I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
July 27, 2016
Ever since I wrote about Nashville’s best secret hiking trail, I can’t count how many of you have told me that you tried it and LOVED it. Hidden Lake really is special, isn’t it? Trust me, I’m not going to waste time here steering you wrong!
Well, guess what? I found another secret spot this summer that’s now one of my favorite places…. EVER. Seriously. And I’m so excited to share it with all of you.
It’s called Fall Hollow, and it’s right off the Natchez Trace Parkway at mile marker 391.9. If you take the Parkway from its entrance just beyond the Loveless Cafe in Nashville, it’ll take you about an hour to get there. Look for this sign, park in the parking lot and take the trail into the forest.
The first part of the trail is paved and flat. It will lead to an observation deck.
The view from that deck is this unexpectedly stunning waterfall!
At this point, most people turn around and head back to their car. But if you continue on down the trail as we did, trust me– You will be rewarded.
It’s important to note that beyond the observation deck, the trail is unpaved, steep and sometimes slippery. You’ll definitely want to wear sturdy shoes. As long as you’re careful, though, you can make this hike even with small children.
Although you’ll encounter several spots like this one as you proceed, rest assured that this trail is very short, and there are many payoffs for your efforts…
Within just a few minutes of walking, you’ll start seeing lovely little waterfalls along the rocks that border the path. You’ll also find as you descend that the forest gets much cooler and more lush. It feels like a secret, hidden paradise, right off the road.
It forms a transparent pool at the bottom that’s about knee-deep and perfect for children to play in– SAFELY!
And you know how every kid (and, well, every adult, too) wants to walk behind the waterfall, but you’re worried they’ll slip and fall? Well, here, it’s easy and about as safe as it gets!
It’s also really fun to look at the way the falling water has eroded the rock over time. Clearly, this waterfall has been around for a while!
I’m planning to come back to Fall Hollow on a hot day and let the kids bring friends. We’ll wear our swimsuits, bring a picnic lunch, and play in the waterfall. Fall Hollow makes a great surprise family daytrip, don’t you think?
Fall Hollow is so interesting to me because it doesn’t get anywhere near the traffic that the Trace’s Jackson Falls gets. We went on a Saturday afternoon and while several carloads of people stopped while we were there and went to the observation deck, we were the only ones who went on down the steeper path — I suppose it appears to be too steep to attempt, but trust me– It’s not bad as long as you’re careful and wear appropriate footwear– and it’s totally worth it.
Want to check out Fall Hollow for yourself? Use this map of the Natchez Trace Parkway to help you find it, but don’t stress too much — it’s easy to spot!