Sunday, December 2, 2018

Fall Creek Falls State Park- Tennessee (November 2018)

Our visit to Fall Creek Falls State Park started with a GPS fail. Two out three of the GPS units we use called for a turn on a road that quickly turned into a single lane gravel trail. We were in too deep to back out when the road became mostly dirt.

As a point of reference, we call our built-in truck GPS “Jack,” our Garmin GPS is known as “Jill” and Google Maps on our iPhone hasn’t developed enough personality to earn a name. Jack and Jill agreed that we needed to drag Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer, down the substandard roads. Google was napping at that time and wasn’t around to participate in the decision.

Two miles later, we were on a paved but narrow road entering the park from what had to be the wrong direction. I doubt many people would bring their campers down those roads.

Fall Creek Falls State Park sign

We were amazed at the lack of signage in this park needed to get poor lost souls on the right path. As expected, our GPS systems were equally confused as to where the campground office was located. 

By chance, we stumbled on the office and were given a map to our campsite. It was easy to follow and we quickly found our site.

Our site in Fall Creek Falls State Park

This wasn’t our first visit to Fall Creek Falls State Park, but it was the first time we took Rosie there. We camped in the park several times during our tent days. Those visits were probably a dozen years ago. 

Our memories from our tent days were mixed. Weekend campers there during the summer tended to ignore quiet hours, loved sharing their loud radios and TVs with their neighbors and depended on the other campers to keep an eye on their children. I don’t think these were problems unique to this park. We always enjoyed Fall Creek Falls more during the week when the weekenders were gone. 

We noticed that the RV camping sites were significantly more spacious and private than how we remembered the tent sites. Since we were there during November, only a few hardy souls were in our camping loop. 

The weather wasn’t our friend during this visit. The leaves were past peak colors and were quickly falling from the trees. There was a small team of employees driving through the park with leaf blowers attached to their tractors trying to clear the roads. The frequent rain showers encouraged the leaves to fall faster.

Becky on the suspension bridge

A trail in Fall Creek Falls State Park

At Fall Creek Falls

Another weather factor was the temperature. Daytime highs were in the low 50s and lows were in the low 40s. We decided to leave a day early to avoid the predicted low temperature of 22 degrees the next night. Sure, we could keep Rosie nice and warm in during subfreezing temperatures, but the thought of hooking up in those temperatures wasn’t appealing. We decided it was time to head south. 

Between rain showers, we were able to visit the famous swimming hole.

The swimming hole

We also worked in hikes to several waterfalls and to one suspended footbridge over one of the creeks. We kept saying during our hikes that this is a great park with lots to see and do.

The Falls

Becky at the base of the falls

Another view of the falls

We missed several things from our previous trips. On that list was renting a canoe to explore the lake and eating dinner in the lodge. We guess the boat rental area was closed for the season and the lodge was demolished so the State can build a new one. 

We were amazed at what was open in the park. The General Store, Camping Outfitter Store and several snack bars were open for business in what could only be described as the off-season for the park. 

Here are some specifics about this campground:
  • Our site was in camping loop B
  • Our site was paved
  • Our site was level
  • Our site had 20, 30 and 50 amp electrical service 
  • Our site had a water connection 
  • Our site had a sewer connection 
  • The park provided four days of free WiFi access. It appeared that there was a fee for additional days of service 
  • AT&T placed two bars of 4G LTE service over our site 
  • We were able to see only PBS using Rosie’s TV antenna. Our over-the-air DVR that we record our favorite TV programs and movies on helps when our TV options are limited. 
  • The bathhouse and restroom near our site was clean and warm. 
  • This is a surprisingly expensive park. While the camping fees are somewhat on the higher side of what you would expect for a state park, the tack-on fees and taxes push the nightly costs to well above the norm. 
We frequently mentioned how much we enjoyed this park and noted that we needed to return soon. 
We saw several deer in this park

Steve and Suzy
Steve on the suspension bridge
Becky and Suzy
Another waterfall in the park

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