is known for its wildflowers. I was probably about a month too early to see that show.

More information about the Short Springs Natural Area can be found on the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation website.

Comments

One Response to “Short Springs Natural Area”

  1. Nice AB. Love the hepatica. Have a safe trip home.

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