More people hike to Greeter Falls for a respite from the COVID-19 pandemic

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Davis Nolan's Weekend Waterfalls

GRUNDY CO., Tenn., (WKRN) — After more than 37 years of working for Tennessee State Parks, Randy Hedgepath still has a hard time naming his favorite waterfall.

“Having a favorite is risky because I might break the heart of some of my ranger friends if I say a waterfall that’s not theirs,” he said jokingly.

As the state naturalist, Hedgepath can be found leading waterfall tours, nature walks, and hikes in natural areas. When asked again if he could pick a favorite waterfall he answered, “I worked for many years as a ranger at South Cumberland State Parks. It seems more like home than just about any other place.” He added, “My all time favorite there was Greeter Falls.”

Randy Hedgepath Tennessee Parks State Naturalist

Greeter Falls in the Savage Gulf Nature Area welcomes visitors with two spectacular scenes. “It has two drops. The Upper Fall is about 12 feet and people like to stand underneath that one. The other one has a big swimming pool which people enjoy. It’s about 70 feet,” Hedgepath explained. To get to the Lower Fall you have to use a spiral staircase that takes you down to the pool.

Hedgepath said Greeter Falls displays all three of the major rock type in Tennessee: sandstone, shell and limestone. “The walls look like they were sawn off the mountain.” Plus, the foundation of an old gristmill can be found along the trail to the falls. “Extraordinary scenery. “

Greeter Falls sits right outside Altamont in Grundy County. Hedgepath warned those hiking the half-mile down to the Falls should watch their step. It can be bumpy, rocky and somewhat slick.

Marty and K.C. Walker along with their pup MO and friends made the steep trek for a respite from the worries of COVID-19.

“I get ‘cabin fever’ pretty quick,” said Marty. “You stop and get the chnace to be thankful for where we live,” said K.C.

“Everybody wants to get outside,” said Hedgepath. “There’s not a lot to do otherwise…and so many of our parks are overused in some cases.” He suggested visitors bring a bag to help park rangers keep the areas clean for others to enjoy.

Visit this website to learn about Tennessee State Parks. You can also email Ask.TNStateParks@tn.gov

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