Greeneville, Tenn (WJHL) – A mile and a half through the Cherokee National Forest, hikers can find a beautiful waterfall with a 60-foot drop. The hike to Margarette Falls not only has an incredible end destination, but the hike itself provides some beautiful views. Originally this path used to be home to the largest logging operation in Green County, the John Heilman Lumber Company, that’s according to fs.usda.gov.
Leslie Morgan, a District Ranger with the Unaka District says, “This trail was originally a skid trail for when they had logging operations out of the Cherokee national forest. Even before it was forested it was privately owned so they logged it, they used this particular trail either as a railroad grade or a skid road to the main staging area, so when the CC’s came in they started building trails, they just incorporated a lot of the skid trails into the forest service system.”
Travelers will notice that the first .5 miles of the hike are on a relatively flat, and open trail. This is because the beginning of the trail is actually a closed Forest Service Road that leads to private property, but then hikers will hit a fork in the road. At this point, you can continue left and travel along Dry Creek for .7 miles to the waterfall. This portion of the hike is much more difficult; hikers will have to cross a creek, and travel along rocky, narrow paths. This means it is especially important to come prepared with the correct footwear. Morgan adds that you need to, “plan accordingly, plan your time accordingly, there are obviously a lot of rocks, slick roots, a lot of slick parts of the trail, very narrow parts of the trail so just know you are capable of taking that type of trail on.”
While common in this part of the country, Morgan adds that hikers need to be especially aware of bears while hiking up to Margarette Falls. She says that on warm days, male bears like to lay out on logs and bask in the sun. Although this is a very neat scene to see, it’s important to know what to do if you run into one yourself: