Friday, June 5, 2015

Ozone Falls State Natural Area

Out long weekend road trip has begun! We packed up the Subaru and headed west for once. For the two-plus years we've been in Tennessee we have not done any exploring in the Volunteer State west of Knoxville. Today we changed that. Our first stop, on our way to Cumberland Mountain State Park, was Ozone Falls State Natural Area. We parked near a railroad trestle across the street from the natural area and then hit the trail. Our first stop was the brink of the falls.
Brink of Falls
It was a little bit scary looking over the precipice and with Sierra in the back pack I stayed well clear of the edge. From the brink of the falls we followed a "trail"
hiking down to falls
(in most spots it was more like a marked route down rocks and roots) down to near the bottom of the falls.
Ozone Falls
With slippery rocks and precious cargo in my backpack, we opted to not climb down to the bottom of the falls, but admired the impressively tall Ozone Falls from a spot close to the bottom (and close to a photo shoot).
Noelle and Ozone Falls
We then climbed back up the roots and rocks, past some small rock shelters,
hiking back to parking lot
to our car.

All said, the waterfall was very impressive, but given its close proximity to the road and Interstate-40, the area sees a lot of use. Some of that use is in the form of partying and basically trashing the area. It's a shame because the falls would be much more enjoyable if there were not as much trash. Still, it's worth a visit, if you happen to be in the area.     

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