**These falls are on private property**

I’ve been talking over the last several weeks about what all I’ve been photographing since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic (or as I’ve been referring to them, the COVID days), while not really being able to travel a whole lot.  One of the things I’ve been focusing on are waterfalls, which I sort of see as an extension of my stream photography work.  While East Tennessee certainly has a number of gorgeous waterfalls, the plateau area of Middle Tennessee is absolutely littered with them, and provided a nice excuse to get out of the house and go explore some new places we’d not seen before, all while not having to come into contact with many other humans (those disease-spreading beings 😉 ).

One such outing led us to Cul-Car-Mac falls, in Smithville, Tennessee, on the Evin’s Mill property, and wow, what a beauty!!  I know it’s a very subjective thing to say, but I personally think this may be the prettiest waterfall in Tennessee (or at least the prettiest one I’ve personally seen) – it’s seriously jaw dropping!  I called attention to the fact that these falls are on private property, which requires you to either stay at the bed and breakfast, buy a sack lunch (i.e. pay a fee plus you actually get something), or pay an entrance fee to go see the falls, something I wasn’t aware of when we took off to see the falls.  After driving an hour and a half to get there though, it wasn’t like we were just going to turn around and go home!  We had brought our own food, so we just paid the fee, had a picnic on the property, and then walked back to the falls.  The property is really nicely done, and it looked like a place we’d love to go back and stay for a special get away. The added bonus, of course, are the falls themselves.  When we visited was the height of the lock-down, and it looked as though the bed and breakfast only had one guest at the time, which meant Holly and I had the falls all to ourselves (we just happened to start our hike as dinner was being served).

Getting to the falls requires descending down (and of course then ascending back up) a pretty steep trail (this is the plateau after all – you start at the top!) to get to the base of the falls, but the trip is well worth the effort.  The water cascades down a 90 foot tall cliff into a perfectly emerald pool at the bottom.  It looked REALLY inviting, but when we visited in late spring, it was still a bit cool to be swimming.  The central falls pictured above is the main attraction, but the surrounding cliffs have a number of other spots where water is flowing off; basically impossible to capture in a single photo but incredible to see with your own eyes.

Have you been?  We’d highly recommend it, but no trespassing!  If you’re going to visit, do it the right way!  🙂

–Dan Thompson

Title Address Description
Cul-Car-Mac Falls
Cul-car-mac Falls, Tennessee 37166, USA

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